Exhume, the latest short film from Parts and Labor, is a complex blend of the post-apocalyptic and the pre-war, of remembering and forgetting, of the living and the dead.
Press Release from Nice Shoes
Exhume, the latest short film from Parts and Labor, is a complex blend of the post-apocalyptic and the pre-war, of remembering and forgetting, of the living and the dead. To strike the exact tone and manufacture effects to perfectly complement the live action, director/writer Dan Kern enlisted Nice Shoes to handle all visual effects and color grading for his brief but poignant film.
Set in the austere rooms of a hazy and unsettled world, Exhume roams back and forth between a psychiatrist's office and the desperate past of a man torn from his lover. As the distraught patient tries to extricate his painful memories, he occasionally encounters his beloved's apparition, flashing seismically before him.
Director Dan Kern notes, "Because Exhume is about memory and loss, I wanted to push the limits of a handheld long-lens Super 16 aesthetic to create an intimate, almost claustrophobic feel to the story. Nice Shoes built on that intensity with an approach to the effects that felt handmade and blended in perfectly with the dreamy texture of the film's psychology."
"The world of exhume is very post apocalyptic," adds Nice Shoes CD Aron Baxter. "The machinery has a very handmade, pre-second-World War feel. We intentionally created the effects to inhabit this world, so we went for a very low-fi, very anti-modern-technology look, which served to unify Dan's vision."
Nice Shoes took an active role from the project's outset, discussing ideas as soon as the script was written and ramping up their efforts at the pre-production stage. As is their custom in projects of this nature, the Nice Shoes team attended the shoot and made recommendations throughout. They began the process of designing some of the VFX - for example, ghost effects and oscilloscope looks - prior to starting on post. With these tasks out of the way, Nice Shoes only had to break down the definitive tasks and refine the VFX to mesh with the actual footage once the film was shot.
Given the memory-erasing subject matter, Nice Shoes sought to tap into the dark side of life. Adds Baxter, "With a goal to hit exactly the right look and to stay consistent throughout the project, we referenced lots of movies and clips, throwing ideas back and forth to each other. We went through clips with scan lines, contorted images, and lo-fi recordings, everything, we wanted to capture the perfect analogue feeling."
Prod Company: Parts and LaborDirector/Writer: Dan KernProducers: Tory Lenosky, Lucas JoaquinDP: Aaron PhillipsEP: Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Joe Riley
Editor: Josh Schaeffer
Color Grading: Nice ShoesColorist: Ron Sudul
Post/Effects: Nice ShoesCD: Aron BaxterLead VFX: Jason FarberVFX Artist(s): Russ Bigsby, Vincent Roma, Bryan RosenblumProducer: Jen Cadic
Opening Title Design and Animation: Kit Lam
Music: Stars of the Lid
About Nice Shoes:NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, CDs Brian Bowman and Aron Baxter, Senior Producer Pat Portela, and CIO Bob Keske.