David-Jan Bronsgeest’s forthcoming short MEDI tells the story of a woman losing herself in her limitless imagination. Aware that a large portion of the short depicts the visual effects of her hallucinatory world, Dutch Film Academy visual effects student Guido Ekker set out to create a unique and challenging title sequence. Together with fellow students Jeroen Kiers (director of photography) and Vincent Mensink (production designer), Ekker searched for possible solutions before coming across a site featuring ferrofluid, which they decided when shot in macro would be the perfect material to manipulate for the opening.
Due to the tight deadline the team only had a single day to first test, then shoot their storyboarded shots. Magnets were placed beneath a petri dish containing the magnetic liquid and used to manipulate its movement along with hospital syringes which added the ability to blow or suck the fluid into position. All this was shot on a Red Epic sporting a 200mm lens and running at 100fps in 4k. Post (editing/vfx/animation) took a week, during which time Ekker concentrated on creating seamless cuts for a fluid (no pun intended) montage which worked well with the chosen typography.
Note: Ekker points out that the music in this video is not in the real film, it’s used for practice.
And here’s a trailer for MEDI which will hopefully make its way online in the not too distant future: