A music video very much open to interpretation, Filip Zaluska’s Void sees the Warsaw-based filmmaker reprise his collaboration with music producer and composer Wojtek Urbanski for a film which contrasts the opposing, yet eternally linked forces of life. Clocking in at a scant two minutes but lingering in our minds for much longer, we caught up with Zaluska to learn how on set effects and stunt work made this enigmatic piece possible.

Void quite an enigmatic piece of work, could you provide some insight into the inspiration for the concept and the themes you wanted to explore in the film?

I caught the idea when I was sitting on the bed in my apartment, unconsciously and accidentally in the same position as the older man in the video. At that moment I somehow hung my thoughts, I froze for a while and then I imagined someone tired of life, without any desires, hopes, and with no passion inside. Someone in the same physical sitting position as me but frozen in emotions for a very long time.

Nothing can break him free, the last spark of his internal energy (dribble) sets him on fire, but he does not react, he sits still. I wanted to contrast his state with the opposite one. The young couple on the bus that passes him. They are in true, pure love. The girl sees the burning man, feels his emptiness but the bus takes her away against her will. In the end, we can only see barely perceptible fires of probable others in the fog.

All over the world fire is deeply rooted in our rituals, it can symbolize death but also cleansing and rinsing from ashes. The idea is open to interpretation but for me, it’s about opposite forces that are truly one.

With the idea in place, how did the project progress?

I’d had the idea for this video before I had the right music so I asked my friend Wojtek Urbanski, who is a composer and for whom I had made one music video before if he would like to make a new piece of music to my new idea. He loved that. At that time he was also working on his new solo album, so it was the right moment to ask, and he did it fantastically. The longer version of the piece is available to listen to on Spotify.

I wanted as much as possible for the special effects to be done on set so the stuntman was set on fire.

So having the script with great music I presented it to the production house Papaya Films and they were pleased to do it with me. We shot the video during one cold autumn day, near Warsaw. I wanted as much as possible for the special effects to be done on set so the stuntman was set on fire and shot at 120fps on Arri camera with hawk anamorphic lens.

Later in post, the head of the stuntman was replaced with the head of the main character. I would like to thank post production house Lunapark from Warsaw for all the great work they did, and they did it for free. I really wanted a gloomy cold look, so I asked Ania Sujka who I have been working for years to help me. She made the look special – very cold in the mood.

What do you have coming up next?

I am currently writing a script for my feature film debut – but it’s a long way off from now. In the meantime, I am working on a VR feature film and I would like to make a new music video for Son Lux – if that music video happens it will be next year. My last piece of work From the Beginning is a short set to the music of Olafur Arnalds:

Void is one of the many great projects shared with the Directors Notes Programmers through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them submit your film.

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