STILL / LIFE: A Cultural Renaissance
Myanmar has recently opened up and is experiencing a cultural renaissance that has allowed those with ambition to pursue their passion. Creativity and strength have led to a surge in career athletes following their dreams. From football players, to boxers, to dancers, STILL/LIFE is a Myanmar-produced short film, that offers a cinematic glimpse into the spirit that is driving Myanmar’s youth to push the boundaries of art, sports and culture.
Storytelling with Light
Through a juxtaposition of centuries-old architecture and decaying monuments of glory past, we witness an emergence of a fierce youth that is driving the genesis of Myanmar’s art, sports and cultural scene. Our film gives voice to these young athletes and artists who are rediscovering and bringing new life to forgotten corners of the city. We honed in on the palette of colors and textures of Yangon to drive the film’s overall aesthetic. Locations were carefully selected with purpose to achieve a dramatic, gritty look, while drawing attention to the need to upgrade sporting venues. Most locations had no working light or electricity, so we were faced with the production challenge of lighting sets to achieve a natural, cinematic look. Our Director of Photography, with the help of a highly skilled Myanmar-based production crew, was able to shape and bounce natural light, combining with location lighting to achieve complex setups that served to enhance the story.
The film celebrates Yangon’s new generation of competitive athletes while also rallying the audience to cultivate energy and purpose in their lives through sport. The scene opens with a series of wide establishing shots of our various locations, all empty, building anticipation for what’s to come. Our camera crew used a movi pro to achieve smooth cinematic shots that seamlessly cut together from scene to scene. As we start to introduce each character, the camera moves in closer to the subject, and as their movement builds so too does the camera’s movement and the audiences’ excitement.
Through close collaboration with our art department, we played with available light and occasionally added neon lights on shoots to heighten our visual “street” aesthetic. We took this further in post-production through careful color correction, visually tying together each scene through skillful color management. Finally, our precise video editing seamlessly weaves together the stories of multiple characters, creating a sense of community and intimacy between the athletes themselves. The film’s goal is to spark the imagination of our audience, showing a future where sports can enliven our spirits and foster common ground.