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Art Among The Collisions: Brilliant Architectural Cinematography

Alex Roman’s Kahn’s Exeter Short Film left me speechless for two reasons. First, it is a stunning exploration of light and composition using the library at Phillips Exeter Academy, designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn, as the subject.

Kahn’s Exeter Short Film from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Perhaps more important, this film was created using entirely Computer Generated Imagery (CG). Had I not known this prior to watching the film, I would have never guessed that it was created using virtual cameras, instead of the real thing.

Right now, several prominent art forms are speeding forward on a collision course. Photography and filmmaking, CG and photography, filmmaking and CG. This collision will be brutal, messy and beautiful.

It will be brutal in the sense that many talented professionals will simply be left behind as a new technology leapfrogs their current offerings. A traditional architectural photographer, for example, will have a difficult time competing with Alex Roman’s CG graphics because Alex’s virtual cameras always have perfect light, effortlessly pan between floors and he can produce his work before the object of his presentation (in this case, a library) is even completed.

This collision will be messy because professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve and adopt to new possibilities will find themselves often on unfamiliar terrain and hamstrung by hardware and software designed for one specific task, not the hybrid, mash-up uses these early adopters will invent.

And it will be beautiful. With technical limitations removed and a new infusion of talent, I feel there will be a creative explosion. Indeed, it has already begun. As artists invent, explore and try new things, a completely new style of visual creativity will emerge. Exactly what it will look like, and how it will be created, no one knows. But you better be ready.

Read an interview with Alex Roman about the project on the Motionographer Web site.


2 comments for “Art Among The Collisions: Brilliant Architectural Cinematography”

  1. Doesn’t do it for me. Give me a great still any day, something I can take my time over and absorb the skill of the photographer instead of this whizz-bang ticker-tape stuff.

    Posted by Richard Wotton | October 6, 2009, 11:27 pm
  2. Richard,

    Thanks for your comment. I too appreciate a great still photograph for it’s depth and timelessness. What I found most fascinating about this video is the high degree of detail and depth in each of the shots. Whether this is applied in motion graphics or static images, it makes me wonder how through-the-lens photography will evolve, separate or join, computer generated imagery.

    Posted by jay | October 7, 2009, 9:42 am

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