Gnome

"Silence is bliss."

Two characters, an external conflict and a focus on the subject of sleeping (or rather, being unable to sleep due to external noise) are the ingredients of this short film produced by Singapore-based Omens Studios, and directed by Dutch artist Sacha Goedegebure (Big Buck Bunny).

The film is staged in a natural environment, part of the action takes place outdoors (on a tree branch) and part of it indoors. A few shots are used initially to integrate the two environments together visually, through the way elements are composed in the frame. Three camera positions are used inside the Gnome’s home. A wider one to cover the action, a closer (and lower) one to hide it. The third one is an even closer shot to put the focus on the character’s ear. Shallow depth of field is used to create the impression of small scale. The time of the day plays an important role in the short and a timelapse sequence is dedicated to describe passage of time explicitly.

Visual rhythm is handled through editing and movement within the frame. Cameras are mostly static (with the exception of a few slow moving cameras). A lot of effort has been dedicated to the aesthetic. The environments offer lots of detail and the materials are highly realistic.

Highlights of the film include its effective use of surprise (achieved through camera placement), abrupt change from the generous and selfless to the brutal, the little time it provides the viewer to realize what is happening, lack of expression in the Gnome character’s face (which complements the plot well), use of off-screen space, the way it plays with the fourth wall at the end, the dark humor and the focus on a subject that the audience can easily relate to (lack of sleep due to external noise).

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