"In the middle of the fields a singular celebration takes place."
Another great short film from Paris-based Atelier de Sèvres, Estival presents a ritual celebration with music and dance featuring characters with supernatural attributes. Centered on nature and located in a rural area, the short transforms staging into characters, then those characters back again into a part of the environment. Estival creatively stages a celebration related to the summer season, with an emphasis on performance and choreography.
Building a playful atmosphere, the crowd-based short uses metamorphosis to transform flowers and assorted plants into characters, which turn a field into an illuminated stage for performing music and dance. Various cultures have celebrated the coming of summer for thousands of years, through holidays, festivals, and rituals. Estival seems to be playing with these themes.
No conflict is present, the narrative is driven by music and the progression of the celebration, which ends with the flowers facing the rising sun. Visual rhythm is high, handled through motion within the frame, a number of camera moves and editing. Wider shots are used to present the landscape which helps situate the action, as well as show progression of time. Various group shots are used to present the characters’ performances. A few tighter shots are employed to describe a couple of characters and particular actions more in detail.
Estival employs an unusually high number of characters, good effort has been dedicated to character design as well as to their choreographies. Color palettes and lighting have also received good attention, as they play a prominent role in the short (since the sun itself plays an important part, even if it remains offscreen).
What makes it work so well? Great creativity, joyful performances, supernatural elements, and wonderful staging that mixes dance and music with nature.
Estival was made in just 15 days by four artists during a workshop taught at Atelier de Sèvres by Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka and Emilie Sandoval.
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