"Archibald is on a mission to paint his magnum opus."
Opiah is a short film created by four artists at Supinfocom Rubika about an astronaut painter whose ambition and obsession drive him to his doom. The film was produced as the students’ third year project of the school’s 3D Animation program.
One main character, interior conflict, outer space staging and a focus on art and ambition are the main elements of the short.
Staging plays a prominent role as it helps re-contextualize a common practice such as landscape painting, bringing a strong element of surprise and creating an original story. A stylized aesthetic is employed, with good effort dedicated to the design of environments, props, etc., with particular care placed on recreating an artist’s studio in a spaceship. Good attention has been dedicated to lighting and color, too, to transmit the presence of the sun and its heat as the main character gets closer to it. Great work has been done on framing and composition of elements in the frame, the film is a pleasure to watch.
Visual rhythm is average, and varies throughout the short, accelerating in certain sequences (highlighting Archibald’s increasing frustration). Camera moves abound: pans, tilts, dollies, cranes, etc. Dollies are used to reveal elements and create surprise as well as to transmit emotional displacements of the main character.
What makes Opiah work so well? Creative and original script on art and representation, abundant surprises, strong conflicts, and a focus on the possible consequences of ambition, perfectionism and obsession that will appeal to a wide audience.