Like many creatives, we are completely fascinated with space and floored by the idea of exploring it. So we were naturally excited when we heard about CineSpace, a new short film competition focused on films that utilize NASA’s actual footage archive. One entry called EXPLORATION came to our attention since a handful of our effects were used in it. We thought the film was really well done and decided to get the inside scoop. When we found out the UK based filmmaker Ryan Thompson is only 22 years old, we couldn’t help but share. Ryan was kind enough to answer some questions about the film and share his VFX process along with a VFX breakdown video.
What inspired the storyline for EXPLORATION? Did you already have an idea for it before the CineSpace competition, or was it created entirely for the contest?
Growing up, I became obsessed with creatures and monsters in film and TV such as Labyrinth, Goosebumps and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So naturally I leaned towards making horror films, but I always try different styles and genres to see if I am as versatile as I hope to be as a director/creator. I do the rounds every month just checking for any film competitions or festivals that catch my eye, and as soon as I saw ‘NASA’ I got excited. It sounded like an excellent competition and it gave so much creative freedom, with the main objective only being that you are to use NASA Archive footage/imagery for minimum 10% of the projects running time.
When I think of NASA, as I’m sure is the case with most people, I immediately jump to the space race and man landing on the moon. I think of pride and ambition and wanted to celebrate that in this short, so that was my starting point. I came up with several ideas which I still like and will hopefully use in the future as my own shorts. These were more narrative and sci-fi based, but my mind kept going to a sort of compilation/documentary summation style – shots jumping back and forth between time, between archive footage, between people and space.
Source (VFX Productions Youtube)(https://lensdistortions.com)