ANIMATION: Chris Friend
VFX: Chris Friend
DIRECTOR: Jennifer Sindon
COMPANY: Vision Friend


One of my tasks on this shoot was figuring out how to realize Jennifer's vision of a swarm of flies as a sentient mass.

After I cut the footage, I brought the nearly finished short into a traditional frame-by-frame animation program, Flipbook. I animated the swarm as simple outlines.

We took that and laid out a 15 x 15 foot sheet of white paper. A camera was mounted 12 feet high; directly overhead, shooting frame-by-frame, as we moved 1,450 toy flys into the correct shapes. We could see the feed on a monitor of what the camera was seeing and the corresponding shape-outline frame as outputted by Flipbook.

Needless to say, it took the two of us all-night-long to shuffle the flies around, stepping out of frame quick enough to snap a still.

-Chris Friend

Jennifer Sindon's beautiful storyboards: