A mutant hero. A digital action thriller. The perfect digital crime.
A 'DELF' (digitally engineered life form) is deployed to infect a corporate computer system - it's mission: to destroy the 'student loan' of it's hacker-creator. How will the little three-fingered hero get into the bank's records vault? With a little luck and a highly polished fist! Pixel carnage ensues....
DIRECTOR’S NOTES: March, 2000
Infection is my third short film and my first fully funded theatrical short film, and looking back I am happy with the work I have done.
The first time I watched a print of Infection, the hired theatre was peppered with friends who had come to see what on earth I had been doing for the last year in our spare room - which looked somewhat like NASA space control near the end of production.
My friends all seemed to like it and many of them were genuinely surprised at what I had made, let alone baffled as to how on earth something like this emerged from that little room. I took that as a good sign. Many thoughts were racing round my head as I watched it on the big screen. I was glad I had spent the better part of 12 months working on this, I felt very lucky that I had been given this opportunity, I felt that I had given of my very best and I was proud of my film.
Making a computer animated short film, like anything, has its ups and downs. The most prevalent downs are the tedium (some of the work involves dull mechanical repetitious processes); loneliness (working alone all day for months on end) and having bad computer or software days where nothing seems to go right. But I definitely think these are outweighed by the ups - making one thing kick something else; being my own boss and listening to CDs all day.
I am glad to be a film-maker in what is the next major medium, especially since it has so much potential still to be explored. The medium allows for a lot of experimentation and manipulation, which gives me a huge amount of control over the final product. It was important to me that I choose a subject that is only possible to produce with computer graphics. Otherwise, why go to all that effort? So I went a bit wild on designing the characters. In Infection land everything is a cipher for digital transactions that happen invisibly in the real world, somewhere on a silicon chip. Observing administrators are ugly great eyeballs on a pair of hands. The three fingered hero is a little more obscure in its representational design, but functionally it rocks at kung-fu.
So, where to from here? I have a feature film idea in development, I have just directed my first music video and I am about to start work for Peter Jackson on his Lord of the Rings trilogy. I see it as perfect timing for me to learn how to get from a 9 min short to a 120 min feature, what it means to direct a feature and how to tackle the logistics of such a visual effects-heavy production.