At an opportune moment, a feather makes an escape.
| Float still frames
This short started out as a simple sound design exercise. It was actually for an assignment in a sound editing class taught by the amazing Pat Jackson, a disciple of the great Walter Murch, and one of his close collaborators for years.
The assignment was merely to develop a soundscape for a single shot. Of course, being very interested in cinematography at the time, I wanted to take the one-shot idea as far as I could.
My idea became following a feather as it floats through the air, going from an interior space to a rooftop where it would eventually fly away. The concept sounded simple, but once it was time to actually make it happen, it became a bit more complex.
I say "a bit" because it was more a matter of thinking creatively than needing fancy equipment. This was a good thing since at the time I was a broke grad student with no money and only the most basic equipment.
I ended up consulting various friends in various industries and eventually spoke with someone I knew who'd had a fair amount of experience as a magician. It was he who turned me onto the idea of invisible thread. He sent me to a magic supply store where I was able to buy it, then spent the better part of a day figuring out how I could use it for my purposes.
The end result is what you see and hear before you. I was able to make it work in-camera with no post-production visual effects. This allowed me to focus on the sound design, as was the intention of the assignment, and in the end, wound up with a film that people continue to ask me about nearly 15 years later. It's confirmation to me that a good idea means so much more than fancy equipment, and that sometimes what's needed is simply to think more simply. I hope you enjoy.
Key Crew
Mackenzie Mathis – Director, Cinematographer, Sound Designer

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