Sunset photos, secondary only to cat photos in the collective unconsciousness of popular imagery. What is it about sunset photos that appeal to people so much? I remember going to a lecture a while ago by New Zealand landscape photographer Andris Apse. Adris is well know for his striking images of our back country and wilderness areas. In part of the presentation he showed a collection of his images from the last few years, the wilds of Fiordland, Antarctica and the Auckland Islands. The crowd was suitably impressed, murmuring in approval as his images passed by. Then came a sunset shot, no better or worse than the rest, which immediately elicited loud oohs aahs and wows from the audience. A noticeably stronger reaction than to any other image he had shown. There is a conventional wisdom in film making that it's all about the story and, the most important thing in a film is the script and the always popular the visual effects must serve the story. This is a notion that I really don't subscribe to at all. Humans have a need to give meaning to everything around them, to try to understand their world and to make sense of it, to give it a story. But I think we also have a subtle innocence, an ability to be captivated by something as simple as a sunset, to be inspired by simple beauty without any inherent meaning.
Water is a notoriously difficult thing to make look real in visual effects. Some might even call the pursuit of photo real water the last frontier of computer graphics. My friend Chris used to be a digital fx supervisor at Weta and was heavily involved in CG water development. I remember he had this piece of paper stuck to the top of his monitor that said "water is worth loving". It was just regular text, something he had printed out. It looked pretty old, it was all crinkled and worn and had torn edges, like it had been ripped off and thrown in the bin on several occasions, only to be pulled out again, smoothed over and stuck back on his monitor. Water is a remarkable thing of ever changing beauty. Elusive, complex and wondrous. Despite its frustrations, it is indeed worth loving.
One of the grandest, bitter sweet facts of a life working in film is the extraordinary and intense, yet sometimes fragmented working relationships and friendships you form with your fellow film makers whilst making a movie together. These fervent and frenzied periods of consuming hard work, good times and concentrated comradery, are often then suddenly cut when a show ends, the reels lock, it's pens down and crew go their separate ways. Malcolm McDowell lamented about the ending of his relationship with Stanley Kubrick after he had finished filming "A Clockwork Orange" "I didnt understand at the time being a young actor that, the way of a film life is intense relationship, separate, intense relationship, separate". Here's to all our friends who have gone their seperate ways. Good thing now we have facebook. Hi Sunny!!!!