We look at the works of experimental filmmaker, Andrew Thomas Huang
By Patricia Hallam on January 21st 2015
You may not recognise his name, but you'll probably recognise his style.
In 2007, straight out of film school, Andrew Thomas Huang impressed with his now viral vision, 'Doll Face' - a short animated film about a machine with a face that mimics the images projected onto a television screen. The film is described as 'presenting a visual account of desires misplaced, and identities fractured by our technological extension into the future' - ATH's Blurb - Youtube.
And in that imagined future - now the present and eight years since the Doll Face release, we see what might be described as Huang's influence on contemporary cinematic imaginations of Artificial Intelligence. For example, in the upcoming Ex_Machina where the A.I., that is the character Ava, shows an uncanny likeness to Huang's Doll Face character - we see a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
But it was his groundbreaking film 'Solipsist' that seems to have enabled Huang, a filmmaker from LA, to breach the industry's competitive chasm between amateur and professional. Solipsist is an experimental film of 2012 that deals with humanity's swelling separation and connection issues in a world where we're constantly connected, yet seemingly more apart. In 'Solopsist - Making Of', we see both the visual and metaphorical themes of the film run through into the production elements too. Both digital technology and a 'hands on' craft approach run through the veins of the film. One effect is as successfully executed as the other.
Huang worked with the impressive costume designer Lindsey Mortensen to develop what had spurned from his imaginations and illustrations as a youngster, into a 3D reality, complemented by his ability in unique CGI effects. Entangled chilli shaped fairy lights come to life, and fishing wire, feathers and coloured dust contribute to this surreal fairy tale vision of nature and humanity entwined.
Sketch - Solopsist - Huang
It is this approach to filming and Huang's original creative vision that has led to his being 'snapped up' by the advertising and music video industries, pursuing work in the short film arena 'until a subject inspires him for a feature-length piece' - Maggie Lange, Interview Magazine.
He's directed numerous ads, and impressively, has already worked with the legendary Bjork on her video for 'Mutual Core', a release from the Biophilia album. Again using themes of nature, the video uses the earth's geology as a metaphor for human relationships (if you haven't seen it already take some time, you'll see what we mean). More recently we've seen Huang direct the Atoms for Peace video, 'Before Your Very Eyes', which sees Huang continue to explore the 'divide between the organic and the tech-driven, the relationship between analogue and digital' - Robin Murray, Clash Magazine.
In an interview with 'Booooooom' in 2014 Huang says there's more to come in 2015 - but still in short form. And with big jobs in the pipeline a potential sequel to 'Solopsist' may take two years to realise - but as he says to Booooooom's founder and Editor, Jeff Hamda, 'it will be something much darker and metallic. I’m done with colorful psychedelic rocks and sandy stuff'.