Crumbling Reality

Jan Schönwiesner built a nightmarish music video as a university design dissertation.

Music and images, including those animated, can each speak for themselves. The combination of these results in more than the sum of the components: in the form of a music video something new originates, whose framework, as in this example, can also be used as a basis for excellent 3D effects a lá Cinema 4D!

Most nightmares are not recognized as such right away and we are rarely chased by gruesome creatures in them. Often, nightmares are nothing more than a reflectance of everyday occurrences. Especially an unsatisfying, monotonous, predictable and repetitive daily routine can turn out to be a nightmare.

When Jan Schönwiesner began to delve into the field of visual music it was as a university design dissertation. Sans a spoken dialog, the film was designed to grapple with the issue of how standardization in every day life affects the human identity and its definition. Accordingly, the viewers of Schönwiesner’s film find themselves in a thoroughly standardized world that culminates in the ubiquitous and constantly visually present high-rise apartment buildings. The protagonist in Schönwiesner’s film begins his nightmarishly standardized daily routine in the bedroom, as a radio alarm clock marks the dawn of a new day. The protagonist, Joe Public, goes through his day and immerses himself into a completely boring world. Then his self flees into a different body and assumes a new identity. However, it quickly becomes clear that there is no escape from the standardized daily routine, even when in a different body, and Joe Public’s reality starts to break apart.

Jan gave this film a stylized look, which can be seen in its editing, visuals and color schemes. In particular the gradual breaking up of the protagonist’s world was a real challenge for Schönwiesner because he had planned to give the ubiquitous high-rise apartments a surreal life of their own. Individual elements were to shoot out like drawers and instantaneously return to their original positions. These scenes were to be combined with live footage and take up approx. 60 seconds of film time, at first appearing sporadically and in the end appear omnipresent to represent the complete breaking apart of the protagonist’s world. Even though the production was done as a one-man-show, Jan was able to adhere to his tight deadline, which was in no small part due to Cinema 4D: “The animation of the high-rise apartment building could also have been done using keyframes but this would have taken a lot of time – time that I was able to save thanks to Cinema 4D’s MoGraph!” The effort paid off. Jan’s short film has received over a half dozen awards at various film festivals, including awards for the film’s creative visuals, which were made possible by Cinema 4D.

Jan Schönwiesner

Hochschule Anhalt
Fachbereich Design