Oscuro — Short Film

To kick-off a partnership with Taxi, we ran wild with Tasty Pictures and their high-speed robotic motion arms, Fred and Barney. Oscuro is more than meets the eye: 100% of the effects for this piece were created in camera.


Taxi, Tasty Pictures, Breeder


Creative Direction, Technical Direction, Compositing and Motion Design.



The speed robotics

Some visuals can only be created through the blistering speed and meticulous precision – and often, this precision can only be made possible with state-of-the-art equipment. For Oscuro, the super fast camera-moving arms we had at our disposal were one of the only combinations present in the entire southern hemisphere. It was our privilege to work closely with these new tools to take some completely unique steps in the live action space.

Venturing into the unknown

This project was part creative sprint, and part research/recon project in partnership with the equipment's owners to truly explore its potential. In exploring the possibilities at the very edge of live-action, we turned to cymatics as inspiration. Cymatics is a process of vibrating plate, diaphragm, or membrane surface so that regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible – assisted by a thin coating of particles, liquid or anything in between. Combine that experiment with precise and super fast camera movers created to achieve high-speed camera moves with complete control – and you've got some unprecedented visual captures and a production set that you could stay on for days.

Amplifying the unassuming

We like to make a lot of out a little – using everything we have at our disposal and pushing it to its full potential. With tools like this, the results looked... a little different. We worked with water and its movements when affected by sound. We worked with grain, light and texture, positive and negative, milky and clear... interacting with impossibly tiny details and unfurling them visually in completely new ways. Essentially, creating through live action what we'd usually have to turn to motion to visualise.

We were able to create some moments that were massive and expansive, and others that were wildly close and intimate – leaning on the capabilities of this tech to help us explore and excavate new spaces in the relationship between those two qualities.

Beats that hit different

We're proud of our pool of sound design and music freelancers – but for a sound as complex and nuanced as our visuals, conceptual musician and dear friend Alabaster was our only choice.

Reason to froth

The result was a video that got everyone in the industry excited as hell about a new era of live action. (It also got us invited to keynote at NodeFest.) This state of the art technology that has since established a new live action production capability status quo in Australia – and the fact that Oscuro as an awareness piece contributed to this tickles us pink. We couldn't have hoped for more.

Want to hear more about this project, or see some BTS robot arm zoomies? Drop us a sweet line.

Australia always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We acknowledge this fact and we do our utmost to pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land where we live, learn and work.