'Moon' is a nostalgic tribute to science fiction movies of the 60s and 70s, particularly 2001 A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The Cummings Twins have emulated this sense of awe and wonder experienced in their childhood when watching these seminal films.

The movie opens with a pan over a desolate lunar landscape leading to the discovery of a city built by a once great civilization now ruined epochs ago. The characters in the plot are two unworldly ethereal entities that explore megalithic structures dotted around the landscape. Enigmatic temples and monumental machinery display inexplicable phenomena with technology that is so advanced it is a way station for passing souls.

The movie addresses the themes of metaphysics and technology, demonstrating hope with the synthesis of both. Lunar archetypes, the feminine, the mother, baroness, and fertility, are portrayed in the film. A scene that exemplifies the usage of these symbols depicts a monolith in the form of the Venus of Willendorf centered in a stone circle and suggests the Lunar inhabitants once worshiped humanity and the Earth.

The aesthetic treatment of the film is a mixture of silver screen monochrome and technicolor. Minimal brutalist architectural forms are made distinct against the highly textured landscape with a tonal punch created by the lighting. Auric and ethereal qualities bleed out and obscure scenes with extreme lens blooms and blurring. The soundtrack, featuring ring modulation and ethereal vocals, heightens the sense of mystery and intrigue. Transmission distortions and pulsing modulations add to the unsettling moody atmosphere.

This artwork is recorded while playing live and is an unusual mix of live video performance and musical improvisation. Sometimes the improvised music score is dubbed over the movie, while the cinematic movie direction controls the music. This versatility is possible as this project has been made within the Unreal Engine gaming environment and utilizes a semi-modular synth called VCV. With the aid of physical controllers, Unreal and VCV can inform each other via midi.

With this ability to control both software simultaneously, scenes are changeable at the press of a button. Visual effects such as chromatic aberration, video lines, and noise can be dialed in and out while instantly controlling the music pitch and acoustic modulations. Acceleration, deceleration pitch, and yaw of the camera movement in the movie can generate the soundtrack, controlling the frequency modulations of the musical instruments.

The Concept behind the project is to provide a cinematic experience that is improvisational in every respect, visually and acoustically. It is a new way of storytelling.

Title: Moon
Medium: Video Dimensions: 16:9
Video Length: 11:30
Date: 2023

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