Inspiration Corner #1: Beyond the Black Rainbow


I get a abundant of emails and questions about inspiration, how you find it, and how can you help others see it. Very tough question, and it comes in many art forms.

Lets look at the 1st of many art-forms, cinematography. The movie? Beyond the Black Rainbow


Shot by shot, this film created a unique aspect, that gives meaning and sometimes a meaning beyond itself. The focus is neat, the frame is perfect. I’m looking at BTBR as this months inspiration, in a art form that everyone even artist should take a cue from….Cinematography. Beyond the Black rainbow quick brief – “Held captive in a specialized medical facility, a young woman with unique abilities seeks a chance to escape her obsessed captor.” I will not talk about any spoilers, this is about inspiration in a nutshell, how I interpret and develop from other sources and build a framework.

Lets look at a few shots. As we look through these stills, I will give you a brief comment on what I saw, as a designer and artist.


The First shot that gave me a emotional charge, what this one of Dr.Nyle. The emotion of his face, the mysterious environment of Aborea, and the frame of this shot made we want to just develop imagery with grain, minimalism, and fear. The 80’s sense drilled in my head, with the possibilities of this event, this commune for people like Elena, could of took place, somewhere in some form, at some point in the 1980’s. It’s that sense, that is even more engaging, when delving into the past to help develop the future.


The Sentionaut rises.  Inclosed in its storage framed a very “parametric” array of thoughts, of what this autonomous figure is, and whats it purpose. I took color into place, thinking of the chose of palette and design for this character. Mysteriously hiding behind a mask with no indication of of how it could see; Design, in particular conceptual mechanical, needs no reasoning for design choice, for the mystery is within how you interpret its function.


Simple message, but beyond its words. Dr.Aborea explained a lot in the beginning of the film. The words given, are the same I tend to describe imagery of my own creation, especially during the process, of using the mind, and the potential it has for amazing things. To a degree, there is a simplicity to  explaining design, but like most subjects can be interpret as very complex when viewed differently.


Color, Filters, and Framing. If I didn’t see when this film was made, I could of convinced myself this was a old 80’s film, very well put together. This particular shot, I tried to think about filters, what i can do and how it can change the interpretation of imagery in mood and story. Similar to my post about Photoshop’s Color Lookup, taking advantage of filters to turn your imagery into another form of interpretation.


Unmasking the Sentionaut. I saw a bit of myself, masking away the craziness and chaos. Humanizing what others couldn’t see. The symbiotic relationship I hold dearly in my imagery, was wrapped up into this shot.  The take away, the underneath layer of design can seem mysterious and logical, but crack the shell, you get a better insight on the thought process.


Negative Space and Positive space..with a hint of meaning. We all now Negative and positive, but developing it in useful ways to develop, can extract amazing results. Blending, and shape defining, can open up conceptual outlooks. Even, just  possibly, make you think just a bit more about the important aspects of your design, meaning, and story.


Beauty in a world of confusion, simply framed.  If you can only just see for what it is, its time to bring back that young imagination. Even with white space, and a simply object portrayal through camera work and color palette, can tell the whole story. Luckily, we can be hardwired to see that, especially through human traits. The results, it doesn’t take much to engage the viewer, through simple direction and simple framing.

That really says it all. As our impending deaths come about, or next months heat bill, whatever is on your mind as life goes one, remember, it opportunity to design something great. Personally, I take that thought, and dedicate myself to accomplishing inspiring work  and help those look beyond the frame of design.

In closing, cinematography does amazing wonders, when you actually understand it, its purpose, and take away from it. Sharknado isn’t one of those films, neither is anything Micheal Bay has produced, but you get my point. Appreciate the art form, its techniques could help push your own imagery to a greater realm.


Oh, and go see Beyond the Black Rainbow directed by Panos Cosmatos…and enjoy the trip.



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