Meet Indie Filmmaker: INK

Ink, Still

“Ink” is a subversive and unsettling CU Student short directed by Nuno Neves . Who knew ink had such an organic, benign energy – able to create images that are hypnotic and frightening…

By Nick Forrester

Q: This short plays with the visual properties of ink. How did you go about filming the ink; the fast moving black compared to the blending colours?

The short was all filmed on a wood table I set up and lit, in my building ´s comunity garage. The ink was poured down a white piece of glass, shaped like a half moon. Because of this shape, the ink kept moving towards the center, slowly. The main concept of the movie is genesis and how it is always started by a conflict between opposing forces. I start with black and white because they are opposites, the absence of colour and all the colours mixed up.The pure white is static and the black contaminates it, starting the evolution.   It is similar to sperm and an egg, which are made of cells that can become any part of the human body (organs, skin, teeth, etc.) when they collapse. In the film the conflict between two forces creates all the other colours and shapes that follow it.

Q: What are the particular properties of ink that make it so appealing to you?

Every since I was a child, I recall having dreams in which a black spot on a white wall begins to grow, spreading in the form of tentacles, creating patterns and spirals, until it corrupted the whole wall. I never really thought much about what they meant, but they always freaked me out. So, when I decided to do an experimental work, I immediately knew I had to include that kind of aesthetics. First I thought about using effects, but then I experimented with ink for glass, which is thick and glows, and I loved it. I really like the way when you mix different colours of ink, they create random shapes which, depending on the person who sees it, can appear to be anything.

Ink, Still

Q: At one point the yellow ink blends to look like a foetal scan. Is it dangerous to look for patterns in a changing, concealing substance, or is this the point?

Well, I wouldn ´t say it ´s dangerous, but I definitely wanted the patterns to be kind of hipnotic, to involve the spectator in the evolution of the substance, as it became more complex and organic. I tried to include shapes that, to me, look like a fetus, fractals and fungus, to enhance the feeling of organic growing. Sometimes people don ´t actually see the shapes, but feel there is something organic in the process.

Q: There seems to be a malign, extremely subversive energy which is at the heart of this short film. To what extent is the cutting apart of the squid a satisfactory, even enjoyable ending?

The whole ambient of the short is subversive, as I tried to make the spectator a little uncomfortable, not only by the images but also with the sound. Right before the cutting of the creature we see  a hand touching it in a caring way, this makes what comes after more perverse. The destruction of the creature closes the circle of creation, started with the first drop of black ink. More than a feeling of satisfaction, the idea was that the cutting of the creature served as a relief from the tension that builds up along the short film.

Q: Did you use a real squid?

Yes, a dead one. It was bought on the local market and then animated using our hands, in an old small aquarium.

Q: As a filmmaker, what did you want to make the viewer feel?

I wanted the viewer to experience the genesis of a life form, from its  basics, to its full shape and to its end. And I wanted it to be a malign, perverse experience.

Q: Tell me about your next project.

I’ve started directing music clips recently, having finished one last week and having two scheduled to be shot by in the next three weeks. Besides that, I’m finishing post-production of a friend’s project, it’s a medium length movie we’ve been working on for the last six months. It’s a story about how an unexplained disappearance [of a woman] affects the lives of the people that knew her.

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