Rogerio Silva, a commercials, music videos and short films director, based in Cambridge, used to design award-winning video games. He worked on ENSLAVED and wrote and directed the Devil May Cry expansion Vergil’s Downfall. After a decade of involvement with video games, he decided to move on and become a filmmaker. In film he found his true calling:
I always felt a need to say or express something, and now I know that film is the language I’m meant to use. Whether it’s a short film with dancers or actors, it doesn’t matter.
The main topic of Silva’s dance films are the ups and downs of relationships expressed through the art of dance. As our video of the week, we’ve chosen Abaddon – a CGI meets dance poem of love and destruction.
In the Old Testament Abbadon means the place of death, destruction and ruin. In Hebrew Abaddon means Destroyer or Destructions and depicts the angel of abyss, whose task was to oversee the destruction of Earth’s inhabitants, but his horde of demons are only allowed to torture humans and not to kill them.
Inspired by relationships that test boundaries and go beyond the acceptable; relationships that reduce, erode and abuse until the spirit is consumed. Abaddon is a place of suffering and purification.
Silva’s Abaddon is a metaphor for bad romance and depicts “relationships that test boundaries and go beyond the acceptable; relationships that reduce, erode and abuse until the love is consumed.”
The two dancers, Harriet Waghorn and Troy Savic, play lovers who find themselves in a dark limbo-like space. Through dance they fight, they reconcile, and they fight again. It gets violent, it gets passionate, at times it’s humiliating and it’s a torture for both of them. And it goes on until the woman is stripped of everything that makes her a part of that relationship and disappears, like a ghost, while the man seems to suck the life out of her, in a sense. It’s a metaphor for what happens after a painful, unhappy relationship is over and ends in heartbreak.
The dancers masterfully express their emotions and pain both through exquisite and emotional dance moves and facial expressions. This, combined with the CGI visuals used in the film, creates a masterpiece that predicts the future of visual art.
The film took 10 months to finish. Silva used cutting edge computer fluid simulation to generate the smoke effects that give the story ghostlike features. It took 1,400 hours of simulation time to process the visual effects, generating about 5 terabytes of data.
Watching the film feels somewhat like Virtual Reality, which is indeed something Da Silva is interested in pursuing in the future, as he said for Creators.vice.com:
Virtual Reality, or augmented reality, would be a very interesting experience for me. Maybe we’ll see Abaddon performed live on stage one day, where the audience wears something like Microsoft’s HoloLens to see the smoke effects in real time.
For now, enjoy the emotional rollercoaster that is Abaddon: