Obscura – Short Film Review

Obscura is a clever little stop motion animation short film about the inner workings of a Camera and how each single part needs to work in unison to achieve the perfect shot. Directed by University of Newcastle graduates Emily Jordan and Hannah Jordan.

This clever little film follows a team of creatures as they live within a camera. With names such as Trigger and Reel, they each seem to have a specific task or role within the camera as the operator outside takes a photo. Each evening the creatures recreate the events they witnessed through the camera in a pantomime performance.

The initial photos are blurry or Ill-timed that produce an undesired result. In an attempt to improve the image, new items or gadgets are added to the camera. Which in turn, creates another creature on the inside. With each new feature, the image certainly improves. When everything is working perfectly for the final shot, the operator blinks forcing the creatures inside to hold off on pressing that shutter button until the right moment.

As a photographer myself, this clever animated short speaks volumes as to what it means to take a great photo. You can have all the technology or gadgets (creatures) in your gear, but if you don’t have the patience and quick reflexes needed, your shots will be poorly timed and out of focus.

Obscura is a great short film that will have you thinking about how technology actually works. Is it just electricity, wires and mechanics? Or are there teeny tiny creatures within making it work for you? Not only is the animation intricately detailed and well thought out, it was created in Emily and Hannah’s spare time between other projects. Stop motion animation, in your spare time? WOW! What an achievement!

Obscura is being shown online as part of the Sydney Film Festival.
For more information, visit https://www.sff.org.au

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