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Quick shout out to Mercia Goia for posting this on Facebook. I don’t know when this all started, but I hope it never stops. A couple of weeks ago you heard me go on and on about my friends Kickstarter project The Ningyo, which is about 15k away from their goal by the way. This got me thinking about the role of the VFX artists in the new millennium and how many of them like The Ningyo’s Miguel Ortega, are beginning to take back the creative control that has been taken from them for so long. It’s a trend that is growing in numbers, especially after the Life of PI debacle, along with a slew of others.

I’m not certain as to whether the creator’s of DUST share the same sentiment, but one has to believe that when a VFX artist decides to take the helm, he or she must empathize with the plight of other VFX artists around the world, but especially those in the U.S.

 DUST is one, of what I hope will be many, midblowing Kickstarter films that made it’s goal, thus allowing them to complete all the visual effects for this piece. Director and Chief Creative Officer at Ember Lab Mike Grier  has created a movie that not only delivers  on emotion, but also cinematography. Before embarking on this amazing journey he spent a lot of time in and around the countrysides of Japan.

Seeing how the landscape of Japan has changed over the years helped inspire some of the themes in DUST. Having seen the trailer, there’s no doubt about the man’s eye. Some of the locations in this film are some of the most amazing images I’ve ever seen.This film reminds me in a strange way of Beast of the Southern Wild in that it blends science fiction with fantasy by utilizing the existing backdrop and the end result if breathtaking.

The money Ember Lab made from commercial gigs helped fund a lot of the set construction, but everyone who worked on the film, did so without compensation. La Vie Boheme! It’s a labor of love and the end result is something to behold. Shot on the RED Mysterium X, it’s a visual masterpiece and rivals anything I’ve seen a major studio release. This is why I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon. Who knows better than a seasoned VFX artists about what a shot needs and how it should be lit? Not taking anything away from cinematographers, but let’s be honest…when 89% of all the cinematography in recent films is being done in post production, who’s the real DP?

I for one hope these talented guys form something bigger than what Hollywood has done and become prosperous at it. It’s time to take it back.

To find out more about DUST please checkout their WEBSITE

DUST on Kickstarter

The World

Throughout history the role of Trackers was to study the shifts in the environment and teach people to live in harmony with the natural world as it changed. Regarded as spiritual guides, Trackers cultivated and protected the balance that existed between the land and its people. But slowly, people’s views began to shift—and the balance was lost. Emboldened by the advance of technology, humanity came to view nature as an element to be controlled and conquered. The rise of walled cities led many to flee the harsh environment of the countryside in search of an easier life. Now, Tracker cultures have all but died out. While Trackers are still needed for trade and travel outside of city walls, they are tolerated as outcasts. City-dwellers have come to view them as a necessary evil.

The Story

A deadly new plague linked to a mysterious dust is devastating the countryside around Kabé—the world’s oldest city.Irezúmi is a disgraced Tracker living in the abandoned outskirts of Kabé. Hired by a Merchant of the city’s underground medicine trade, he has yet to find a cure to the mysterious Dust that has begun falling on the city. Little is known about the Dust or the unusual sickness it causes but as it continues to consume the countryside, Kabé is preparing to shut its gates—denying refuge to anyone outside the walls.

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