5000 aliens from space | Cinematic threat
As animation technology becomes both better and more accessible, animation itself will transform, mutate, and break down all barriers once the genre is defined. Director and animator Scott Bateman took the art form even further with his fascinating collage of pop art films 5,000 aliens.
Imagine if Andy Warhol’s silkscreen prints came to life and danced before your eyes. Basically, it’s 86 minutes of exactly that. 5,000 one-second clips, all centered on a human form, come together in a chain of movements and colors propelled by a catchy electronic music score. Faces blink before your eyes, barely registering in your brain before the next image demands almost subliminal attention. This is not Pixar and the cute singing animals. It is an emotional rainbow that comes to life as something new and exciting – the way of the future.
“…5,000 one-second clips, all centered on a human form… ”
Now, the lack of a narrative structure for almost an hour and a half may seem off-putting to the general public, but remember, this is just the start. Now that we know this style can be done, done well and, most importantly, it works, the next challenge will be to see how it can be applied to tell a story. Granted, in this current incarnation, it doesn’t seem intended to be consumed in a theater as the center of attention. On the contrary, it would work well as a visual in a cyberpunk bar or gallery opening, something that can play continuously on a loop so that those who aren’t fully focused on the movie always see something new.
As it stands, Bateman’s burgeoning soundtrack is the common thread that holds everything together. Pulsating electronic arpeggios float over strong and powerful rhythms, betraying an interest in all of electronic music instead of a single style. Shades of synthpop, industrial music, EDM, IDM, krautrock, synthpunk and trip-hop can all be heard in the movements of this oscillator-driven symphony. Apparently Bateman did it all in GarageBand, and that’s his only flaw. Some real hardware would have added tones and textures that you just can’t get with a digital audio workstation. There are also some parts where the drums unnecessarily interfere with the synth sounds coming from the speakers. But, you know, COVID and money, so it’s understandable and, hey, it’s punk rock to use what’s around you rather than throwing money at new gear.
In the end, however, this is only the beginning. Collaborations between musicians, filmmakers, photographers, artists and actors are all ripe for this revolutionary style. Scott Bateman has really done something wonderful and exciting, and now it’s up to the animators and artists to go as far as they can. Thanks to 5000 aliens, the future has arrived, and a whole new frontier stands before us.