VISUAL EFFECTS / ANIMATION
With over 400 visual effects shots the What the BLEEP films could be classified as a special effect series. Not only are there a plethora of shots, but the style and techniques of the shots are plentiful as well. There are pure Computer Generated Image (CGI) shots of the mysterious Quantum world and the interior of the brain. There are composited shots of the sub atomic world interacting with our actors, as well as little animated characters lampooning our emotional foibles.
The Visual Effects were carried out by an international team of animators, who spent over a year in developing the sequences.
Lost Boys Studios – Vancouver, British Columbia were responsable for the weird wacky quantum world. Amanda’s first trip down the rabbit hole occurs when she steps on to Reggie’s magical quantum basketball court. On the court the “real” world peels away to reveal visually the underlying sub atomic structure from which this world arises.
Then as Doctors Fred Alan Wolf, Stuart Hammeroff and Amit Goswami describe the bizarre principles of this world, those principles are displayed to the astounded Amanda: being in 2 or more places at once, going backward in time and effecting (creating) reality by merely observing it.
Finally she is thrust into the realm of quantum possibilities. Represented as a Blue Grid of infinite dimensions and potentials (you shoulda seen the animators eyes when they were told that’s what they had to come up with), Amanda sees her future selves as a result of choices in the present.
Atomic-VFX – Capetown, South Africa took Amanda through her next rabbit hole, or in this case, through her eye into the retina, back through the optic nerve into a wild ride through her brain. As Dr. Andrew Newberg and Dr. Joe Dispenza describe the workings of the brain, and how we build concepts from the network of neurons (nerve cells) called a neuronet, we watch thoughts emerging out of the brain as it dynamically rewires itself in response to new knowledge.
Particularly challenging was how to represent this vast forest of nerve cells in a way that illustrated the concepts, while making it visually interesting and appealing and not just a boring scientific diagram. (More animators rolling their eyes – (or is it reconfiguring neurons?))
From the forest, its on to another part of the brain – the hypothalamus – that little manufacturing site, where the neurotransmitters, or “molecules of emotion” are assembled and pumped throughout our bodies. These chemical messengers eventually ending up docking with the Cells of our body, giving rise to Emotions, and…
Mr. X. – Toronto, Ontario took it from here, showing how the Cells of our body adapt to the repetitive bombardment of those molecules of emotion. As Dr. Candice Pert describes the mechanism by which this happens (she discovered the receptor mechanism which led to the discovery of endorphins) those Cells transform into a character, a cartoon character, of those particular emotions.
From here on it classic “Warner Brothers” style animation as the Cell characters of Anger, Lust, Shyness and Victimization run through the characters bodies – making them create those situations which feed the biochemical needs of the Cells.
As Amanda peers through her camera at the wedding reception she sees into the guests’ bodies and watches Cells running rampant with their molecules of emotion. But this rabbit hole soon turns inside out as the Cells find their way out onto the dance floor to cajole, coerce, and excite the partiers into their favorite brand of emotion.
The filmmakers would like to express their gratitude to those companies and artists mentioned above, who time and time again followed us down innumerable rabbit holes to find the right images. Many many thanks.