Portrait of a Universe Blends a Rich Tableau
The latest short from Oddity Productions premieres at the Erie Playhouse
SATURDAY, AUG. 26
The worlds of fine art, the cosmos, and artificial intelligence all come together in Portrait of a Universe. This short film, the latest work from Erie's own Oddity Productions, will be the centerpiece of an interactive premiere experience taking place at the Erie Playhouse.
The film centers around a painter, Rodney (played by Bostonian Paul Kandarian) adrift on a voyage through space. As Rodney nears the end of his life, he's made it his mission to commit to canvas the spectacular interstellar vistas his spacecraft has to offer. Though he's the only person on his ship, he's not alone, being accompanied by Alice (voiced by Olyvia Rose), his artificial intelligence co-pilot. The relationship between Alice and Rodney deepens as their journey continues. As he recalls his life on earth, she gradually learns what it means to be human.
Along with insights about the nature of art and its role in the human condition, the film brings to focus a new technology that threatens art itself. "The practical use of AI in our industry and the arts as a whole is becoming more and more of a reality," Oddity described in a press release. "There's a lot of fear around where it could lead and what it could mean for artists getting employed. This film tells the story of a different outlook on AI. One where it's curious and seeks to learn about the human experience and all its bittersweet moments."
Written and directed by Danny Pakulski, executively produced by Liam O'Brien, with Simon Yahn serving as the director of photography, the short was shot at MAGIC Spell Studios at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Upstate New York. Using the innovative technique of virtual production, actors are realistically immersed in a film's vision via a giant LED background screen.
The premiere, held at the Erie Playhouse, will be a fully immersive experience involving virtual reality painting, on-camera miniature ship exhibit, cocktails, food, and a screening of the short film. A VIP option is available for the evening as well, featuring live music, hors d'oeuvres, professional photography, and a private VR painting set up.
Doors and reception at 5 p.m., event at 7 p.m. // Erie Playhouse, 13 W. 10th St. // $25, $40 VIP // For tickets and info: tickets.eriereader.com