Ora is an experimental short film that brings together the artistic worlds of choreographer José Navas and filmmaker Philippe Baylaucq. It's the first film to use 3D thermal imaging, producing visuals unlike anything ever seen before: the luminous variations of body heat seen on skin, bodies emitting a multitude of colours, a space filled with movement that transforms itself.
The film itself is a dance allegory inspired by Darwin's theory of evolution and the myths of narcissus and Prometheus. It was produced over a period of 2 years, during which Baylaucq was the filmmaker in residence at the NFB.
Ora was filmed without lighting. In order to see the internal heat of the human body transformed into light, extremely sensitive infrared thermal imaging technology was used. The use of these cameras is strictly controlled, and is limited to military, medical and scientific applications.
You can read more about this aspect in a recent Globe and Mail article.
This playlist contains 3 clips, presented in 2D, from the complete film. It also contains 4 short films:
A Meeting with Philippe Baylaucq, in which the filmmaker discusses the film and his approach to it.
A meeting with José Navas, which provides an opportunity to hear from the internationally acclaimed choreographer.
A Thermographic Adventure, in which we get a behind the scenes look at the cutting-edge 3D thermal imaging technology.
The Digital Imaging Challenge, a short exposé on the challenges of making the film.