The Third & The Seventh, a short film by Alex Roman uploaded to Vimeo just last month and already viewed more than half a million times, is an entirely computer-generated, exquisitely rendered, photorealistic tour of architectural space.
While Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall unfortunately makes an appearance, the remainder of the film tours some pavilions, museums, wind farms, and other urban icons, from both inside and out, that you will no doubt recognize.
There’s no plot as such, but the imagery is of such ridiculously high quality—although I could skip the soundtrack—that this seems much more visually promising to me then, say, the much hyped, half-a-billion dollar technologies used in Avatar; I would rather watch the opening two or three minutes of Roman’s film stretched out to feature length and threaded through with some narrative cues than revisit James Cameron’s badly rendered blue giants.
This also seems to be yet more evidence that architecture students are literally just on the cusp of expertise in several different industries, and that even the briefest of collaborations with interested writers could push many student projects instantly over into fully realized narrative films. While I’m aware that many architecture students couldn’t care less about this—they didn’t, after all, apply to film school—I think it is nonetheless a strategically interesting option to consider when it comes to developing, presenting, and recontextualizing spatial ideas: a slight tweak here and there, a presentation of the most bare-bones scenario imaginable, and you’ve gone from student thesis project to La Jetée after one late night and some 5 Hour Energy drinks…
In any case, Roman’s website includes galleries of some gorgeous film stills, including these details, these lighting effects, a few examples of “man-made vs. nature,” and multiple glimpses of classic furniture.
However, Vimeo seems to be loading quite slowly at the moment, so I’ve included a few stills here.
(Thanks to Jim Rossignol and Ilari Lehtinen for the tip!)