Eddie Alcazar directs ‘The Vandal’.

A man recovering from a lobotomy suffers a devastating loss.

Words from Eddie below.

Eddie, could you prime our readers on what you mean by “meta-scope” and some of the methods that define it?

EA: The idea behind meta-scope is the concept of how when you get closer to an object the more real it becomes. The method doesn’t necessarily have to be strictly stop motion, it can also be live-action. But no matter the form, objects that you observe to be unreal from a distance become real and clear as you get closer.

(…) no matter the form, objects that you observe to be unreal from a distance become real and clear as you get closer.

Are you able to share any past work showing the development and experimentation of these ideas?

EA: This project actually created the concept of meta-scope. It started off as a vision in my head and as we started experimenting – through trial and error – the vision became clear and we discovered the technique. It was similar to when you’re trying to recall a dream – you start by remembering a little bit of it and then work off of that. As you get closer, you start seeing and feeling it come alive.

The Vandal 2


Could you talk about the film’s cinematic and classical influences?

EA: That actually came into play pretty late in the process. The music was the last thing that was created in this, because I was trying to play around with more contemporary and modern electronic sounds, and none of it really was fitting. So, I started looking back at the language of film in the 40s and 50s and seeing how they used music to communicate. That’s what we needed, music that could be big and evoke feeling, because there isn’t that much dialogue in the film.

The Vandal

The Vandal

Some of the specific inspirations that I ended up looking at over the course of working on this were F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang.

From a more technical view, what was crucial in helping you achieve this kind of tone and atmosphere?

EA: We used a couple of technical aspects – some techniques with the LED walls and some with virtual, real-time filmmaking. We used the Unreal Engine, which projected these miniature sets behind the actors, all the actors were just in one location and we switched out the environments behind them with the click of a button. So that was a big thing. Then we fused it with the oldest technology – stop motion – creating motion from frames of photographs, and tweaking each until we came up with the balance of reality we were after.

What are you reading at the moment?

EA: I’m reading Elon Musk’s bio right now. I also just finished this other book which I thought was amazing. It’s called ‘Lifespan’ and it’s about a man trying to solve death. That’s what my next film is about, so I’ve been researching heavily. The idea is that death could be cured eventually. It seems like a lot of scientists are close to some real answers.

Javier Lovato, Thomas Hildreth
Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Sandy Haddad, Ted Robbins, Matthew Krul
Executive Producer

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