[ The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas ]
[ Dream-like Cinematography ]
In a collaborative effort, Ursla K. Le Guin's short story was given life with hazy, surreal footage.
Design and Animation: Sabrina Guyton
[ About the Narrative ]
“The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” is a philosophical narrative that depicts a utopian society preparing for a summer festival; the descriptions showcasing a collective seemingly free from humanly troubles; an oasis of bliss, harmony, and happiness. Their existence is proof of prosperity and a prominent disconnect from the woes and torment that riddle our society.
However, it is revealed the suffering of one allows for the bliss of all. A child is tormented and abused, known to all the citizens of Omelas. Its anguish is viewed as a necessary evil. Anyone who chooses to aid the child calls upon the downfall of their way of life.
But, not everyone wishes to choose the misery of one for the greater good. They are known as the ones who walk away from Omelas.
[ Challenge ]
Omelas seems like a dream but is really a nightmare wrapped in illusion. Deception and fantasy are the two main concepts within the narrative. It's imperative that the visuals highlight these motifs in a way that captivates yet doesn't reveal the story's premise too much.
[ Solution ]
The art direction consists of double exposure and overlayed vintage film elements. A dreamscape filled with saturated colors and beautiful imagery is developed, but much like the story, becomes desaturated and lifeless as time progresses.
Each scene is a singular motif that focuses on symbolism and theme. There's thoughtfulness and intention behind every symbol chosen, but it still remains mysterious to the unbeknownst eye. The initial “randomness” draws the viewer in but fails to brace them for reality.