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|Directed by||Zarel Smith|
|Produced by||Zarel Smith|
|Written by||Zarel Smith|
|Edited by||Zarel Smith|
|22 May 2020|
Insaniam (Latin for "Insane") is a 2020 New Eiffelic surreal fantasy short film produced, starring, written and directed by Zarel Smith. Insaniam is Smith's first surrealist film of 2020, and his sixth film he has starred in or created in 2020. Unlike most of Smith's independent films, Insaniam was distributed by Z&jProductions on 22 May 2020, the same day as the films initial release. Solely starring Smith, Insaniam follows Gregory Hutts, who starts having weird experiences throughout the morning, which is in some way related to a water bottle he keeps on his bedside. Like most of Smith's films, the film is silent (aside from the music) and in black and white.
The project was announced in early May, with Smith saying he wanted to create another surrealist film, which would consist of a storyline and crazy surreal imagery. After a short delay, filming finally took place on 22 May, the same day as the films release. Filming took place completely within New Leeds.
The film was released on 22 May 2020. It was later distributed by Z&jProductions. The film was generally well received by viewers, with many calling it Zarel's best surrealist film, saying it is better than Being Born Twelve Times (2019).
The film depicts Hutts' dive into insanity.
Hutts wakes up and grabs his water bottle, it is about half full. As he puts it to his mouth the bottle suddenly appears empty. Hutts is confused, but brushes it off by telling himself he is tired. He gets up and walks to refill the bottle; it appears empty. As he putts it to the tap the bottle is suddenly filled with water again. Hutts freaks out, and drops the bottle onto the ground. He is suddenly back in his room. Hutts, even more confused than before, takes a breather. He goes to lie back down in his bed, perhaps to sleep, and mounts a pillow onto his head. It is also noted that in the scenes of him getting into bed his shirt changes. The camera cuts to surreal imagery paired with the song "05_14_2020_B" - The camera zooms out of the pillow, than back in. After fading to black it zooms out and we see a shoe fly across the room. After more similar surreal imagery, Hutts wakes up violently, and jumps off of his bed. He is clearly disturbed. Hutts looks left to see his counter is now empty with nothing but that same bottle. Hutts looks right to a similar image; his coats are gone and the bottle is hanging on the coat hanger. Hutts faints, and falls onto his bed. The film ends to a view of the bottle.
The project was announced in early May, with Smith saying he wanted to create another surrealist film, which would consist of a storyline and crazy surreal imagery. After brainstorming ideas, Smith finally came to the final idea for what the film would be. It had no organised script. Smith also occasionally improvised whilst filming.
The footage was filmed on an iPhone 7 Plus at 30 frames per second on 22 May 2020, on the same day as the film's release. Filming took place completely in New Leeds, New Eiffel, in and around the Main Building. A black and white filter was later added, and the audio muted. Near the end of the film, the scenes were filmed in 240 frames per second while also shaking the camera, to add the effect of panic while Hutts turns into insanity. Smith also occasionally improvised while filming.
The film was edited solely by Smith. A black and white filter was added to the footage, and the audio muted. The main song for when Hutts becomes insane "05_14_2020_B" by Silver was added near the end. The song sounds like white noise.
Release and legacy
The film was released on 22 May 2020, and uploaded onto YouTube on 11 June 2020. It was distributed by Z&jProductions afterwards, being Zarel's second ever independent film to be distributed by Z&jProductions, after The Doll back in April 2017. Zarel has been cited as saying Insaniam is his favourite surrealist film he has created yet, calling it his "magnum opus", favouring it above his previous personal favourite Being Born Twelve Times.
Insaniam was generally well received by audiences.
05_14_2020_B by Silver
05_14_2020_B is an experimental song and the main song for when Hutts becomes insane as well as the theme song for the film. The song sounds like white noise. It was remixed by one known as Silver from an audio clip from a video game of characters voice acting. The song is fast pace and violent, and is meant to represent Hutts' final dive into insanity, from which he apparently cannot return.
- Filmography of Zarel Smith doc. Retrieved 18 June 2020.