Humble is proud to present, Homunculus, the first of an annual series of experimental films by our in-house directing collaborative, Hydra. Conceived of and directed by Sam Stephens, Homunculus is a dark and twisted fable of spontaneous generation and untrammeled id. Taking its title from the Latin word for “Little Human”, the piece is an associative mashup between the two concepts behind the word: The first being middle-age alchemical beliefs that “little men” could be spontaneous generated from dead or decaying matter. The second being Carl Jung’s usage as a personification of pure id. These ideas, combined with our love of Dutch still life’s “beautiful decay,” sowed the seeds for this unique little monster of a film.
The Hydra team assembled an entire still-life spread; fruits, cheeses, flowers, fish, and an uncooked pheasant. They then sealed it off in a 6×6 foot plexiglass box. 3 DSLrs, set at varying angles, were set to shoot a frame every 5 minutes for 11 days. Meanwhile, co-director Chris Mauch began to design a series of “little men,” some cute and cuddly, some not so much. In Maya, Chris and our team of volunteer animators and modelers began to build and rig the creatures.
Over the course of 4 months, in between jobs and on weekends, Sam, Chris, and the team pieced together the sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing madcap narrative –a mixture of Tex Avery cartoons and H.R. Giger inspired body horror.
True to its subject, and to the surprise of its producers, what was to be a small 30 second blip organically grew into an entire HD short film. With the completion of the 12-tone score by Koven Smith and the surround sound mix by Joe Muiccio, we’re pleased to premiere our furry little labor of love. Please enjoy…hopefully on an empty-ish stomach.