Tokyo Glow is indeed glowing.

As time has shown, this blog is (currently) mostly about sharing and commenting on brilliant web videos. And nothing wrong about that, yet I’m still planning on writing more about my own work. But, tonight I was not in the mood for talking about myself, so what better than making a discovery.

This fantastic 2 minute short film, Tokyo Glow, is more than worth your time. It’s worth a bit of a study. If a visual trip through Tokyo isn’t candy enough, director Jonathan Bensimon‘s rotoscoped vision is like a translucent dream. A tiny story gives the images legs, but this one is all about taking in what your eyes can capture. Putting the glowing lights of Tokyo in front of the camera lens isn’t a original choice per se, but here they’ve got the discipline to contrast that milieu with an element that breaks out of its frame. The idea works perfectly, letting loose a flux of motion. Watch it below, or in HD:


Production-wise, Tokyo Glow is a hybrid; short fiction on the brink of being a commercial – defined as a branded short film by Short of the Week, who deserves credit for making me aware of this film. So, Tokyo Glow was funded by a company (in this case shoe designer The Generic Man), but created by seemingly independent filmmakers (from production company Industry Films, a Canadian firm). Director Bensimon has experience from building videos from still images, and the company write a little bit on their site about the challenges in making the film’s visuals come to life:

To achieve the striking effect of the “illuminated man,” an original light suit was constructed using hundreds of feet of high-voltage LED rope lights and a translucent nylon outer shell. The production had its set of additional challenges, not the least of which was avoiding the Yakuza – Tokyo’s notorious mafia – while shooting extensively in their territory without permission.

Whatever way it was made, I dig Tokyo Glow. And obviously, it’ll added to that long list of compelling reasons to visit the capital of Japan.