The Artifice short film (not to be confused with The Artifice magazine) was created by Misagh Alami and screened first in March 2009 as part of a series of media released with a project under the same title. It was produced in collaboration with creative artists Marlon Lewis, Paul Watkins, and Danielle Gold.
The 7 minute short film is an experimental visual piece delving into concepts like afterlife and existence in an abstract but accessible way. The original music, composed by Thomas Marek, is used as a vessel to narrate the main character’s journey through the various dreamy and vivid spaces he passes through.
The Artifice concludes with the main character (played by Marlon Lewis) meeting a man (played by Paul Watkins) at a hospital. The man, who has an obscure and almost mystical presence, says:
The ambiguity of this monologue in juxtaposition with the overall tone of the film is one of the reasons why it gained such a wide audience, with thousands, leading into millions, anticipating a feature film release of The Artifice.
While a feature length screenplay was penned by the creators, even prior to making this short film, and a full album of an original soundtrack was composed by a variety of music artists, this project ultimately fell through and has since been dusting on the shelf.
A number of inspiring creations were produced under The Artifice film project (including the Lone Wolf short film). Many of which have influenced Misagh’s artistic career.
Music of The Artifice
The Artifice film project shined the best in its audio compositions.
Various musicians worked on producing an original soundtrack for the feature film. Three musicians in particular composed a full original soundtrack with each track capturing a concept in the unreleased feature film.
One of the head composers of The Artifice is Hannah Junkmoon (previously Hannah Moulden). She worked closely with the creators to find the tone of the film.
Hannah’s early compositions like Air Bound apparitions were exactly the type of ambience the film creators were looking for.
With influences from traditional composers like Thomas Newman and Clint Mansell to experimental artists like Kate Bush and Imogen Heap, Hannah crafts both composition and production techniques inspired by these artists to help create music that is atmospheric, emotionally deep, musically intelligent, and most importantly different from the traditional soundtrack.
Hannah’s music is meant to move and inspire the listener, subconsciously taking them on both an emotional and a physical journey.
Each piece takes place in a different part of the world from the Japanese inspired Bushido:
To the Persian inspired Dark Discoveries:
Hannah’s originally composed music is an eclectic mix of mysteriously familiar instrumentation and rich textures to guide you through the concepts of The Artifice film.
Hannah also composed an alternative music score specifically for the 7 minute short film.
Another music artist whose work was prominently highlighted throughout the film production of The Artifice is Thomas Marek.
Thomas composed the full score used in the 7 minute short film, and also the score for the Long Wolf, which is a short film released as part of The Artifice film project.
Thomas’ compositions encompass a vast range of styles, moods, and instrumentation. He takes his musical influence from film composers such as John Williams and Michael Giacchino, through to “classical” composers such as Ravel and Duruflé, as well as many popular artists.
While all of his pieces are completely different, their atmospheric and otherworldly feel remains a constant. His aim with this original soundtrack is to compose music that takes the listener to a completely different place in ways one might not expect.
Jonas Lundström composed a few powerful tracks for the soundtrack.
Jonas connected with Misagh (director of The Artifice) prior to the film production. They were both raised in a small town in north of Sweden where they engaged in the local arts scene, although in different artistic fields.
Discovering they share a connecting style in artistic vision, a collaboration of this scale was inevitable.
Hannah Junkmoon collaborated with Jonas on one specific track.
While The Artifice feature film will sadly never see the light of day, all the various creative work that was produced during its production have been a frequent source of inspiration for Misagh’s artistic career.