Inside The Portal, artist Vivek Vadoliya’s mesmerising short film, created in under five days for Adobe Stock Film Festival.
Flames ribbon uncontrollably into the sky, engulfing the ruins of a house. A young woman studies her reflection in a pocket mirror from every angle. Ice melts and retreats. Flowers bloom. And a man dances uninhibited in the waters of the ocean.
They are the hypnotic scenes from The Portal, the mesmerising new short film from British-Asian photographer and filmmaker Vivek Vadoliya, crafted for 2020 Adobe Stock Film Festival – a celebration of the power of creativity.
Long have Adobe been dedicated to changing the world through digital experiences and championing creativity, and their latest project saw them task 10 boundary-pushing filmmakers from all over the world to produce a film in under five days to show what the future of creativity looks like to them.
Isolation, climate change, humanity’s relationship with nature, our ever-changing relationship with ourselves and social media all are fleetingly observed in The Portal – symbolic of the ability creativity has to transport us from one place and mindset to another, instantly.
Adobe gave filmmakers unlimited access to Adobe Stock footage, audio from Epidemic Sound, and Adobe Premiere Pro, to allow the impactful short films to be made at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we slowly emerge out of lockdown and back into an uncertain feeling of normality, we caught up with Vadoliya about how the pandemic has affected him, the power of creativity in lockdown, and The Portal…
Hi Vivek, how has lockdown been for you? How has it inﬂuenced you creatively?
Lockdown has been interesting and I’ve deﬁnitely had my fair share of ups and downs. I feel lucky to have the time to reﬂect and take stock. It’s something we should do often and it’s easy to forget when we get really busy. I used it as a time to watch, read and get inspiration from different things. I also tried out some ideas and planned out some projects that I’d like to get going when it’s safe to do so.
How has it been creating art during lockdown?
I’ve tried to not put too much pressure on myself during this period, but I feel quite motivated to go out and create now and I’m heading into it with a fresh approach and energy. I really want to collaborate more and use my work to have conversations about subjects that are important to me.
Congratulations on The Portal, it’s very beautiful – isolation, climate change, humanity’s relationship with nature, humanity’s relationship with ourselves – what does The Pandemic is A Portal mean?
Thank you! I think the idea of a portal is very powerful, in an instant you’re transported from one place to another. It can be both destructive and beautiful. I think at the moment we’re finding ourselves in a strange real-life portal where everyone’s worlds have been completely transformed but it’s up to us how we rebuild. We don’t need to take our old ideas into this new space and that’s the power of creativity.
Does it mean it’s making us open our eyes?
Deﬁnitely, it reveals so much about who we are, some of which were perhaps obvious, but we needed something powerful to make people have to stop and think.
What made you want to look at the words of Arundhati Roy?
The piece was really inspired by her words, she has such an eloquent way of exploring language and evoking imagery in your imagination. She had just written a piece at the start of lockdown that really stuck with me and I just could not get it out of my head when I began the creative process for this piece.
What was the key message you wanted to get across with the ﬁlm?
Take a second, look around you, what can you see? How can we move forward from this and create a sense of balance and positive change?
Is there one clip in particular you found really moving?
The burning ﬂowers. I found the juxtaposition of destroying something very beautiful was really moving.
Why has it never been more important to explore your creativity in this time of uncertainty?
This is an opportunity to use our creativity to spread important messages. With everything that is going on in the world, it has never been more important to use our craft for good and to make people think.
How did you hear about the Adobe Stock Film Festival and what made you want to become involved with it?
I was approached to submit an idea for a ﬁlm. As a ﬁlmmaker and photographer, i’m used to creating my own content so I was excited to challenge myself and create something entirely from the vast Adobe stock library. Something I really enjoyed was searching through what other creators have made and recontextualize their imagery to give them a different meaning.
Why are the incentives like the Premiere Pro workﬂow so important to young ﬁlmmakers?
Having the full Adobe suite easily integrated and available makes it very easy to test and try out ideas quickly. As a filmmaker you don’t want your creative process interrupted or slowed down so the fact that you can scroll through and search the Adobe archive straight from Premiere Pro is perfect.
How was it being tasked by Adobe to create the ﬁlm in just under ﬁve days? What timeframe would you usually be working with?
It deﬁnitely makes you work quickly. I’m quite intuitive so for me, I had a good idea of what I wanted to create before I started. Sometimes working like that can be great, spending too long on a decision doesn’t always create a better end result. I think also working on my own on the entire project meant that I was able to manage everything myself and work really efﬁciently.
What’s next for you in 2020?
I’m working on my ﬁrst book which explores the body through the discipline of Mallakhamb, an art form that uses wrestling grips and yoga poses to move the body. It’s been something I’ve been working on for a while and I’m really excited to share the ﬁnal piece.
The Adobe Film Festival will kick off from Wednesday 15th where a series of short films from creatives around the world will be screened virtually. Each filmmaker was tasked with producing a film in under five days using only Adobe Stock footage, audio from Epidemic Sound, and Premiere Pro to showcase what the future of creativity looks like. Check out the live screenings here.