In Motion: Xavier Chassaing

This series showcases those who have expanded their artistic palate, moving from still to motion, or motion to still.

Xavier Chassaing creates magic in an everyday space in his experimental film, Scintillation. The film combines stop motion and live projection techniques into a wondrous and mesmerizing cinematic experience. The camera moves throughout an apartment space, showing a series of architectural details and still life vignettes. About one minute into the film, an orchid suddenly bursts with colorful light. The flowers appear to be inhabited by fairies, an effect is achieved through projection mapping. Explosions of color and glittering particles ripple through the petals of the orchid before moving onto the ornate molding on the ceiling. The lights pass throughout the rest of the space, creating a galactic scene inside of the ornate dwelling.

The slow movement of the camera appears to pan the room, but in reality are a series of continuous still frames. 35,000 still frames, to be exact, give the illusion of motion and allow for variations in depth of field and focal shifts that would be impossible with traditional filming techniques. Chassaing made the entire film himself with a basic DSLR and a video projector. To achieve the smooth tracking effect, Chassaing constructed a device that acts as a motion control. The photographs themselves are exposed for 1 second and the film rate is 1 frame per second, allowing for an extremely slow motion. For a soundtrack as unique as the imagery, the film is scored by the sound designer Fedaden. Making such a visually striking and complex film on a shoestring budget, Chassaing proves that imagination and problem-solving go a long way towards “movie magic.”

View more of Chassaing’s work on his Vimeo page.

Do you make moving images or know of someone who does? Let us know at