The Last Human by Tom Walsh
A short film about the last human being left alive and their mission to implant DNA on a strange world in an attempt to seed new life in the universe. Set to the mesmerizing music by Swimming (who collaborated with Simon Ellis) and Alex Herington.
The brilliant film has caught the imagination of the sci-fi world. It has sparked a debate on the origins of mankind over on the io9 blog.
As a director I’ve always been interested in collaboration with other artists and the exploration of different methods of story telling. So when the opportunity arose to make a music video for Swimming, I grabbed it with both hands. This was a chance to work with a group of like minded artists – musicians who think progressively and see their band as an art form itself, not just a means of making music. I had recently written a short film script called The Last Human. The narrative follows the fate last human being left alive – a concept that I have had a long standing fascination with.
When I listened to the song I Do (Come True) I immediately felt a connection between the music and the story I had written. The song has an ethereal quality and a chorus riff that descends into minor chords, taking the listener down into a place of profound meaning. It was that musical connection that made me want to turn the short film into the music video for the song.
As we explored the idea we decided on making two versions of the film. The first would be the music video and the second would be a longer short film edit with natural and elaborate sound design and which uses elements of the song as the basis of the film’s score. We teamed up with Alex Herington, who we had worked with on previous projects, to develop the song into the cinematic score.
Further ideas came through as we went into pre production, the concept had such narrative scope that it felt natural to explore the back story and so we are now utilising various platforms for the transmedia storyline which will allow people to explore the world that has been created via online and mobile.
In the music video the viewer will see the word HERA appear quite often. This is the title of the mission in the story and is named after the Greek Goddess of childbirth but also has a double meaning – it is an acronym for the mysterious Human Evolution Recovery Administration. This organisation will form the backbone of the fictional narrative in the story but will cross over into a real world exercise in disinformation and transmedia storytelling. For more information visit: hera.im
A project of this kind can only work with a band like Swimming, whose music reflects a progressive sensibility and helps to inspire such interesting ideas.
Producer/Director – Tom Walsh
Music – Swimming & Alex Herington
Art Director – Amy Nicholson
Costume Designer – Tonia Brown
Art Dept. & Make-Up – Sarah Lewis
First AD – Ken Coppel
Visual Effects – Tom Walsh & Nic Pylypiuk
The Pilot – Hester Ruoff
Thanks to David Houghton, Georgina Sparks & Rob Knapp