“Apocalypsis” seeks to answer the question: what will the rapture look like?
Eric Leiser, the writer, director and animator of the film, will appear in person to screen his movie at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Tuesday.
The 2016 film focuses on a woman who begins experiencing intense visions after reading the book of Revelations. He shared his personal take on the Bible’s book of Revelation by attempting to visualize the core themes in each chapter through animation and live action acting. The Christian filmmaker called the piece “dreamlike,” and said it forced him to reach the peak of his creative ability.
“Revelations has so many images in it that are just surreal and magical,” Leiser said. “It’s a mixture of the symbols in Revelations, but it’s also the feelings and my interpretations of this cataclysmic event.”
Leiser utilizes experimental film techniques including different types of animation, including holography and stop-motion. Leiser said he is inspired to use abstract and symbolic Christian imagery to create visual pieces for what was once words on a page.
The Wex’s curator team brought Leiser and his film, “Apocalypsis”, as another way to tap into the more interesting talents in the filmmaking and animation world, said Melissa Starker, Creative Content and Public Relations Manager.
“I honestly can’t wait to see it because it’s got this really intriguing apocalyptic premise and the imagery that’s available in the teaser trailer is just stunning, it’s jaw-dropping,” Starker said. “This just seems like it’s going to be a real visual feast.”
Leiser’s past work includes eight short films and four features, one being his passion project “Imagination.” He named “Imagination” and “Apocalypsis” as the favorite films he’s made, though each required three years of hard work.
“I just try to make it through these spiritual challenges (and) ups and downs, it’s all for spiritual growth,” he said.
Leiser said his purpose in filmmaking has always been to strike deep emotional chords in people and he hopes the audience thinks very deeply about the story of “Apocalypsis.”
“The book of Revelations asks some of the most challenging questions … there’s no way they can’t emit some type of emotion or feeling out of somebody,” he said. “Anyone who loves live-action films that are very stylized or films that have strange stories will love the film.”
Starker highlighted the value that a unique production like “Apocalypsis” presents to students, particularly those in the film and animation fields. The type of animation in “Apocalypsis” greatly varies from what is typically expected in movies from studios like Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, she said.
“It’s a far cry from what you think of when you think feature animation… this really shows how far you can push the medium,” she said. “It’s also taking a very unique and far from ordinary approach to storytelling.”
“Apocalypsis” will screen at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Wex. Leiser will be in attendance and will participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening. Tickets are $6 for students and $8 for the general public.