Jack McKown

the jack of all trades

Abiogenesis: My Entry for BIFSC 2021

Well, here it finally is, folks! This is my BIFSC entry (Berlin International Film Scoring Competition) for this year. And, boy has it been a blast to work on! PLUS – Read about my film scoring process, links below the video.

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About my BIFSC Entry – Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis was relased in 2011 under the New Zealand Film Commission by Richard Mans.

It chronicles an intriguing Sci-Fi answer to the question of life’s origins. 

The idea of “life out of nowhere” was first explored by Aristotle, and debated among subsequent Greek philosophers. There is some evidence that this actually took place, and several theories about the precise pathways exist.  However, this film puts a new spin on the idea. It posits that there was an external influence in the origins of life – Especially as we know it.

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As the film begins, we see stars. The vastness of space is laid out for us. Soon, a capsule-shaped object rushes by, revealing the proximity of a planet. We see the descent of the capsule toward the planet, its purpose a mystery. Is it an explosive? Atomic bomb? Something worse?

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As the capsule passes into the atmosphere, suddenly it transforms. Thrusters appear and begin slowing the descent. It appears to be preparing to land rather than crash. Finally the capsule makes contact with the planet’s surface. Dust flying all around, the capsule transforms again revealing four rocket driven explorers. They launch from the capsule and fly over the planet’s surface, transforming mid-air from the rocket propulsion system to flapping wings–almost mosquito-like in form. These mozzy-bots land near ponds of of a greenish primordial liquid. The robo-squitos begin to siphon up the green liquid, filling their sacs.

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Once full, they transform again, into space-aged HotWheels style racers this time. They take a cool roll across the desert, back toward the capsule.

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They arrive at home base; their machinery rejoins the capsule to form a talon-footed, four legged machine. These machines, that we just witnessed flying through space, rocketing around, and flying with a steam-punk meets Da Vinci flair, now walk… 
Toward an ominous looking nearby mountain…
(Everything about this seems wrong according to every horror movie ever).

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Nonetheless, it trudges along slowly, and eventually makes its way up to the precipice of the mountain. This is where it begins its final transformation.

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It dances into a lotus shape, and  begins to spin and rotate. As it gains intensity and speed, it levitates and floats higher above the ground until it bursts into a flash of light.

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This light penetrates into the mountain, cracking the surface and blowing apart bits of planet as it plants its footing deep in the planet, and finally forms a tree. It very much resembles the tree of life.

However, this tree is not our final destination, and it begins to swell and untwist from the roots up.

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Finally it erupts into a shower of zygotes turning into baby plants as they rain down on the planet.

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Back at the mountain, there is one final explosion, a brief phoenix of fire, and a newly generated capsule hurtles into space. It’ next planetary surrogate awaits.

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