From BrainDagger films, Moe Taylor’s As Organism is a documentary short, shot in a visually over-stimulating MTV style that is hard to pull off and so easy to fail at. In Taylor’s case, he found the secret that makes it work. The writer and director starts from the microscopic and pulls back to a universal perspective.
I’m a little removed from my high school science days but, I remember that an organism is defined as “a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole.” Taylor shows us all levels of what an organism is, from its simplest structure to the most complex to the unimaginable, thanks to dark matter.
“…shows us all levels of what an organism is, from its simplest structure to the most complex…”
He presents it all in a fast-paced, non-stop music video fashion. We are barraged with one video or image after the other. It’s vibrant, colorful, and relentless. I’m not a fan of this style of presentation. It can produce a lot of anxiety, and for a person with dyslexia, like myself, it’s just too much stimulation. Taylor, though, found a way to make it palatable and engaging.
As Organism is a very low budget production, so the filmmaker makes ample use of stock video footage (see Storyblocks). He splices the stock footage together with a few talking-head interviews with experts he can find, including a Ph.D. student. When you have no budget, you get what you can get.
As Organism does an amazing job presenting a high school/college level of what an organism is. It’s not my preference for learning but exists for the set of society locked in on their phones, and like their information as one-minute Tik-Tok bites. It’s informative, which is the film’s ultimate goal.
"…informative, which is the film's ultimate goal."