Forget 2022. For Billain, we’re already well into 2300…
Picking up where he left us in August last year with the first trailer for his animated film Fugitive, Sarajevan auteur Billain has now dropped a second trailer for his cyberneuro opus.
Thickening the plot frame by frame and zooming out to reveal more of the post apocalyptic worlds 300 years in the future, in which the Fugitive narrative is set, the trailer once again teases us with seeds without giving too much away. What we do know is that the quest the currently anonymous protagonist is on is worth spending 150 years playing chess to unlock, and that Sarajevo is now Neosarayevo and it appears to be controlled by a sinister Cyberdyne-esque corporation Sodyn.
Intrigued, we called up the artist (who has a litany of head-melting sci-fi projects to his name within the D&B realm) for more information… And to find out exactly when we can expect the film to drop.
Read on to find more about the concept, the inspiration and the beautiful PS2 aesthetic. We also learnt how if it wasn’t for drum & bass, Fugitive might not exist and how the movie will have many D&B references woven deeply into its animated fabric.
A second trailer!
Well, the first video teaser was there to establish a single puzzle, while exposing the size of the world by one long shot of the city, But to announce that a great story is on its course in the best way to magnetize your attention. The second one is a main trailer – It sets the tone for how complex the story goes, how deep, and how far, but still with questions intact.
You’re still keeping your cards close to your chest – it still leaves so much up to the imagination doesn’t it?
I would call it psychological sci-fi – cyberneuro. We see it in a very obscure way, through a dialogue of shifting space full of hidden meanings. The city is burning; Neosarayevo, a megapolis being built on the soil of Sarajevo, 300 years in the future. The lore expands via Neosarajevo.com and Sodyn.net and so forth as we get closer. We can see some sort of chaos “unravelling beyond” and the series of quick images we try to display the seriousness of what is taking place in there through the eyes of a shifting space and witnesses.
Last time we spoke about Fugitive you mentioned the idea of technology escaping time… You delve into this more in the trailer with the 150 year game of chess for a password. Can you explain more about this?
I remember what struck us with the brilliance of the unknown, looking back at Matrix, Equilibrium, Inception, or the conclusion of the Blade Runner and Ghost In The Shell. I look at the film, not as the film, rather the type of puzzle the makers would establish. This bird’s eye view perspective of their narrative constructs reveals that they all are all in passionate love with new mind games and puzzles. Our human history teaches us how inventions have been always regarded as wonders. Even more passionate now that wonders are endangered stories, with barely any spotlight to shine.
Chess is a witness to many civilizations. But here it expands further as a multilayered puzzle with stakes so high that “someone” was stuck in there for 150 years. The “whatever is left of humanity” sentence is very symbolic to how chess has always been a mirror of civilisations. This is paired with a framed picture in there to deliver a combination of someones perception of what is meant, what means and will mean to be a human being. A set of moves can both create and destroy.
What else can you reveal about the movie and when will we be able to see it?
I always wanted to create this gritty PS2 graphic style chaos with some new lighting technique. It just resonates highly nostalgically to me. Cheng, a friend from Taiwan nailed it literally. This film is my master thesis to define what is “cyberneuro” as a realm that connects music, visuals and film narrative, and it is quite personal as such. The cyberneuro fanbase grew; people keep tagging it through various creations of theirs. To see the film being now supported by Symphony, FLStudio, Kilohearts and Foudation of cinematography Sarajevo means a world to me. Combined with the amazing craftsmanship of WeiZhi, Geordie Third, Marko Gacnik, STF and the rest of the team, we turned some heads in AAA departments, which means that this stepping stone is already a huge thing before it was completed, with locked plans to expand even beyond. The film is expected to be out mid-2022.
We understand there are many drum & bass references lurking within the movie – logos and brands in the background, right?
I always wanted to show how many stories I hold beneath all those layers of channels in neurofunk tracks. Being in one place would bring me suffering. I realised even in drum & bass I was a storyteller. To expand is to learn and adapt, I guess.
If someone told me D&B would turn me into a filmmaker some years ago, I would skip some of the processes honestly. So, one way to pay my respects to colleagues in the industry, is to rep them in various places. I guess this also is one way to resonate with memories that merge into a plot of the film. With that being said, I invite all the heads to join my Cyberneuro discord server, where we will be having all sorts of brainstorms and exchanges. https://discord.gg/7nxAUdWQMJ