Empyrean May 2011

"Empyrean" is a music video that was inspired, conceptualized and created entirely from personal dreams. It was developed with Jonny Greenwald (Co-Producer & Director of Photography) at the Dept. of Visualization, Texas A&M University under the artistic guidance of Prof. Karen Hillier.

Most of these visual concepts came to me in several dreams over the past few years. And it urged me to create a visually striking and intriguing cinema that captured the bizzare emotions I had felt during the dreams. I merged the vital elements from my favorite dreams, consciously making an effort to retain their inherent abstractness.

I discovered a certain connection to my cultural background in Hinduism in the imagery within the dreams, such as the lotus, the trio formation, their motions etc. and I concentrated on them and used them as a source of inspiration for successive visual and artistic choices.

Musically, I wanted to create a mood piece with atmospheres and heavy guitars that would blatantly revoke the emotional states from my dreams. I approached this by layering several ambient instruments and soundscapes, and then accented it with subtle vocal sweeps. Then I carefully wrote a simple melodic motif on a low octave of the guitar, which is central to the piece.

The result I feel has a certain surreal incline, and gives the audiences' minds an opportunity to wander into mine.

During the four months of preparation and experimentation for the shoots, we mainted a very active blog and constantly posted detailed reports of our tests and progress.

  • Producer, Director, Music Ganesh Rao
  • Co-Producer, DoP, Editor Jonny Greenwald
  • Cast Brittany Hardin, Jessica Bell, Ruben Gonzales, Cassie Hanks, Jessica Krannitz, Savannah Smith, Amanda Li
  • Hair & Makeup Shelia Robinson
  • Set Assistants Brandon Jarratt, Logan Kelly
  • Computer Graphics Ariel Chisholm, Brandon Jarratt, Christine Liu
  • Production Studio Dept. of Visualization
    Texas A&M University