No Mind is a film produced for Beats By Dre, who wanted to raise its brand awareness in technology through new media. By using futuristic artifacts and environments, we brought the audience along on a journey of imagination.
No Mind, or 無心 in Japanese, describes a trained state of mind in Zen Buddhism, where your mind is empty of all desires and assumptions. The film explores this concept by juxtaposing it with a variety of cutting-edge technologies.
I was the art director and prop master for this project. I conducted research on retro-futuristic fashion styles, and how the aesthetic applies to the materials and illuminations. Working with the director and the production designer, I designed and custom-made the wearables to be consistent with the set and costumes.
The props were the centerpieces of this futuristic story, as the film revolved around the juxtaposition of future technologies and history. A lot of effort went into ergonomics and durability -- since the filming took place in Japan, I worked with the Japanese crew to make sure all the wearables fit their local actors.
Part i: Memory Collector
In this dream scene, Takeshi, who died in a car accident, lays lifelessly in a concrete sepulcher. His memories are being extracted by a memory collector.
The goal is to design an apparatus that looks clinical and futuristic, to convey a dream-like feeling.
I wanted the memory collector to mimic a soft organism that reads the brain like an EEG machine, in a rather non-invasive way. I looked at bioluminescent plants and sea animals for inspiration, trying to bring in a sense of life.
The design takes form of an abstract organism. The half domes and the strip symbolize the spine, and the tubes attached to the body look like tentacles.
Filming took place in Tokyo, Japan.
Part ii: Shiho's New Arm
The scene is set in 2045, inside a Kendo dojo in Japan. The heroine Shiho sees a future during her coma. She is now equipped with an artificial neural transmitter that helps to control her previously paralyzed hand.
The goal is to design a futuristic wearable device that was conceived in a 12-year-old girl's imagination. It needs to feel clinical, with a child-like interpretation.
The design focused on the idea of externalizing body functions. I looked at sea animals, for their mystical illumination that gives otherworldly feelings. I also took inspiration from jewelries and wearable arts, for their use of artificial enhancement of human body.
The design focused on the idea of externalizing body functions. I looked at sea animals, for their mystical illumination that gives otherworldly feelings. I also took inspiration from wearable arts, for their use of artificial enhancement of human body.
Filming took place in a Kendo dojo in Kyoto, Japan.
Photo: Film The Future, James Law