Experiencing Interruptions?


A seamless experimental journey exploring the metropolis of Hong Kong like never before. Using custom camera and software technology the City and it's architecture is explored through new eyes; a re-ordered, organic and time based form.

  • James Medcraft
    Director, Cinematographer, Post Production
  • Lucky Dragons - Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara
  • Khiang Tan & Jo Cheung at Wow Wow Tank
    Hong Kong Production
  • Tristan Earl at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry / Focus 24
    Equipment Loan
  • Marco Lau
    Vehicle Driver
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Science Fiction, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Hong Kong
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital - Canon C200
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9 + 32:9
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

After graduating in 2005 from the London College of Printing, James worked at United Visual Artists until 2010 as a designer, cinematographer and photographer. Since then James works as a visual artist using lens-based technologies to explore his creative visions.

As Director of Photography James shoots a board range of narrative and commercial work with a keen focus on storytelling through light. His early work as a photographer and 3D designer helps accomplish the hardest cinematic tasks for those wishing to push the boundaries of technology and perception. James also shoots and exhibits his own photographic projects, which focus on the obscurities of human culture..

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The Concept

‘OCTAVE’ is an exploration of the urban world made new through the reordering of physical time. The notion of time as a physical, tangible and malleable medium has always been a big influence within my work. By reordering and distorting time ‘OCTAVE’ is an exploration of the frenetic architecture, rhythm and geometry of Hong Kong. Filmed from a moving vehicle, the film utilises motion and time to create a seamless evolving architectural canvas, viewing the urban environment from a unique perspective.
We see the world around us reinterpreted by our own relativity; our physical distance, speed and angle helps to paint our own unique and subjective relationship to the world we inhabit. Motion picture born out of the last 130 years has sought to explore the world in a time based environment, whereby static juxtaposed images change their meaning to one another when combined in different arrangements, creating a subjective image.
By using the medium of time to reshape our perceived relative world OCTAVE imagines the urban environment in an organic state, re-shaping and re-ordering as a new form of architecture.
As the name suggests ‘OCTAVE’ is inspired by the visual and structural language of musical notation. Beats, bars, repeating and ascending rhythms of notes evolve and develop to create evolving scores of emotions. A commissioned composition ‘te amo laughing / future jail’ by the Los Angeles duo ‘Lucky Dragons’ adds a humanistic layer to the concrete world OCTAVE explores. As described by the artists the composition is based on the ‘auditory illusion described by Diana Deutsch, in which one's attention starts to find patterns in long sequences of looping syllables that fall somewhere between language and music - sometimes appearing as rhythms and melodies, sometimes as words or phrases - usually with unique effects for each listener.

The Process

A custom designed camera rig was developed for OCTAVE, consisting of a Canon C200, vibration isolator and a custom off-camera feed recorder. Similar to the way a flatbed scanner records an image the camera recorded a vertical image line-by-line creating a vast horizontal moving texture.
By adjusting the record signal of the camera and speed of the tracking vehicle, objects at alternate distances are either brought in or out of sync with the speed of the vehicle, creating a canvas of resolved or distorted scenes. The sequence of repeating images through persistence of vision creates moving images that create new forms of geometry in the minds eye. This process war partly inspired by and references early forms of animated content such as the Zoetrope device and the work of Eadweard Muybridge.


OCTAVE has been created to be seen at scale. Shot with a 4K vertical resolution it enables OCTAVE to be experienced in a variety of formats and physical installations. From a traditional cinema screening to vast double width projections, each format creates an entirely new experience.