Detail of a Life

Creator: Ryan Somma
Age rating: Everyone
Four worlds, four stages of life in four seasons tell the story of an artist's life, with the artist in each fantasy world painting a portrait of the next world in which the story will continue.
Synopsis: We begin in the Spring, childhood. The most prevalent color of this world is green and everything is wet and fresh as if it has just rained. Here we find a child prodigy, lugging around a massive laptop wherever he goes, designing 3-D Computer graphics with it. He is an old soul and his peers are uncomfortable with his otherness.

His life in this world is a struggle. Everything here is exhageratted in size, matching a child's perspective of the world. Adults are only seen from the knees-down and his peers bully him relentlessly. His laptop is his only escape. There he creates an image of a series of rooms leading off into the distance, each one filled with eclectic artwork. It is where he longs to be.

We are drawn into this work of art and it becomes reality, taking us into the Summer, bright, energetic colors are most prevelant. Here we meet a man in his 20's. His life is indulgent, free. He is infatuated with a woman he saw at a museum and he makes oil paintings of her. His friend recognizes the girl and tells him that she is not his type, but the artist begins to pursue the girl as a secret admirer anyway.

This is a world overrun with art, but the focus is style over substance. The artist of this world is a deep-thinker, but too idealistic. When he meets the girl, she is shallow, they fight and she leaves him with a broken heart. He creates a dark painting, using melted candle wax and rusted metal, conveying the torment in his soul.

Through this work of art we are drawn into the Fall, a world of eternal sunset because of a sun that is much farther away. The landscapes are muddy and filled with rusted industrial sites. Here we follow a man in his late 40's, skinney and stooped, wearing thick distorting glasses, walking to work. His job involves working at an antiquated green-screen computer terminal, entering endless streams of data.

This is a world where art is considered an abnormality. The character's boss chides him when a smiley face ": )" appears in his work. Later, the character, daydreaming, creates an entire picture out of text, shocking his coworkers and landing him in an insane asylum. Here he finds happiness in a female inmate and together they create a chalk drawing of an imaginary world for them to inhabit.

This takes us into the winter world, where it is eternally night. Here we find an old man tending a garden of ice statues. He is working to finish a statue of his late wife, but cannot seem to do it. A young journalist comes from another planet to interview him. She is doing a human interest story about a new star that will be ignited in the sky, bringing warmth to the planets in the system, but also melting the ice-statue garden.

The old man and girl converse, reflecting on his life, browsing sculptures portraying the other worlds, but his time is short. He must complete the rendition of his wife before it is too late. The journalist, exploring the late wife's section of the garden, finds what's needed to complete the sculpture, a statue of the old man. She positions the two works facing one another, just before the star ignites. The old man dies content and a spring world emerges.

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