The Secret Number



The Secret NumberThe video by a team of young filmmakers from the Savannah College of Art and Design is based on the short story by Igor Teper, a writer and physicist who builds cold-atom-based sensors and atomic clocks. 

The Secret Number is a twisted cerebral  tale that speaks volumes between the lines. A psychiatrist attempts to treat an obviously insane professor who suffers from the delusion that there is a hidden integer between 3 and 4. As the mathematician  becomes more obsessed with finding the impossible, the doctor begins to question his memories and the nature of existence.

Does perception define reality, or does reality define perception? Could our “integers” be mere projections from different realities?

The Secret Number was a student filmed over a two year period. It was directed by Colin Levy who now works at Pixar.

“I’m someone who cares a lot about production value and so we took every opportunity to try to push the quality. I didn’t want it to feel like a student film… I wanted you to forget you weren’t watching a feature!  For a student short, there are a lot of locations and a lot of practical production challenges. We had a an asylum, an alley, an apartment, a hospital room, a psychiatric office, a 50′s car, a bar, an elevator… it was a lot of stuff to organize!” says Levy.

Colin Levy is also known for his direction on the Blender Open Movie projects Sintel. It wan an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free open source 3D creation suite Blender.

Levy comments on the opportunity, “I think the moment that Ton, the producer of the Blender Open Movie projects, approached me about directing Sintel was probably the most fortuitous moment of my career thus far .” Later adding, ” if it wasn’t for Sintel I wouldn’t be at Pixar. One thing leads to another, and I have been very lucky!”

Read the Original short story The Secret Number published in 2000 on Strange Horizons

Read the Tale

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Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided drones and misguided men.