In its most basic form, "As Organism" is a documentary that ends up explaining its unusual name to its audience. Yet, there's nothing basic about this short film - at all. This flick covers everything from world points of view and ecosystems within the atmosphere - to mother nature being just plain lazy; there's a brain-busting wealth of information laid out in this fast-paced doc, for sure. As it was stated in the film, "As Organism" could lead to an overload of the mind - but as long as you keep a little of what you've seen in the back of your head, your perception of things may forever be altered - even if only slightly.
The setup is a familiar one to anyone who enjoys science docs, mystery series, or anything that combines a tonne of images and sounds with the now-familiar "talking head" expert testimonials. The reality and realism of the film will no doubt vary from person to person - but it has no problem keeping you hooked no matter what you believe. I found a few things a little sketchy but interesting nonetheless. Example? A segment on bees stated that we'd lose half of our food without bees existing, plunging the world into chaos. Although, in my opinion, that is totally true, the context is a little twisted in the film. You see, if there were no bees, the population probably wouldn't have gotten so large, to begin with. There would be no world-shaking problem because the problem wouldn't have existed. I brought this example to light because a lot of "As Organism" is presented in a forced perspective, bending the facts, so they jive with what's being explained onscreen. Is there anything wrong with this? Not at all - it's actually pretty great, and as for the film in its entirety? Excellent. Very well done.
There's not a lot to write about the technical elements. It's a lot of stock footage from various sources, animations, sound effects, and music compiled expertly to tell its story. It's easy to clump together stock assets with a few talking head shots to hold things together - not so easy to do it properly. In fact? It's not easy at all. Transitions, positioning, animations, fades, music, sound effects, the ever-important blending of all these assets takes some real skill to do properly. "As Organism" felt like it handled all this post-work in the best way possible, and the results speak for themselves. This lower-budget short film has outdone plenty of the big guy productions I've seen from a technical standpoint. Easily and without a doubt.
It's quick, it's informative, and it's even fun. Moe Taylor has pieced together a documentary that may even appeal to those who don't usually watch these types of shows. At the very end, there are some stats, including how long it took to put this all together, in the basement, and all I can say to that is this: No doubt it took that long. But it most definitely shows—four out of five stars.