Director’s Comments

The idea for MET STATE came from an ongoing fascination with derelict space -- a place that is frozen in time, but is nevertheless subject to incremental change. "Met State" the insane asylum was a particularly compelling location because of its texture, character, and of course its haunting history.

I was really interested in using animation techniques in live-action space so as to experience the architecture and environment of the asylum in a way that subverted conventional perception. While I originally thought the film should have been much slower and more plodding, the animation of the space made it relentless and unearthly -- much the way a medicated or excited patient might have seen it.

There was no shooting script -- it was all about experiencing the space organically and intuitively.

Some of the scenes (the "dancing" birds for instance) were definitely synched to the music, but nearly everything else more or less lined up as you see it. I chose the Danse Macabre because the film felt like the morbid waltz the song title suggests -- and then I was shocked when it synched so tightly. I later found out that Danse Macabre was actually played frequently over the speakers for the patients. Creepy. It confirmed the theory of natural rhythm to the architecture. It also made me question the sanity of the institution itself ... Danse Macabre is probably one of the most disturbing pieces of music one could play for mentally unsettled minds.

Bryan Papciak


Some great references about Metropolitan State Hospital:

The Hospital of Seven Teeth by Julia Solis

Met State Stories at Good Jobs Sucking