Project Description

The Giants

Alex Le Guillou brought his vast experience researching ecosystems to a silver-screen profile of a legend of environmental activism.

Toward the end of 2021, Director Laurence Billiet (General Strike) asked Visual Artist Alex Le Guillou to collaborate on her new documentary, The Giants, which explores the intertwined fates of trees and humans in a cinematic portrait of folk hero and gay icon Bob Brown, who brought attention to green politics in Australia and abroad. The film interweaves Brown’s story with the lifecycle of the ancient trees for which he fights and presents groundbreaking research revealing the forest to be a complex, intelligent organism.

With plenty of previous experience conducting graphic research about trees in his Artificial Visions series, Le Guillou eagerly began creating sequences to illustrate different tree behaviours, such as growth, communication, interconnection, protection, and water circulation.

Le Guillou worked with Terra Luma–the team of Leonard Hambrecht and Arko Lucieer of the University of Tasmania–to process Lidar data captured from the ground and by drone. While shooting the film, Le Guillou also collaborated with the on-site crew to capture images in order to reconstruct models using photogrammetry.

Once Le Guillou processed and optimised point clouds, he used Notch and Unreal Engine to experiment visually very quickly and retain a vital sense of spontaneity through the creative process. The film saw release in Australian cinemas this past April, receiving positive reviews from The Guardian and several Australian publications.

“Notch enabled me to quickly propose many different ideas that brought a spirit of experimentation to our graphic treatments. I’m very proud to have been able to contribute to such an important project with a noble theme.”

Alex Le Guillou, Visual Artist

Additional press coverage:
The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Writers, Directors, & Producers: Laurence Billiet & Rachael Antony
Production: General Strike & Matchbox Pictures

3D Forest Scanning: Arko Lucieer & Leonard Hambrecht (Univesity of Tasmania)
Forest Animation: Alex Le Guillou