Canopy is set in a bleak dystopian future. Barren from some type of disaster, there are dilapidated houses, cars, and just faint memories of a living town.
At the beginning, we get introduced to our characters, a couple who, for lack of a better term, are “Zombified.” The two are carrying an empty baby stroller, which seems to serve some significance to the story, though I’ve seen this about 4-5 times and still cannot determine what it means. The short runs as a music video but holds a lot of visual engagement that I had a lot of fun analyzing.
Cinematically, the short is very well done. I really liked the tone and location chosen to bring it to life. It’s neat to see the contrast of the snowy mountains while they are in somewhat of a desert. The director chose to keep the story more secretive, not telling you everything and leaving a lot to speculation. Some things like the location, who these people are, and what is causing them to act this way are intentionally left out so that you can focus only on the moments presented in the short and speculate on everything else after seeing it.
The camerawork is flawless and keeps you engaged, panning at the right moment with multiple shots that could be in a feature-length film. It has a clear vision from the director and is helmed beautifully. The lighting and color correction could be toned down a little; there is too much of a pink hue in some moments, which made the shots look a little too filtered. It’s edited very precisely as well and is impactful when it wants to be. I enjoyed the setup for the final moments in the short, which I feel paid off.
With regards to the ambiguity of the story, it can sometimes be challenging to determine what the director is actually trying to say. Is this symbolic of our world today? Is it a harsh reminder of what could be if we keep on the track humanity has been following? Is it a look into how we interact with people vs. how we engage online? I still am wrapping my head around what my interpretation is of certain moments. I believe that if there were even an additional 2 minutes to help the story expand, there would have been more room to explore those ideas, if that even was what the director was going for.
Maybe the point of the short is just to show cool visuals and tell a fun, twisted tale. I tend to look too closely at art and analyze every frame, and, with Canopy, it plays as being both a fun short on the surface as well as something with depth and symbolism. It just depends on what you want to take from it. Although I didn’t quite feel like they explored enough of their story and some color correction may have been needed, I think it was technically spot-on and definitely worth a viewing.