top of page
  • Holly Willis

After Effects


She came out of nowhere, says Steve. No way we’re liable. He wants me to call. Nothing doing. I’m creating snowfall and adding it to my solid layer to make the landscape they want. Aiming for real, but with cinema effect. Mountaintop with flurries of snow. Beautiful snow. Yesterday was seascape with layers of fog. They’re always asking for the impossible and you know what? I continue to deliver. Uncheck the composite with original box, and there’s my snow, right on the top layer. I’m too busy, I say. I choose White for my solid color. He does insurance. I do laundry. That’s the deal. Accident or no. Plus, it wasn’t even my accident! I pay close attention to the wind speed, dial it up and click transform. I can’t tell if he’s joking. The nerve. Where’s my lunch, says the girl. She’s wearing her cut-offs – nice and clean thank you very much! – and a shred of cloth for a shirt. Put something on I say. I’m rendering. Look at this snow! It sifts down in soft drifts. It’s too hot! she says. Cut it out, I say. You know the rules. I really have to say I love this effect. It works on the Z axis and you can put the emitter just about anywhere. I do the kids. He does the taxes. Cooking? Well, lunches are DIY to my mind. Check the fridge, I yell but she’s already out the door, the limping an after effect of the accident. I bring down the opacity. The opacity’s what makes it look so real. On the plus side, he reads to her at night. Currently Slaughterhouse Five. He does all the voices. Sometimes he cries. You think it’s better at 100%, but nope. You gotta bring it down to around 60% or so, the opacity. He reads, Sooner or later I go to bed, and my wife asks me what time it is. She always has to know the time. I think I’d like to know the time, too, but who has time to ask? I lick my lips and taste detergent. I shouldn’t be so hard on him. Sooner or later he’ll be done with me! The playback’s laggy and I’m watching the particles lurch frame by frame. I adjust Birth Size and Death Size for my snow particles, reducing the differential, speeding things up. No car. Are we supposed to walk? In this heat? Just call them up, I yell. We have comprehensive. I press command save. I twirl down the gravity and the snow just jitters, shivering in midair. Is it mid-riff or mid drift? That landscape of white belly flesh?


Holly Willis is a writer and filmmaker whose work tends toward the experimental, from handmade feminist film projects to experiments in poetry. Her writing spans arts journalism, creative nonfiction and more scholarly forms; she wrote the essays that comprise the catalog Björk Digital, as well as Fast Forward: The Future(s) of the Cinematic Arts and New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image. Her creative nonfiction has been published in River Teeth, New Delta Review, The Normal School, and carte blanche.

78 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All



bottom of page