What are we left with when a person disappears?

Project of the Month: On Your Way


And suddenly you are in free fall. Thomas Sali has long been pondering on the question of life and where people go after it. He shares his answer with us through his VFX short film On Your Way.



Thomas: "The theme of the film actually came early on - the concrete images followed bit by bit and were sometimes difficult to wring out of one's own thoughts. The fact that I wanted to deal with the topic "life" was actually an idea from my childhood. As a child I had lost my mother in a car accident and my view of what happened was very distorted - how do you tell what's going on in your head?

I had put together a kind of explanation for myself of how it must be when people leave. The fact that a person disappears is difficult to grasp - even today. To look at it only from a physical and biological point of view - "we come into the world and die sometime" - would somehow not do justice to it. So this cannot be the whole truth.

I mean it is the connections we make that make life worth living. We share and learn, give and take. That came a little bit closer to the idea of life. And anyway, what does "a person disappears" mean? I think this question contains a comforting thought, which is, that we simply cannot know. Scientifically yes, but as I said before, this cannot be the whole truth.


A human themselves may disappear, but the connections remain. Therein lies the pain, but also the beauty. We tried to capture that in On Your Way. Thoughts, emotions, knowledge, all that flies around us in On Your Way in the form of loose fragments. We collect them, assemble them and use them to construct our very own personality. In the film, the rocket is created from them, which cannot save us from death, but which we can pass on. Other people will put these parts back together again - in their own way. But that also means that you never disappear completely, but parts of you continue to exist for a long time. That, on the other hand, is very comforting for me personally.

The production of the film was an exciting time and ranged from parachute jumps for the actors and parts of the team to interactive rear projections on the set, which made post-production a lot easier.


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