2016 Best in Video/Animation – Troy Morgan & Sarika Tyagi

A Brief History of the Universe

Sarika Tyagi: 

Science as a concept has always enchanted me. It is the art of knowing–the study of answers. It’s difficult not to look up at the night sky, and find yourself fascinated by the luminescent pinpricks that dot our view, and wonder upon our little orb of life that floats, suspended, in a macrocosm of space and atoms.

Like many others, I’ve asked myself one of the most fundamental questions of existence: how did we get here?

At some point, we all ask ourselves one of the most fundamental questions of our existence: how did we get here? Throughout history, prominent figures within the scientific community have attempted to assemble the many puzzle pieces of observation and analyses that may help us answer that question. Through our current understanding of physics, we have been able to construct a cosmic timeline. Our video incorporates a condensed form of this timeline using stop motion film.

I can’t help but admire the ability of film to convey a message to a vast audience. It engages the senses in a way that bring you into a new perspective of the world. It’s a dynamic form of thought; a visual expression of ideas. Film allows me to communicate my ideas in a myriad of ways, and I cherish it as a way for me to be creative and really push myself to come up with something as authentic–as “me”–as possible. It has the ability to inspire, captivate, and unite people who share a common love for visual narrative.

Film, at its core, is a storytelling medium. And what better way to use such a medium to tell the story of the Universe? The story of being? Stop motion involves combining individual frames into a continuous moving picture, and similarly, the cosmic timeline is a collection of an infinite number of events, each their own snapshot. The combination of all these snapshots tell the story of our Universe–a never ending adventure.

Troy Morgan: 

Our inspiration for this video came from my time thinking about how we got here in a literal sense. We both have a deep interest in our universe, its history, and the properties that define it. This alongside our infatuation with the expression of ideas through film led us to this project.

For a long time I was starved of the feeling of creating something that I can be proud of. My painting and drawing skills never crossed the threshold of average. Consequentially, I was regarded (mostly by myself) as a non-artistic person. In the past few years, I discovered the medium of film and found myself able to express my ideas and perspectives with pride. I fell in love with the effect film has on me, and the way it affect others. I fell in love with this medium which allows me to display my ideas and perspectives in a way completely unique to myself. Film allows me to have a voice; it allows me to express emotions and thoughts with a medium whose power eclipses that of ordinary words.

I find joy in the explanations of our world that science is able to provide. Having always had a vested interest in the sciences, Astronomy —a field of science relatively new to me— quickly captured my interest. As a student in an Astronomy class, I felt a need to tell the story of us and our Universe in the best way that I know how. This project is a manifestation of the combination of these two budding passions of mine.