Experimental Film Captures the Beauty of Crystallization in 8K

Thomas Blanchard captured the unstable mixture water and sodium citrate. The solution changes from a liquid to solid when it is subjected even to light agitation. Blanchard captured this process in stunning 8K resolution.

Blanchard shot the project as part of a music video for Sebastien Guierive, titled Bellatrix. Guerive describes Bellatrix, as the bridge song between his older, more electro-oriented album and his new artistic direction for his latest album.

It is more electro in its structure. It’s my favorite song and it’s also one of the top two singles. Guerive says it’s a gateway into a more abstract universe. To give the piece a neoclassical feel, I added a piano. This piece was orchestrated with strings to mix acoustic and synthetic timbres.

The Formation of Crystals

Blanchard was inspired by the idea of an abstract universe. Blanchard describes himself as a French-speaking video artist who loves to explore themes and combine the arts. He decided to apply Guerive’s new composition as it formed into a solid.

Anhydrous sodium acetate (meaning that it does not contain water) is a salt form of Acetic Acid. Blanchard tells PETAPIXEL that he combined baking soda and white vinegar, heating the mixture until the water evaporates. The white powder, which was sodium acetate, that remained after the heat evaporated, Blanchard was able to extract it.

Crystallization of sodium acetate

He used sodium acetate to create crystals. In other words, 100g of water and 120g of sodium acetate. After the mixture had been fully dissolved, Blanchard let it cool. Blanchard states that the liquid left is still a liquid composition, but it’s very unstable.

After soaking sodium acetate in hotwater, you will get an aqueous solution which is supersaturated. Although it can cool to room temperature without crystallizing, it will not stay there. The liquid can form a solid at the slightest disturbance. This is what you see in his footage.

This music video was shot using a Red Helium 8K camera, a Canon MP E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x macro lens, and two LED lights.