“Sensation“ by Kimberly and Wendy Willming

Crew Credits:
Written and Directed- Kimberly Willming Produced by Wendy Willming
Starring – Diana Gettinger, Clint Brink, Amy Perkins
Cinematography – Jason Honeycutt
Visual Effects – Opiyo Okeyo
Music and Sound Design – Kevin De Leon
Make-up – Josiah Cracraft
Hair – Mimi Medina
Edited – Kimberly Willming
Title Design – Brandon Moats
Production Assistants – Brady Serwitz, Dylan Avnet
Background – Shaun Avnet, Dylan Avnet, Elaine Green, Rhoda Pell, Marc Strom
Photography – Jill Beth Hannes

Writer/ Director Kimberly and Producer Wendy Willming are twin sisters based in Los Angeles. Together they founded the production company “Duplicity Studios.“ The sisters have produced short film in addition to working on blockbuster projects like Thor, Hulu’s East Los High, and The Avengers. Kimberly and Wendy were kind enough to tell us a bit about their work and this recent project entitled “Sensation.”

Visit their website at: Duplicity Studios

Kimberly and Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. First of all, what’s the premise of “Sensation?”

Sensation started as a question: What if androids in the future were able to download a human sense much like we can download an app in 2015? Influenced by the style of Metropolis and Bladerunner, the short film captures a defining moment between two machines who want nothing more than to feel. In this particular instance, the “upgrade” between our female and male androids gives these characters the ability to taste. Though it may seem trivial to us, it is a momentous occasion for the androids. Not only do they experience a human sense, they see each other for the first time.
As our world becomes more and more reliant on technology, Sensation asks the ultimate question for future generations: What is “human”?

A very interesting point of view. So what is “human?”

Reading a book or a newspaper, not an iPad or tablet. Disconnecting from your phone or computer for a few hours – things that were normal for every human being once upon a time are now becoming obsolete. It’s crazy to think that technology has led us so far from certain things so quickly.

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Can you describe your personal aesthetic and artistic vision?

Our point of view is heavily based in classic cinema thanks to our father raising us with such films as Black Narcissus and Kiss Me, Deadly. Seeing these classics early on are still important to how we artistically view the world and what we want to see on a big screen. That being said, we want to instill classic storytelling techniques into modern filmmaking and we hope other people are drawn to that vision just as much as we are. The great filmmakers of the 20th Century possessed a dexterity and deep insight into their work that we as a culture sometimes forget or may never get to experience. It’s unfortunate that film and entertainment has become more about consuming viewers and profit. We want to preserve the ideals of classic filmmaking through contemporary stories, stylized imagery and compelling characters that function under the pressures of the present.

How does this short film fit in with that vision?

Sensation was a launching pad for our style and an idea we wanted to explore. It became an exercise on building a world in under three minutes that was both intriguing and left the audience wanting more. We want our viewers to ask questions; to notice things we take for granted every day. Like taking a bite of pie and truly tasting it. Instead of enjoying our senses these days, we want to take a pretty picture of everything we see, eat, or feel so we can advertise ourselves on social media.

Why did you specifically chose the 1920’s for this story?

We thought about androids and if they had a chance to re-design our world, what era would they choose from our history? It was an exciting and exuberant time. Technology was booming, fashion and sex was thrilling and becoming more and more culturally acceptable, and the world was revolutionized. It was America’s time to exhibit itself to the rest of the world. Everyone was in competition to be better than the other, to show off their money or their lavishness. It’s similar to the social media and entertainment market of today.

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As the world becomes more reliant on technology, how do you feel about the ubiquity of Social Media with regards to human connection?

In our opinion, there’s two ways to look at social media: its value and its destruction. Yes, it connects us to everything and everyone, but it also weakens so much of our physical and social interactions. Even though it helps gain viewership in some ways, it can often feel cold and very distant – much like a one-sided relationship you have to maintain. It’s all very exhausting once you think about it.

Thank you very much, is there anything else we should know?

Phew, that was fun! Thank you! Let’s see… we are twin sisters! We have two cats! We live in Los Angeles! We have coffee addictions which explains the exclamation points! Thank you so much for the opportunity to share our film.

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“Sensation“ by Kimberly and Wendy Willming – Video courtesy of the artists

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