Our House is on Fire is a live action and 3D hybrid student film directed by Micaa Thomas. This film consisted of a team of over 20 artists in visual effects, motion media, and film sponsors. The project's goal was to bring light to the harmful and nearly irreversible impact of the world leader’s and corporation’s selfish actions which has altered the stability of the world’s climate in response to Greta Thunberg's speech from Ted Talk, "The Disarming Case to Act Right Now on Climate Change".


More information about Micaa's film can be found at her website.




Tools : 

Houdini |  Mantra 

My Contribution: 

I am responsible for lighting two scenes for this film: the oil mining and the coral reef shots. I was given different references at to the mood and time of day that was desired for each shot.


For the oil mining shot, I carefully observed the hardness of the shadows and the exposure of the sunlight to mimic real world references. For the coral reef shot, I studied how light goes through water and hits coral reefs. 



The biggest challenge I faced when lighting these shots was with the underwater coral reef. I have never lit anything "underwater" and this proved to be a challenge. I had to really study how light traveled through water and hits the corals. I saw that the colors of the light changed depending on the depth of the water and all the references I studied were flooded with light. Getting the water to look hazy and contaminated was challenging as well. With the help of FX artists, this was all possible. 


Inspirations and References:

Final Thoughts:

Being a part of this team was amazing! I got to work with many different artists across the pipeline to help create a beautiful film with a powerful message. This was one of the first projects I've worked on solely lighting environments all in Houdini, and I learned a lot especially in workflow. This film is currently being entered into film festivals around the world.