Go behind the scenes of our new short film with Designer Ini Archibong and Artist & Director Hassan Rahim
So many products in consumer audio are one-size-fits-all — mass-produced technology that tries to appease everyone, but inevitably falls short. At Ultimate Ears, we take a completely different path and create customized earphones that integrate seamlessly with each individual’s unique body.
Last year, we collaborated with award-winning Designer Ini Archibong and Artist & Director Hassan Rahim to create a powerful short film that captures this spirit, and celebrates our ability to turn the mundane into something extraordinary.
After nearly a year of hard work, we are extremely proud to present our new short film, “Odyssey In Sound.” We spoke with Director Hassan Rahim to get an inside look at the creative process, and learn about the inspiration behind the film.
What initially excited you about the project?
Ultimate Ears was started by artists that wanted the ultimate experience — they wanted the best sound, the best quality, and were trying to push the bar. What's exciting to me about this project is the quality of the technology in CSX Earphones, and I wanted to explore what it's like to experience the next dimension of sound. Most people look at earphones from a more technological point of view, but what music and sound is really about is accessing a different part of your brain.
The film is about the internal journey that you go through when you're 16 years old and you hear a CD for the first time — the journey it takes you through in your mind. As an artist, it's the journey you want art to take you through with your imagination. It's about the layers of your mind that you can unlock with art and music, and showing that in an emotive way.
Did the photographs by Mathieu Bosa inspire the visual direction of the film?
Yes, you can see where we pulled from it in some of the imagery and shots in the film. Looking at the photographs, it doesn't look like an earbud and it's not a perfectly round Dieter Rams inspired thing, but it’s designed to fit the human shape. We wanted to focus on organic shapes and show the beauty of the inner workings of the earphones.
How did the pandemic affect the production of the film?
We were originally going to shoot this in Berlin, and we had a whole production crew in there. But we couldn't get into the country, and couldn't figure out the travel so we ended up shooting in New York. we couldn't even fly someone into New York city from LA actually even without a two week quarantine because of COVID restrictions. As far as the production and the planning, it was a big challenge. There were a lot of other ideas and details we had to adjust, which is typical with most productions, but with COVID it was very tough.
So this was created when the sensation of being trapped was very real worldwide — we literally couldn't leave. There's sort of a longing that teenagers have when you want to escape to another planet, whether you got in a fight with your mom, your girlfriend broke up with you, or whatever is happening. You want to throw on your headphones and go to another place. That was the driving concept behind the film, the idea of escapism and the idea that “this is a trip.”