Crystal Abyss: Secrets of the Deep
Jan 19
Feb 01 2024
exhibition online

*Premieres January 19*

Set in the eerie, silent world beneath the ocean’s surface, Emily Switzer’s ‘Crystal Abyss: Secrets of the Deep’ takes us on an enchanting journey to meet the many creatures that may or may not live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean. This short animated film combines wonder, humor, and a touch of uncanniness while exploring the fascinating realm of deep-sea life.

Elegant jellyfish, glowing shrimp, and giant squids all make an appearance, as well as a few other creatures that defy explanation. As the short film unfolds we come to appreciate the cast of creepy critters, despite their unsettling appearances, as possessors of a radiant, other-worldly beauty that is unlike anything else on earth.

This non-narrative driven animation explores the possibilities of executing an illustrative 2D style using 3D generated images alongside other digital animation techniques. Additionally, by incorporating the use of AI video tools, exciting new animation approaches can be introduced so that the final results mimic the unexpected and surprising nature of deep sea life.

The film’s visual style is reminiscent of deep-sea exploration footage that can only be captured via specialty submarines and drones. This very specific filmic style which is dictated by necessity lends all deep-sea research footage a distinct appearance, which often reminds one of found footage horror films. Recreating that style for this animation, and combining it with playful character design for the sea creatures, creates a fun juxtaposition between the menacing dark and the cute and radiant fish that live within it.

This film serves as a tribute to the boundless marvels of the ocean. It is a homage to the ocean’s role as Earth’s last great frontier, a realm that continues to captivate our imaginations and challenge our understanding of life in all its forms.


Emily Switzer


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Emily Switzer
A glowing jellyfish floating in the ocean's dark depths
'Crystal Abyss: Secrets of the Deep' by Emily Switzer