Short Film Showcase: What Has Four Legs, Four Eyes, and Will Blow Your Mind?

This short from WB Production features the work of artist Johannes Stoetter. At first glance you might see a chameleon walking along a branch, but look closely as it begins to change before your eyes. I spoke with Stoetter about his art and how he went about making this piece.

When did you first start painting?

I started painting on canvas when I was 16 years old. As a child I drew a lot and wanted to become an artist. I did my first body-painting experiment in the year 2000.

What attracted you to body paint as a medium for expression?

The attractive thing about body-painting as a medium for expression is to work with people, with something alive. After my first experiment I immediately felt that it was something special and that it will be my way.

How long does it take you to create a scene like this one?

The chameleon took me six hours to paint and about another hour to work on the position of the models and to shoot the perfect photo and also the video. The design of the chameleon took me about five days.

Why does your art focus mostly on themes from nature?

I always had a deep relationship to nature. I grew up in it, I see it as my home, I see it as my religion, my idol. I am aware of its connection to us human beings; we are part of it. Nature offers inspiration, because it is already an artwork and contains so many wonderful colors, shapes, and structures.

Where did the inspiration for this piece come from initially?

The first piece of my animal-illusion-collection was the frog. The idea happened somehow like a coincidence, but actually I always had a special relationship to this animal. After I did this painting and saw how successful it was, I tried to make more animals in this way. So one day I figured out the chameleon.

What are you working on next?

There are always different kinds of works to do for me. At the moment I’m preparing two projects. One is a competition, one is a commercial commission. But also I’m working on the development of similar ideas as the chameleon.

See more from the Short Film Showcase.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic’s mission of inspiring people to care about the planet. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of the National Geographic Society.
Know of a great short film that should be part of our Showcase? Email to submit a video for consideration.

Changing Planet

Meet the Author
Rachel Link curates content for National Geographic's Short Film Showcase. Each week she features films from talented creators that span a range of topics. She hopes that this work will inspire viewers to explore the world around them and encourages filmmakers to keep pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling.