Blomkamp Light: Sci-Fi Short "Lunar"
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Blomkamp Light: Sci-Fi Short "Lunar"

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | October 30, 2013 | Comments ()


So since Neill Blomkamp managed to parlay a short piece that was halfway between short film and trailer into a deal that gave us District 9, the atmospheric but light on plot science fiction short has emerged as the way special effects guys try to make that leap to the next level. Of course, every time one of them does it, it further dilutes the pool so that increasingly this is just one of those things special effects guys do rather than something that signifies an up and coming go getter who should be given the reins to a film.

I kind of like them, but then I’d watch a film about the eroticism of sumo wrestling if you could credibly convince me that there was a science fiction angle.

Here’s the latest, a short called Lunar by Tyson Wade Johnston:

See and here’s the problem we get to with this trend, or on the other hand maybe this is exactly why it’s a productive trend overall. The special effects are mostly not so great, while there is no appreciable story either. I’m not saying you have to tell me Hamlet in seven minutes, but there has to be something to hang your emotional hat on, otherwise we’re just looking at disjointed glimpses of a world with little to make it distinct.

Just because someone can write the most beautiful paragraph of prose you’ve ever seen doesn’t mean that they can write a novel, but if they can’t produce that paragraph, I wouldn’t bet on the book deal.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • juzzlehizzle

    This is what happens when we value 'Cool' over content

  • Yocean

    This is not even half a story, more like 1/25th of a story. If you wanna do it as a teaser, do it as a teaser, don't pose it as an actual story. Also, it lost me when the dude went on killing spree on guards. Without really seeing what these guards did and how much control they had over their actions, you can't root for him at all. It would have been more interesting he gets some kind of power as a result of their experiment which gives him way to escape and that's the tease we see. And really? Stealing bread is enough to send you to moon prison? So we forgot Les Miserable ever was written? Come on now. That won't happen in 40 years. Nothing realistic about this at all. All style and no substance or story. And acting and dialogue suckkkkkkkked

  • bleujayone

    While in film school, a guest speaker who specialized in special effects had this to say and yes I am paraphrasing from memory but I'd like to think I remember the point.

    Special effects are the garnish to the meal that is the movie. It is there to add spice, seasoning and enhancement to that which is already there. If there is no meat in the story and acting to begin with then you are expecting the audience to dine on a plate of salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard and butter. It might have flavor, but the audience will be left unfulfilled. A quality-made movie will not have effects that stand out from the rest, but instead stand shoulder to should with every other element of filmmaking interwoven and interdependent becoming much like an ingredient to a recipe or formula. If the story is good, you could have bad or even no special effects and it will still stand on its own. On the other hand even if the effects are top notch, if the story is poor they will be quickly forgotten and fall into obscurity. Effects should not be looked at to rescue a poorly concieved and made movie, for it will not work that way. Real effects artists do not look at themselves as movie-making rock-stars. They will look at themselves as no more and no less important as the costumer, lighting technician, make-up or set designer. It is all a collaborative effort and we all live and die by our collective success. Any movie that is thought for its effects first above everything else is a failure as a film. Effects shouldn't distract one from the movie, it should enhance it and convince you even if only for a moment that what you're seeing is real and not just an illusion.

  • BWeaves


    My favorite specials effects are the ones I don't know are there. Like in Gone With The Wind. I was blown away after seeing a special on PBS about all the special effects that went into that movie.

  • The effects aren't the story. The story is the story. If you have no story to tell, no amount of effects will help.

    /ignores the Transformers series

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    There was a Transformer series? I thought it began AND ENDED with Transformers: The Movie?

  • I think it was called "How Racist/Sexist can Michael Bay Get?!"

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