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.