Back in 2005 an unknown director named Neill Blomkamp made a science fiction short with a few friends, a modest budget, and a Canadian production team. The short, titled Alive in Joburg, blew away many powerful people with its premise and blend of CG effects and documentary stock footage. Included in those powerful people was mega-director Peter Jackson, who decided to aid Blomkamp in adapting his low-budget short into a larger film called District 9, which turned into an overnight success.
Now, independent writers, directors, and 3D render artists everywhere ran back to their typewriters to come up with interesting and original new ideas, knowing that Hollywood is turning to them for a fresh start to an industry bogged down with sequels and reboots.
There are hundreds of nice attempts, but none of them have really stuck out as something that could be expanded into a major film. A year ago, a Uruguayan science fiction short titled Panic Attack!, by Fede Alvarez was the subject of a Hollywood bidding war, in which Sam Raimi got the rights to adapt the short. Now, it looks like we’re getting another great short for Hollywood to set their sights on with Ricardo de Montreuil’s The Raven.
The film is set in a dystopian future (2074), where futuristic robot cops have the authority to take down those who break the law with extreme force. The only person who has the potential to change everything is Chris Black, aka The Raven. Black has supernatural abilities that, if used in the right way, could save the free world.
The short plays like an episode of Heroes without all of that pesky dialogue, with the feel of a few video games like InFamous and Prototype. With a script by de Montreuil and Antonio Pérez, the visual effects are the thing to take a look at, as they are absolutely stunning, and would even make Michael Bay blush. The film had a whopping budget of $5,000.
It’s ideas and films like this which should be scooped up by major studios, as original and innovative ideas like these are pretty rare when we’re hitting a third reboot of The Incredible Hulk franchise. Check out the video below, help bring awareness by Liking the short on Facebook, and hope that this film will turn as many heads as Blomkamp’s short once did.