Destination: Planet Negro is by the critically acclaimed writer-director and University of Kansas film professor, Kevin Willmott, who previously directed the alternate history mockumentary, CSA: The Confederate States of America (2004) (see below). Destination is a feature length sci-fi film that satirizes the low-budget sci-fi films of the 1950’s and feels to be inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story, “Way Up in the Middle of the Air” from his 1950 collection, The Martian Chronicles.
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CSA: The Confederate States of America is a mockumentary posing the “What If?” scenario of the South winning the Civil War, the Confederates becoming the dominant force in North America and presented as a contemporary, fictional British documentary. Directed by Kevin Willmott, CSA premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and was picked up for distribution by IFC Films. Even ten years later, this film is exposing the discomfort and inability of even contemporary, educated New Yorkers of even discussing “the reality of race” in this society.
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Storms of Carnage, a fan film based on the fictional Black Panther/T’Challa comic book character from Marvel Comics. Written, directed and edited by D. A. Jackson. And when they say carnage, they mean it. Also stick around to the end for a nice surprise. Produced by Workhorse Pictures.
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Here’s the trailer for Oya Rise of the Orisha. These filmmakers crowdfunded on Indiegogo in 2013 to make their film. The writer and director, Nosa Igbinedion, says of the project, he wanted take these African deities and resurrect them for the modern day, as superheroes. Get into it. http://www.oyariseoftheorishamovie.com/
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Noise Gate, an amazing experimental foray into Cyberpunk and Afrofuturism with an Anime feel, by the equally amazing Vim Crony! I taste the flavors of 2001, Star Wars, The Terminator, Hardware, The Matrix, Mad Max and The Last Angel of History, but put together in a way that is definitely a hat-tip but all its own! Get into it! http://vimcrony.com/
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A well made parody of Ken Burns documentaries and satire on NASA’s space flight programs and U. S. styled segregation.
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Just like I remember it…
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One of my favorite artists, one of my favorite music videos and one of my favorite bass lines.
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Though I find the depiction of Storm a bit too Americanized for my tastes, I do appreciate that they did a skit on her at all. Yay for being visible! Not so yay for being seen like any other typical depiction of a pop-American female type.
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“Brixton has degenerated into a disregarded area inhabited by London’s new robot workforce – robots built and designed to carry out all of the tasks which humans are no longer inclined to do. The mechanical population of Brixton has rocketed, resulting in unplanned, cheap and quick additions to the skyline. Director, Kibwe Tavares”
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Check out this intriguing day in the life of a young man withering away into post-post modern zombiism (that’s post “modern romero”, and post “post modern danny boyle”). maybe one day it will swing around so far, as to bring it back to the now, retro halperin brothers and lugosi’s “white zombie”.
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Obviously influenced by Let The Right One In, a great 5 minute horror short with a vampire theme. “More Than You Can Chew” by Dan Trachtenberg.
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Joining the ever growing parade of short films that exhibit the skills and artistry of HD equipment and desktop vfx artists/filmmakers that go viral on the web comes, “The Raven”. Produced by Ricardo de Montreuil & Eliz Eskeranli and directed by Ricardo de Montreuil and with visual effects by Aaron Burns and 3D modeling and animation by Juan Somarriba and Francisco Concha, this short, shot on the RED and budgeted at $5K tells the story of Chris Black, “a man who possesses a power that could lead to the destruction of the current regime, and (how) they will stop at nothing to destroy him. ” This one seems like the calling card for a feature film.
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I came across this article this morning, while doing some research on frequent Tool music video director and stop motion animator, Adam Jones. Matthew Santoro, a fan of Jones’ and another collaborator with the band, is on the road to completing his first feature film, entitled “Offline”. So far, it is a low budget scifi tale about a dystopian future, run by a corporation – a favorite theme of mine. The idea was intended to stop at being a short film, but has now expanded into a feature length story.

Here is what the artist had to say about the project, from http://www.toolband.com: “My goal was to make a dark and gritty sci-fi/horror based cybernetic dream experience type thing with a couple of good friends, a camera, some duct tape, and a computer. Pure Gorilla as they call it. Adam Jones was a huge influence during this creative process. I look at him like a master Jedi and director/creator of all things awesome, his work pretty much speaks for itself. I remember as a kid watching the TOOL videos that Adam directed and being completely enthralled almost mesmerized like a moth to a flame. I’ve never seen anything like this before but I know one thing… I like it. His work opened my mind to another plane that I didn’t even know existed. Later in life we became friends and when I told him I wanted to direct my own film he gave me an important piece of advise that I’ve kept with me everyday of production. He basically said to look at every shot like a piece of art. If your going to put your name on something make sure its something YOU are happy with (emphasis on YOU) because if you truly consider it to be a piece of art then in a way it is a reflection of yourself.”
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“Moon”. I saw this indie SF flick a month ago and was very impressed with the story, the acting, production design, effects and directing. It is obviously heavily influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddyssey in that it has a talking/thinking computer and so much so that it was actually shot in the same studio (Shepperton Studios) as the original film. This is the first feature length film by Duncan Jones and the budget was under $5 million dollars, which makes it low budget. It stars Sam Rockwell in a multi-visual performance.
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Just got wind of the this new film trailer today for “Attack the Block”. It looks like a cross between The Goonies and Independence Day, just Council Estate, South London stylee. Produced by Edgar Wright (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and written and directed by Joe Cornish in his feature film debut, the story centers around a group of teens defending their neighborhood from an alien invasion.

From the producers of SHAUN OF THE DEAD and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD comes ATTACK THE BLOCK, a fast funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing estate into a sci-fi playground. A tower block into a fortress under siege. And teenage street kids into heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space.
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“THE COURIER”. “The tale of an extraordinarily dedicated Courier, and the lengths he will go to make sure he delivers on time. Not even an armada of despondent robots will stop him.”

A very cool, SF anime comedy by Aussie, Simon Verden. Made on a shoestring budget and a year and half later – one man 3D design team and you get a pretty sweet film!
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It seems to me that SF filmmaking is quite popular on the web these days. Here are a few shorts recently discovered on the Internet by me:
“EXIST”. “Two men accidentally find themselves in the middle of the worlds first encounter with extraterrestrial life.”

19 year old, Australian born and raised filmmaker, Tyson Johnston, produced this new short with the “alien abduction” theme. Stars Curtis Simmons and Alain Singaye.

Interview on blog Bloody Disgusting.
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“E.T.A”. “Deep space. The pilot of a Weyland-Yutani cargo ship waits impatiently for the return of his vessel on Earth… Exhausted, suffering from loneliness and missing occupation, his only traveling companions : onboard computer, television, pizzas cardboards, coffee… but, by the way, is he really so lonely?… “

A 3D animated short/coffee commercial? Not really but a great riff off of ALIEN. Its really beautifully designed by Henrik Bjerregaard Clausen & JunkWorks Productions.
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“REFUGE”. “To survive a sudden climate change, the poor are forced into underground refuges for survival. But, their only true chance of survival is getting back out.”

Created in 2007, and low on the VFX (It has none), but there is something about SF that attempts a high idea story that I really enjoy. Reminds me a little of Soylent Green, except they’re not eating people, they’re covering their bodies with them. Yum.
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This is a short film I came across on YouTube in 2009. I was impressed with its stop motion action fight sequences and its super 8 film look. The zombies ain’t half bad either! Created by Jayel Draco (Jonathan Lourenco) and Kyle Vargas (Christopher Covelli) – go figure. Enjoy!
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I really do love short films, especially when they are speculative fiction films. Here’s a really well made short by Spy Films, a production house out in Canada and by director and VFX supervisor, Trevor Cawood. The vfx and post-production for this film were done by The Embassy in Canada. These are the same folk who did vfx for District 9 and Iron Man. Sound design and mix by Vapor.

There is no narration or real dialogue to help out but the meaning of the inanimate “shadow-like” structures lead to many different interpretations. Are the elements following the people around figments of their imagination? Are they symbolic of their personalities? Are they some kind of punishment for the lowly souls who move through the world with almost literally a weight on their back?
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Genre film lovers. Check out this french zombie film. “La Horde”. Yes, its a generic, b movie plot, folks trapped in a building by (unexplained) flesh hungry zombie masses who are trying to get in and eat them. However, the characters (all anti-heroes and all complex as much can be in a genre film) are mostly folk of color or eastern european immigrants, the human on zombie fight scenes are well shot and energetic, the visual fx are off the chain, the storyline and conflicts (and acting) are tense and believable and there is even some slight social commentary within the context of the story. All in all, its a fast paced, dark, bloody, violent romp of a time. Not perfect, but definitely worth seeing.
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