Sci-fi and fantasy short movies work best when a great idea is matched by great effects or animation. Watch these exampes of what can be achieved.


Sintel by Colin Levy (2010) (US/Holland) (15m)

Sintel is a fantasy animation by American VFX artist Colin Levy, created on the open source 3D animation software, Blender. Written by Martin Lodewijk & Esther Wouda it resembles a style of Japanese (Anime) computer animation. It is the story of a young girl on an all-consuming quest to save the pet dragon stolen from her - and exact revenge. What Sintel lacks in subtlety is made up for by its beauty, ambition and ending. Levy understands film language.

High Maintenance by Philip Van (2006) (US/Germany) (9m)

A sci-fi short film and Sundance winner with a subtle A.I. feel to it, High Maintenance was written by Scot Simon Biggs and directed by American Philip Van, but produced in Germany. Van says, 'I aimed to make a film about the future but emblematic of our era' and thus we find an attractive middle-class couple at dinner, but with the woman failing to get the romantic responses she wants from her 'man'... could the film be added to my romance pages?

High Maintenance


Pixels by Patrick Jean (2010) (2m) *

French filmmaker Patrick Jean had made several short animations before hitting the big time with the short short film, Pixels. Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer) liked it so much that he struck a deal with Jean to turn his simple, high-concept idea into a Ghostbusters-like action comedy. Pixels sees New York invaded by a bunch of 8-bit creatures (such as Donkey Kong and Pac-Man) before the pixilation spreads and quickly takes over the whole world.

Plurality by Dennis Liu (2012) (US) (14m)

Written by Ryan Condal and directed by Dennis Liu, Plurality has the the sheen of a Hollywood movie and must be applauded for its production values and VFX despite a proclaimed low budget. It is 2023 and New York is under control of a grid that tracks you through your DNA, as well as apparently facial recognition. So when the same person appears in two places one of them must have come back from the future. Not a million miles away from Looper.


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