DIY filmmakers, low-budget special effects aficionados, and Blade Runner fans: drop what you’re doing and take a peek at this incredible-looking short film, XXIT. Filmed in the studio and on the streets of San Francisco with relatively low-end handheld cameras and produced by the effects house that’s responsible of The Walking Dead’s visual effects (the sci-fi sounding Stargate Studios), it’s an action-packed, high-tech little powerhouse.
It’s only about nine minutes long, but it packs a stronger punch – and sports better visuals – than many recent Hollywood thrillers and sci-fi/horror epics. Yet it was made for a tiny fraction of the cost. Most sci-fi flicks are out of the park expensive and almost invariably shot on film, in crazy locations with exorbitant sets. Queer film director Tina Scorzafava has a great quote about making movies for peanuts: When dealing with action sci-fi, sometimes “you need to spring for cashews.” It seems that the folks at Stargate have found that magical budgetary middle ground – and that’s the end of the nut analogy.
The plot, such as it is, involves an ass-kicking blonde (Nicollette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives fame), running around a very Blade Runner-like world with a mix of current and crazy-futuristic technology. There’s a twist and, of course, it raises more questions than it answers – but that’s half the point. It’s a gorgeous, mysterious little piece designed to grab your attention — and it certainly has mine.
Underwire has also posted an awesome “making of” video that has this film school geek’s heart aflutter with excitement. Now, where can I get 20K to nab one of those cameras? I’ve had this awesome zombie flick script that I’ve been dying to make ever since I was last allowed near my alma mater’s editing room.
In all seriousness, I’m excited to see whatever comes out of the studio next. Maybe this will generate enough buzz for the producers to start thinking about developing it into a feature.
On an entirely different note in geeky girl power news, The Mary Sue recently reported on 93-year old Dr. Brenda Milner’s winning the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize (given to “women with outstanding achievement in the field of biomedical research”).
Milner also win’s The Weekly Geek’s prestigious Badass of the Week award, for breaking boundaries in science and culture, while also remaining incredibly classy.