"Please sir, stay calm! Let me play my role while you play yours!" Take a look at this fun, short film about a crop circle tour guide getting into a spat with her tour guests. Cropped is directed by filmmaker Chris Thomas and is an amusing Homespun Yarns film about the "Crop Hops: Circles of Life" tour to go see real crop circles. It's a nicely made short on a very limited budget, focusing on the story and atmosphere more than anything. Yes, the VFX are a bit weak when they show up, but I like the music, and the overall feel of the short is impressive for something this small. Nice work. A good short to get you in a scary movie mood.
All hail Caesar! This is awesome. Filmmaker Matt Reeves posted a must see photo to his Twitter account this weekend to commemorate the start of shooting on the next film, War of the Planet of the Apes. The shot shows a motion-capture person (the ape) approaching a horse with someone on it, on a very murky beach. Over at SlashFilm they say this beach is very reminiscent of the one from the end of the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, when they find the Statue of the Liberty. That would be a pretty obvious connection, but who knows exactly what part they're shooting here. Could be an entirely new scene but it's still very cool, and I'm excited more than ever to see Reeves continue this story. Filming just started on this Apes sequel.
Some interesting development news regarding a science fiction project we've been following for years. Over at Hollywood Reporter, they're reporting that Austin, Texas-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is in negotiations to take over directing Battle Angel, the big sci-fi robot project that James Cameron had been attached to for years. In fact, Cameron is still a part of it, and provides a quote (see below) confirming he's just so busy with the Avatar sequels that he wants to let Rodriguez do it. If you recall, this is the movie that Cameron says he had to wait years for until the VFX were right, so maybe he has faith that Rodriguez can pull that off now. I'm not entirely sure if I'm particularly excited by this choice, but Cameron likes him.
"I'm sorry that you have to grow up in this place. Alone." We haven't featured a sci-fi short film in a while, so here's something to feast your eyes on. SUMER is a 3D animated futuristic short set on a desolate Earth. It's directed by Alvaro García, who has worked in the VFX industry in London for a while. There are a few really nice moments and unique creations in this, though it definitely has a Tron Legacy vibe in the second half but that might just be because of the music. I like where it all leads to at the end, at least there's some hope out there. SUMER played at over 50 festivals, including the Cleveland Film Festival and the Newport Beach Film Festival, picking up awards at a few of them. Watch below, and don't be too harsh on it. Enjoy!
If you're a budding costume designer/fashion designer just waiting for a chance to get your foot in the door in filmmaking, here's your big shot. A global (sci-fi) costume design contest has just launched online for Luc Besson's upcoming sci-fi project Valerian, which is titled in full: Valerian and The City of A Thousand Planets. This is his very big, very epic return to space opera science fiction, and he needs help designing futuristic costumes for a cocktail party scene in the movie. The contest will end up choosing 20 winners, each receiving $1,000 with the potential to have their work created and worn in the film. Read on for info.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Bring him home! It's time! Time to take a journey to Mars. Ridley Scott's new adventure The Martian, adapted from Andy Weir's bestselling novel of the same name, is now in theaters. Matt Damon plays Astronaut Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars alone after a storm during a manned mission to the red planet. He must figure out a way to survive until a crew can return and rescue him. The cast includes Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mackenzie Davis and Donald Glover. So how is it? As good as the book? Once you've seen it, post a comment below with your thoughts on The Martian.
"We control the engine, we control the world. Without that, we have nothing." We're excited to exclusively debut the new artwork by Alice X. Zhang being sold at the New York Comic-Con coming up in New York City next weekend. FAMP Art has officially licensed and will be selling 24"x18" prints of this art for Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer - an archival giclee print on Somerset Velvet fine art paper. FAMP Art, located at booth #2366 at New York Comic-Con 2015, specializes in creating officially licensed, limited edition screen printed posters of foreign films, classics and more. This is their latest poster unveiling - view in full below.
Have you ever wondered why CG explosions are looking better and better? Algorithms! That's how. For a deeper exploration, watch this interesting YouTube video by University of California featuring Theodore Kim explaining one of the algorithms he developed for explosions, specifically the smoke. Kim discusses an algorithm called Wavelet Turbulence, which is a series of swirls to simulate actual smoke. After creating and releasing their algorithm open source, it ended up being used in movies like Avatar, Iron Man 3, Super 8 and Man of Steel. It's a very technical breakdown but still fascinating to hear him explain. Watch below.
"Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven." So it seems Ridley Scott really did catch the sci-fi bug again, and after all the good buzz about his new film The Martian, he seems happy as ever to continue with the Prometheus sequel. In an interview with HeyUGuys discussing The Martian, Ridely reveals that it's not really Prometheus 2 it's actually - Alien: Paradise Lost. Now we've known for a little while that Scott is working on this sequel next, letting Denis Villeneuve take over Blade Runner, and Neill Blomkamp work on what's currently being referred to as "Alien 5". But what's with the new title? Not much else is explained.
It's happening. They're going to fight, and it's going to be epic. Over at Hollywood Reporter, they've posted a full-on article examining the deal that came together between Legendary and Warner Bros. Universal passed on Legendary's most recent iteration of the new King Kong, which is in the works from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts titled Kong: Skull Island. Apparently they didn't agree to the budget, so instead WB said sure, no problem - because they have big plans. They want to make a new trilogy leading to King Kong vs Godzilla. We all know that Batman v Superman is going to be huge next year, why not these monsters? That's why this is such an interesting deal, and it sets everything up to work out nicely across three movies.
"It's time we fight back!" "You are the key, Tris." Summit has debuted the new trailer for The Divergent Series: Allegiant, starring Shailene Woodley as Tris. How about another young adult sci-fi adaptation trailer to compliment that other one from today? This one is yet another sequel in a franchise that is still somehow playing in theaters. The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third movie in the "Divergent" series, and I'm already ready to move on. If it weren't for the cast, this wouldn't have my attention at all. It also stars: Theo James as Four, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Jeff Daniels, Jonny Weston and Kate Winslet. If you're still interested in this series, catch the tease below.
"The others have the ability to inhabit human hosts. They could be anywhere…" Sony Pictures has debuted an official US trailer for the new sci-fi adaptation The 5th Wave, directed by J Blakeson, starring Chloe Moretz as Cassie Sullivan. The film is about an alien invasion of our planet, and the "5th wave" alludes to the progressive waves of their invasion, with the final one being when they apparently finally take over. The other four waves are shown/explained in the trailer. The cast includes Liev Schreiber, Maika Monroe, Nick Robinson, Maggie Siff, Maria Bello, Ron Livingston, Alex Roe & Tony Revolori. This looks okay, but I'm still keeping my expectations very low. "This is our world. Our only choice is to take it back."
"The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle." Every day is a good day to watch a Stanley Kubrick movie. And if you need any inspiration, this excellent poster set from Max Temescu should help give you an idea of what to watch. Max has designed a series of illustrated posters for 11 Kubrick movies, and I really love the designs. Sure, there have been plenty of great Kubrick posters over the years, but the work here is impressive. My favorites are the usual suspects: A Clockwork Orange, 2001 and Dr. Strangelove. See below.
Nice guns. There's a new sci-fi action film in the works, and it's time for our first look. THR has debuted the first photo from the set of the movie SFv1, being directed by Shane Abbess. SFv1 stars Kellan Lutz and Daniel MacPherson in a time of interplanetary colonization. Lutz plays a "mysterious drifter" who befriends a "military contractor", played by MacPherson, in a "global crisis". Vague details, but at least the photo has some cool weapons in it. The project is currently being shown off at the Toronto Film Festival market, with footage being previewed for buyers, even though it's filming in Australia. XYZ Films is repping. See below.