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Must Watch: Amazing Sci-Fi Short 'R´ha' Introduces Aliens vs Machine

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January 11, 2013
Source: Vimeo

R´ha Sci-Fi Short

"Initializing Motivation Protocol." Whoa. We've featured many weird and fascinating sci-fi shorts over the years, but nothing like this. Since debuting a few days ago, I've received numerous emails alerting me to this "amazing" new short titled R´ha, written & directed & created by 22-year-old Kaleb Lechowski. Part of the reason it's so brilliant is it has nothing to do with humans. It's about an alien being interrogated, dare I say tortured motivated by a robot trying to acquire coordinates. It's chilling, but impressively well-made and plays like a great opener to a full feature film. No question Hollywood will be interested. Get it while it's hot!

"You are nothing!" Thanks to Ronny for the tip, hosted on Vimeo. R´ha is an animated science-fiction short movie created by Kaleb Lechowski during the first year of his studies. The only synopsis there is for this short: "A member of an alien race is being interrogated and tortured by a machine." All the work was done by Lechowski, except for the sound, by Hartmut Zeller, and the voice acting, by Dave Masterson. I love all the unique, original touches in this, it feels fresh though inspired by so much great sci-fi of the past. For more on the R´ha project or Lechowski, visit his Tumblr blog or their Facebook page. What do you think?

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Reader Feedback - 51 Comments

1

an alien with a cobra head will thats different

hg on Jan 11, 2013

2

I love it and hate it at the same time, because I drew an alien that pretty much looked exactly like this back in high school for friend who wanted some concept art for an alien race he called "Serpents". Thought it was pretty original at the time, but now it seems I'm not the only one, oh well.

armeetapus16 on Jan 12, 2013

3

It's called a Morphic Field. You think of something and it goes into the planet's collective conscious then get's picked up by someone else on the other side of the planet. Example: monkey on Island One decides to use a rock as a tool and eventually monkey on Island Two, hundreds of miles away comes up with the same idea. Morale of the story, if you come up with a great idea, patent it before the Morphic Field sends your idea to someone else who will actually get off their ass, make it happen, then become a billionaire for you. LOL!

eltiberon on Jul 9, 2013

4

Morphic Field? I call BS... Then again... I've had this happen to me... I never heard or read about a "Rocket Raccon" but I drew up a Fox that's uses an Ak-47 as his weapon, I only made him do one somersault and that was the end of his career

Saros7 on Jan 4, 2014

5

The Matrix meets BattleStar Galactica... pretty cool

Tester on Jan 11, 2013

6

Quick, go back in time and save the alien Connors!

Dan Hibiki on Jan 11, 2013

7

I was just thinking that. The plot just rip-offs Terminator but it happens to aliens... what a twist!!

Baron the Curse on Jan 11, 2013

8

Very cool and very well made. Congratulations to Kaleb. Just one question: why are the machine and the alien speaking english to each other?

axalon on Jan 11, 2013

9

Becus this is 'MURICA

buzzer on Jan 11, 2013

10

*adjusts nerd glasses and speaks in a nerdy lisp* "well they are speaking in an alien language, but obviously they had to translate it so that it would be easier for us to understand" or they just wanted to show off the cool voice modulators

armeetapus16 on Jan 12, 2013

11

Machine reminds me of game Portal, don't know why but I'm sure it does.

yeah on Jan 11, 2013

12

the ONLY reason I even clicked on this article (and found this great film) was because it looked like PORTAL in the thumbnail

Cake Eater on Jun 4, 2013

13

Alien seems to be Human as Machines are Machines the best part is - of deceiving the Alien and let him fly their own Space Jet. Nice try could have done better. 🙂

yeah on Jan 11, 2013

14

you try

311 on Jan 11, 2013

15

Righto! We'll just sit here patiently while you toddle off and film your version of this. Feel free to post a link once you're done and we'll head on over to check out your much better version. Go on now, off with you!

Thexn on Jan 12, 2013

16

WOW!! Freaking Amazing...hopefully Hollywood is paying attention to these short films. Beats the hello out of the crap that comes out straight to DVD and Netflix hosts now a days

Cameron Lee on Jan 11, 2013

17

that looks awesome - the alien looks badass.

$6296288 on Jan 11, 2013

18

'R'ha'?? Ancient Aliens...so overdone. Looked beautiful if a bit stiff... Obviously this takes a ton of work, but the writing is utter junk. Ever Sally Dick and Tom thinks that if they make a snazzy vfx short they'll get optioned....but this is just silly. Plays out like a videogame cutscene from mid 2000's.

Lincoln Smith on Jan 11, 2013

19

I totally agree with you on this one lincoln. Such poor quality and so unoriginal. and that writing, blah! You know i think he did steal it from a video game! On the other hand Your short film is clearly more professional in every way. Your seriously a genius dude! I mean the graphics, and writing and originality in your film clearly far surpasses this poor excuse for a short film. What was yours called again Lincoln? ARGO FUCK YOURSELF!

Anonymous on Jan 11, 2013

20

It's definitely better and more polished than anything I've ever done, as a student, Mr. Anonymous, but thanks for trying to tear me down, that really makes you look like an adult.

Linkfx on Jan 11, 2013

21

and I never said it was poor quality. I said it was beautiful, which is a pretty great compliment, I think.

Linkfx on Jan 11, 2013

22

how does it feel to be THAT guy? your a hater and will accomplish nothing in life. Power to this young film maker who is actually creating something and not sitting at home wishing he was half way attractive enough to get his dick wet and somewhat creative enough to stop breaking other people down to make himself feel better and maybe create something for himself. ARGO FUCKYOURSELF

ANONYMOUS on Jan 11, 2013

23

Everyone knows the best way to disagree with someone's opinion is to insult every facet of their life, culminating in an unwarranted expletive. I suppose you've never criticized a movie before? I suppose every motion picture you've ever seen was absolutely flawless in every way? I suppose, if there ever comes a project which you feel imperfect in any way, you will feel obligated to forget such heretic thoughts and proclaim it absolutely amazing nonetheless? Critiques highlight areas where filmmakers can improve, because no art in history has ever been created without a single aspect even remotely lacking. He made valid points which numerous people have agreed with, myself included - in fact, this looks exactly like it should be a promo for a Starcraft expansion or something. He also offered valid compliments where they were due: the visuals certainly were pretty, if a little rigid, and it's obvious that significant effort and hours of VFX work went into this. The only thing you could reasonably take offense with is his shot about everyone wanting to get optioned, and considering your unfocused rambling never mentioned that it seems you in fact didn't object to that particular line. And yes, I agree with you, too. Power to the young filmmaker. Kudos for going out, putting yourself in the crosshairs, opening yourself to criticism, and delivering a piece of art. That, however, is the whole point. Getting one's name out there, getting noticed, GETTING JUDGED, and coming back tomorrow with even better art. If filmmakers were never critiqued, if filmmakers were always accepted at face value the moment they arrived on the scene, then the men and women who became masters of their craft would have no reason to, and no guidance on how, to elevate their work past that of an ambitious novice. Yikes, now I've got to watch my back. I've got a feeling that anyone who cusses out a critic on behalf of a complete stranger will be inclined to do significantly worse to someone who disputes him directly. Just so you know, I'm not your hater, and I've had an accomplishment or two in my life. I've even given the world a few pieces of art over the years, and accepted the criticism with the praise. I'm not breaking you down to make myself feel better, I'm lifting you up to make YOU better. And it feels rather empowering to be THAT guy.

wafffles on Jan 11, 2013

24

ok dude no reason to get so overworked. I'm sorry if you made this and you find my criticism too biting. I'm not a hater but maybe I could be a bit softer next time, would you prefer that? I was merely pointing out that the writing was terrible, which anyone with a critical eye would notice. Was the 3d modeling great, yes, was the rendering fantastic, yes it was. Was the animation good, yeah I really liked it. I appreciated a lot about this little short as well as all the other shorts I view. Not everything should be lavished upon and given a gold medal, this isn't grade school. That being said, I also failed to notice that this was a first year project, which honestly changes my perspective on it a lot. It's a great achievement for Kaleb Lechowski and I actually respect him a lot as a fellow artist. I don't appreciate the hostile language or your general condescending tone. I'll have you know, it's pointless I know, that I'm a professional in the film & television industry and I happen to be very happy at doing what I'm doing, last year was my most profitable year ever working for myself and I hope everyone else, including you and Mr. Lechowski strives for greatness this next year. But I can tell you or anyone this, the most important thing as an artist, is to be happy with themselves, and understand criticism no matter how dumb sounding like my original one was, as something to build from. My reaction is just as valid as anyone else's however positive or negative, it is simply a reaction, completely up to you to consider or disregard. Nevertheless this film was entertaining, and sometimes that is enough and probably more words that I should have written at all considering your juvenile backlash.

Linkfx on Jan 11, 2013

25

It has been done over and over again. The machines turn agains humans or in this case aliens, big difference 🙂 Reminded me of Matrix, iRobot and what not, the dialog was just weak. However it looked very good, at least the first part, after he gets free (the alien) it all looks like a video game. But great effort to make something like this! Looks like a lot of work, I just wish it was a bit more original...

AJ on Jan 11, 2013

26

Nice job, even though the "we'll let him escape and follow him" plot point can be seen from a mile away

Paul K. on Jan 11, 2013

27

it's nice to see the earth isnt the only race having problems with their computers.Nicely done! Bravo!

Max Alnutt on Jan 11, 2013

28

Jeez, its funny how work like this gets bashed yet CRAP like the Matrix and Avatar get god status. PROPS to this guy Kaleb, if this is just a sample of what he is capable of I am sure we will be hearing that name again. I never felt the point of this short was to show off what brilliant and original writing he can pull off in 5 minutes but to show his skill in animation and storytelling. Most of the clowns who diss in the name of critique have not one clue about choosing shots, pacing, angles, lighting, sound design etc, so really have no place to critique a process they know nothing about. "I could have done a better job" then please do so. Please and when you have done a better job show us what you mean, show something other than bullshit words and baseless opinions.. Thanks!

Lando on Jan 11, 2013

29

So let me get this straight... according to you only film directors are allowed to critic a film? Only fashion designers are allowed to decide whether or not they like an outfit? Only a chef can tell you if the food taste good? Im sure theres millions of people who dont know how to make a meal but can tell you when it tastes like ass... this short looked well made but honestly the story and writing sucked. I mean at the end of the day thats what films are supposed to do right? tell a story that connects with the audience... but i guess only directors are allowed to buy movie tickets where your from.

Lewis Walker on Jan 14, 2013

30

Saying something sucked isn't a critique, Pvt. Pyle. If you want to critique a meal you need to know something about cooking and ingredients, and if you wanna critique a film, then yes, you need to know something about film-making and it's history, even if you don't do it professionally. That's what separates a real reviewer from 99.9% of the a-holes on the interwebz.

Zefram Mann on May 23, 2013

31

Yeah, I'm not sure why people criticize this guy, yet praise "Blue Furry Pocahontas" as being something special.

E.a. Solinas on Sep 27, 2013

32

Fucking amazing work

David Banner on Jan 11, 2013

33

What a brilliant film maker! Awesome Sci-Fi Short film!°

Jet on Jan 12, 2013

34

I quite like it, ropey dialogue, but liked all the machine stuff. Actually the design of the interrogator when it zoomed out was brilliant.

Carpola on Jan 12, 2013

35

It's a hell of a lot better than the stick-man flip book I made in school. Nicely done.

Thexn on Jan 12, 2013

36

Well made the alien design was excellent. I don't understand the insistence in films on giving robots garbled voices though. especially in films set slightly in the future on earth (Though obviously this isn't earth) but the point is we have better technology now. I did like it though. The peace sign ships were a bit silly and not aerodynamic, also the second building crash needed a bit more polish.

Jeaux Thibodeaux on Jan 12, 2013

37

It's probably because of the uncanny valley. If they sound too smoothly human, it creeps people out. See: HAL.

E.a. Solinas on Sep 27, 2013

38

Maybe those being so critical of this guys work could indicate what they consider to be the pinnacle of good sci fi/film making. We could then judge the validity of their comments by having a barometer of their opinion range.

Payne by name on Jan 13, 2013

39

Nice work, could be a fun movie if done right and not messed up by Hollyweird.

Alex Wilson on Jan 13, 2013

40

love it

SciFiCisco on Jan 16, 2013

41

Did you guys notice on the screen how everything was planned???? Intimidation, motivation, false information, release, and tracking? Everything was planned that's so genius! That robot is like GLados on steroids...

A on Mar 22, 2013

42

It was all cool but his... married! Bleh 🙁

MS_POLAND on Mar 28, 2013

43

Nice!! Make the movie!!!

Jason Kirby on Apr 3, 2013

44

AWESOME(reminds me of what made the geth in masseffect)

Maxx Ryan Creese on Apr 4, 2013

45

holy shit this looks awesome! if this is what this guy can do pretty much on his own i cant wait to see what he could give us with a major studio behind him. to all the haters get a life this kicked ass!

J Andrew Davis on Apr 20, 2013

46

Cool, a 6 minute version of Battlestar Galactica. I love BSG, but this is so blatant it's hard to say anything positive about this short.

Brian on May 28, 2013

47

You've never seen Battlestar Galactica if you think this is a ripoff. Or do you think BSG invented the idea of robots?

E.a. Solinas on Sep 27, 2013

48

now could he do "Ring World" ?

Lazlo57 on Aug 7, 2013

49

ahhh prometeus

Ricardito HA on Sep 11, 2013

50

matrix meets immortel but I like it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314063/

Chris Milinazzo on Oct 23, 2013

51

Love it!

Shacolover (DUUH) on Dec 13, 2014

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