4 October 2010

Things Last

When you do a certain job there is always the possibility that you will be made redundant – that much we all know. The particular job we see the young protagonist of this film doing may not, to all intents and purposes, seem like an interesting one. Yet by performing it he is in fact precipitating his own redundancy. Whether or not he truly realises this is up to you to decide.

Set in the year 2135 this short science fiction movie written and directed by Constant van Hoeven is a grower – I watched it twice and the second time I went from very impressed to blown away. Don’t be bored by the ennui that the young worker demonstrates at the beginning – it is a popular film maker’s ruse to settle you in before something happens!

What I particularly like about Things Last is the integration of CGI and live action which is very well done - for the most part it is difficult to see where the CGI ends and the set begins.

The FX are something else, but credit must also go to Lennart Monaster as Zack (he is named only in the credits). With so much CGI going on all around it is often difficult for actors to convey human emotion when working with a green screen but he does a sterling job, combining post adolescent boredom in his job with youthful naivety (not to mention fear later on) very well.

Now living in New York, van Hoeven was born in the Netherlands and was a student at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy. It was there that he wrote and directed this movie. As both a writer and director he has a number of short films already under his belt as well as movie screenplays.

Coincidentally, the movie you can see Zack watching listlessly on his 22nd century monitor may not seem familiar even though it looks as if it is. It was in fact the thesis of a film student from a previous year – the rights to which van Hoeven was able to acquire swiftly and without much difficulty.

The stats for the project are not quite Hollywood – although they show the place up somewhat. There were twenty plus set builders with the same amount on set for four days. After initial filming five people worked full time for half a year on the CGI – with the help of a couple of dozen computers. Being a student film this – by its very nature – would be produced with the minimum of expenditure, but would you like to guess the overall budget?

Hollywood Execs – if you are reading this – prepare to turn a not so subtle shade of green. The whole project came in at $7,000.