A father and his child are searching for something on a distant planet full of lush greenery and little else. No, this thankfully isn’t a direct-to-DVD sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth, but rather an independent short film called Prospect, a project from the up-and-coming Seattle-based production company Shep Films, founded by friends Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell. A teaser teaser was released, seen above, and even though it’s fairly uneventful, it’s still successful at wiping Jaden Smith out of my memory banks. I mean, Jaden who?
Prospect is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign held at the end of 2012, and since then, co-directors Earl and Caldwell have been hard at work putting their $21,000 earnings to good use, forgoing digital effects for good old-fashioned practical props and costumes. That alone gets the GFR Stamp of Approval — which, incidentally, looks like our Stamp of Disapproval except it’s upside-down — but we’re also quite interested in the intriguing compact storyline that Caldwell wrote.
The short follows a teenage girl and her father as they search the forest of a foreign planet for a rare set of insects that produce a special kind of resin that can be used as fuel. But they’re not the only hunters on the planet, which is pretty much a free and lawless domain. The father is attacked by another scavenger, and the daughter must mature and react instantly in order to take revenge on the attacker. The Kickstarter page states they wanted to achieve the texture of a film like Blade Runner, but with the structure and pacing of a spaghetti western. This would probably be the approach Quentin Tarantino would use when making a sci-fi film, but these guys are doing it first. So nyeah.
Check out the video below, where Earl and Caldwell talk about the film and their motivations for getting it made.
For those disappointed that aliens didn’t show up in Prospect, they’ve got you covered with their previous short, In the Pines, in which a woman is certain she’s been visited by extraterrestrials. It was funded with over $3,000 of their own money as proof that they’re fully capable of creating quality films with limited budgets. You can watch In the Pines in its entirety below (and see our previous coverage of it right here).
You can find behind-the-scenes clips for Prospect at the Shep Films Vimeo page. Be sure and keep your space helmet off so you can hear us when we have more updates about the short.