The Signal (2014) and The Rise of Low-Fi Sci-Fi

Friday, 30 May 2014 - 9:54AM
Friday, 30 May 2014 - 9:54AM
The Signal (2014) and The Rise of Low-Fi Sci-Fi
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A new generation of filmmakers aren't letting their lack of resources stop them from making their visions reality- in fact, they're becoming even more inspired to create "low-fi sci-fi."

 

Take Will Eubank, for example, writer-director of upcoming film "The Signal." His budget was a measly $4 million, which may seem like a lot, but pales in comparison to the $237 million it took to make "Avatar." "The Signal" tells the story of three college computer geniuses who find themselves transported to an otherworldly lab - a plot that is no easy feat to film on a budget. 

 

Eubank shot some scenes using a cannon DSLR. One of the films special effects, an earth-shattering attack, was created using a trampoline and some corks.  But Eubank is no novice at low-budget special effects. For his previous film, "Love," he assembled skateboarding half-pipes from plywood and flipped them on top of each other to create a space station. And, to depict the vastness of space, the marooned astronaut gazed through a porthole at a flat screen TV showing an outer space program. Though it was low budget, the concept of "Love" proved to be a popular one; the basic storyline was seen two years later in "Gravity." 

 

 

In regards to the recent rise of popular low-fi sci-fi films, Eubanks says, "It's not like there are any more nerds or geeks than there were yesteryear, just that now we're armed."

 

Low-fi sci-fi films can also serve as a springboard for some filmmakers, who then move on to more high-profile endeavors. Take director Colin Trevorrow, for example. You might recognize his name from all the hype surrounding his upcoming Jurassic World project, but his roots are in low-fi sci-fi. Trevorrow got his start with "Safety Not Guaranteed," a low-fi sci-fi flick about a lonely man seeking a companion for time travel. The featured time machine was made using recycled material and junk parts.

 

 

To read more about the low-fi sci-fi movement, visit The Wall Street Journal.

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