This needs to be adapted into a feature ASAP.
Today’s film is the 2015 science fiction short film Singularity directed by Samuel Jorgenson and written by Ian Fried, Samuel Jorgenson and Jeremy Pronk. Starring Alex Castillo, Craig Bachmann, Mark Hyde, Amahaad Lee and Andrew Varenhorst. The film is one of the contenders for a top place billing in the 2017 Fandependent Winter festival.
Singularity is a dark and gritty war film set in the very near future where a war between humans and sentient androids has broken out across the world. The President of the United States (Alex Castillio) chopper is shot down while being evacuated from Washington and a team of Delta soldiers led by Cameron (Craig Bachmann) are sent in to extract him. It is soon discovered that the hospital where the President has taken refuge is under heavy attack by the androids and the high skilled team comes under near constant fire as they attempt to rescue their commander and chief.
Short films are always very difficult to write a comprehensive review as they generally don’t have much in the way of content to speak on. Singularity however not only delivers a compelling story and heart pumping action in it’s mere nine minute run time but also does it on such a professional level that you would swear you were watching a massive Hollywood action film. The movie manages to make you care about the Delta team you have just met on the attack helicopter in just a few short frames of interaction that many full length movies fail to do. This is a excellent sign that Director Samuel Jorgenson who is already a renown Visual Effects artist (his works include Antman, Thor the Dark World and many others) has the chops to be a top level director as well. The film is also beautifully written and while the dialog is short and mostly limited to orders being given and followed by the Delta team it is very realistic and delivered wonderfully by the prolific Television star cast.
The cast of Singularity is a veritable whose who of talented Television stars, supporting characters and voice actors. Each of these men have a host of acting talent under their belts and while never reaching the heights of the mega Hollywood star always manage to deliver excellent performances, Singularity is no exception for this veterans of the silver screen. It is always nice to see people who’s names you might never see on the list of main credits get their chance to have a starring role and not only succeed but deliver such a nuanced performance that their character’s despite having only a very short air time come to life in a meaningful way.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws of Singularity is it’s attention to detail. Samuel Jorgenson’s visual effect talent and the prop department make this short film come to life in a big way. The body armor of the Delta team is authentic and detail on the prop guns is simply spectacular leading to a real sense of realism despite the fact they are shooting at androids. Speaking of which the android special effects are stunning. In many short films when they have extensive special effects you can tell how off they are due to the low end post production that really hammers home the green screen effect, this is not the case with Singularity. Each android manages to look like a practical effect instead of a CGI character and that goes the same for the scores of helicopters and the many explosions, in fact I have seen big budget Hollywood films that manage the do a far worse job than this short independent film.
The production value of Singularity is amazing. Shot entirely on anamorphic lenses at a forty five degree shutter angle the cinematography is unique and breath taking for a short film. The picture quality wonderfully clear and the clever use of smoke and darkness really sets the stage for a intense action film. The scenes are paced so just as the audience relaxes from the last adrenaline filled hopeless combat you are slammed into the next ramping up your excitement once again. This isn’t very typical for a short film even when they are trying to deliver an action scene and once more proves how skilled the team that worked on the film truly is.
The Audio work of the film is simply a delight on the ears. The echoing gun shots, the heavy clank of the metal feet of the ‘Clankers’ and the voices of the characters are all crystal clear and delivered in a authentic way. In some short films when they do manage to have gun fire the sounds are either to muted or overly exaggerated that it simply destroys any immersion you might have felt with the film but Singularity delivers a very satisfying experience in the sound effects department. The music of the film ranging from tensely dramatic to a heart pumping during the evacuation scene to the roof top, it is skillfully done and very thematically appropriate.
Singularity is a wonderfully made film that any science fiction or action film lover will immensely enjoy. It has all the hallmarks of a major Hollywood blockbuster film despite it being a shot film from an independent company and I for one would love to see it picked up by a major studio and expanded it to a full length film. The story is masterfully told and the special effects are simply stellar not just for an independent film but for any project I have seen recently. At a mere nine minute run time this film has left a lasting impression with me and I have a feeling if you give it a shot it will for you as well. From the intense action to the surprise ending Singularity delivers a truly wonderful spectacle that aspiring film makers or just fans of the genre would do very well to watch.