Posted on Thursday, April 8th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
A couple days ago we posted a short film by Ridley Scott protege Carl Erik Rinsch. Titled The Gift, the futuristic action thriller tells the story of a robotic manservant who must go on the run from the Russian police. The short quickly spread around the internet (if you haven’t watch it yet, click here). In my original posting I commented that “I really wish we could see more of this world, and I’m excited to see what Rinsch might be able to do with a feature project.” Yesterday word dropped that a bidding war had begun between several big Hollywood movie studios, including Warner Bros and Fox, to turn the short film into a feature. “It’s all happening.”
I have found out some more information. Apparently the movie studios aren’t interested in Rinsch developing a feature length adaptation of his short film The Gift…
They aren’t interested in developing a feature out of the short because, well, the feature film has already been developed.
That’s right, the short film is based on a feature film that Carl Erik Rinsch has already written and designed. The studios are in a bidding war over a packaged project. We even got our hands on some leaked concept art from the film. But check it out now while you still can, as I’m not sure how long it might be online! More images and information, after the jump.
From what I’ve been able to uncover, the feature film is titled Small, and Rinsch has a completed story which takes off from the starting point of the short film. Some people didn’t like the ending of the short… this is why, it was planned as a prequel to a feature film.
I have also learned that Rinsch has met with various nobel prize winning scientists and theorists in designing a world and a narrative that could be scientifically plausible. He’s pretty hardcore about creating a world that could actually exist, ala 2001. I’ve heard that in the past, Rinsch has joked that the project is a mix between 2001, Bladerunner and Doctor Zhivago with a bit of Bourne-style action. Sounds pretty awesome and absurd at the same time (but I think that is the intent).
You might be wondering how Rinsch has already created designs for the film. Apparently the filmmaker has a nice partnership with J.J. Palomo‘s special fx company in Barcelona, Spain, which he regularly employs for his commercial work. He has used his own money to independently fund development of this feature project. And these photos are pretty awesome – some kind of spacecraft pod and snow-suit mech. Click on the iamges to enlarge. The designs look like the original Star Wars trilogy meets District 9 meets some of the cooler stuff I’ve seen in the recent years of video games. And these are likely only the tip of the iceberg (pardon the snow covered pun).
There have been rumors that Rinsch made The Gift for $1-2 million, but I’ve heard that the actual budget was a tenth of that. Rinsch is a very smart example of a next generation filmmaker because he has embraced the technology. In my original posting, I commented on how the computer generated worlds and characters have been almost seamlessly blended with live-action. Sure, it isn’t completely seamless. Sure. you can sometimes tell the cars are cg, and yes, the robot sometimes feels cg…. but what people don’t realize is that more than 95% of that chase sequence was completely created using CGI. Not just the robot, his futuristic cycle and the cars, but the entire city. No background plates. Watch it again. It will give you a whole new level of respect for what was accomplished.
This kind of control over effects has given Rinsch the ability to pitch Small as a modestly budgeted film with a big scale vfx look and feel. Which, yes, sounds a bit like what Neill Blomkamp was able to accomplish with District 9. Which is probably why all the movie studios are bidding for the rights.
- HeatVision speculated that a feature film adaptation of the short will probably end up at 20th Century Fox because of Ridley Scott’s longtime association with Fox (Rinsch is not only Ridley Scott‘s protege, but also a commercial director for Scott’s company RSA). But one must also remember that Rinsch is currently developing a remake of Creature From The Black Lagoon and is in preproduction on an epic period samurai film titled 47 Ronin to star Keanu Reeves, both for Universal. So I also wouldn’t be surprised if the project ended up at Universal.
- You might recognize Rinsch’s name as he was originally tapped to direct a prequel/remake of Alien, but Fox convinced/pushed Ridley Scott to helm the project himself. I was one of the few people actually interested in Rinsch’s involvement. Rinsch’s commercials show an amazing sense of imagination, visual effects artistry and composition. We’ve profiled his amazing commercials on the site, more than once. If you havent checked his television spots out yet, you should do so now.