VOTD: The Making of ‘Portal: No Escape’

Dan Trachtenberg‘s short film Portal: No Escape made quite a splash when it hit the internet a couple weeks back. The short is set in the world of Valve’s Portal video games — a world noted for not quite ethical corporate experimentation on human subjects and advanced technology such as the ‘gun’ that can open two physically disconnected portals in space.

Today Trachtenberg released a ‘making-0f’ short, which essentially speed-runs through the entirety of No Escape, revealing many of the CGI tricks that went into making the short work. It’s a bit too much of a speed run at times, but in three minutes you’ll see most of the tricks of the short film exposed. Read More »

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You might know Dan Trachtenberg from his appearances on the /Filmcast, or more likely you’ve seen him on his highly successful internet television show the Totally Rad Show, but you might not know that he is a filmmaker. While he’s doing mostly commercial work over the last few years, he just finished a narrative short film for Black Box TV,  a weekly Twilight Zone-like series on YouTube. And honestly, I’d be posting this short even if it wasn’t direct by Dan (although I’m using Dan as a lead-in because it might be enough to get a few more people to watch it who might otherwise would have skipped over it).

The short is titled “More Than You Can Chew” which was co-written with Mark Walker. The story follows two paramedics who get “more than they can chew” when responding to a 911 house call. I want to see a sequel showing the further adventures in this world. Watch the short embedded after the jump.

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You may remember a competition that commenced a few months back, pitting /Film against The Totally Rad Show in their annual Summer Movie Game. The purpose of the game was to predict the top ten highest grossing domestic films of the summer—and in order, no less.

The teams?

/Film’s Peter Sciretta, David Chen and Russ Fischer vs. TRS’s Dan Trachtenberg, Alex Albrecht, and Jeff Cannata.

Well gentlemen, the summer is over. The bets were placed—some wise, some considerably less wise—and now, I’ve taken on the mantle of judge, jury and executioner.

Find out who won after the break. Read More »

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Our friends at the Totally Rad Show have thrown down the gauntlet, and challenged /Film to compete against them in their annual Summer Movie Game. David Chen, Russ Fischer and I (Peter Sciretta) will compete against TRS’s Dan Trachtenberg, Alex Albrecht, and Jeff Cannata.

The game is to decide what will be the highest grossing films of the Summer. But it isn’t just that easy — not only do the participants need to predict what 10 films will be the highest grossing films domestically, but we need to place them in order. I actually appeared on this week’s TRS to announce my choices along with the TRS gang (embedded after the jump).

You can WIN too! We thought it would be a fun idea to invite you guys to play along with us. After the jump you can find a full listing of the Summer movies, a complete set of rules, and all of the predictions made my TRS and /Film. Leave your top ten list and three dark horses with your explanations of why and how in the comments below, and I will send the U.S.-based /Film reader with the highest score a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

If there is a tie, we will choose one of winning entries based on their reasonings for the film placings and award that person with the prize. Each person is allowed one (and only one entry). You can enter by leaving your entry in the comments below along with your full name and city/town, state of residence. Entries will only be accepted until Friday, May 14th 2010 at midnight. The full rules must be followed in order to win.

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The /Filmcast hit the #3 spot of Apple iTunes’ TV & Film Audio Podcasts today. Dane Cook, watch out -we’re gonna take you down! And by we, I mean the guys who sit and talk about movies for 5 hours every Monday night – David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley. Congrads to the whole /Film podcast crew. If you haven’t already:

Please subscribe to the /Filmcast on iTunes!

I also want to send thanks to Dan Trachtenberg and the other guys at the Totally Rad Show for saying such great things about /Film and the podcast on their latest episode (which might have something to do with our #3 placement). Dan appeared on the last episode of /Filmcast (you can listen to that show here). Alex Albrecht (also of Diggnation fame) called us “/awesome” and Jeff Cannata admitted that he was also a big /film fan.


I met the trio at E3 last month (and by met, I mean totally assaulted them like a fanboy). /Film puts me in the unique position to meet and talk to a lot of directors, actors, and writers. But the excitement of interviewing The Rock has long worn off, and I’ve found the people I am excited to meet is probably very strange to most people. That said, when I talked to the TRS guys at E3, you would have thought I was speaking with Scorsese himself. I’ve been watching their show since the first episode, and before that I was an avid listener of Dan’s previous podcast Greekdrome (which preceded TRS).

Anyways, if you haven’t seen The Totally Rad Show, I highly recommend that you check it out. It’s the best video podcast on the interwebs.

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