Last year saw the debut of The Viewfinder List, which aims to do for aspiring filmmakers what The Black List does for screenwriters. Compiled from a poll of “studio executives, producers, and creatives,” The Viewfinder List reflects the most-liked shorts, commercials, and/or music videos of the year. The inaugural list in 2010 included such up-and-comers as Patrick Jean, whose Pixels is due out in 2013, 47 Ronin director Carl Erik Rinsch, and, um, Alejandro González Iñárritu.

This year’s list has Dan Trachtenberg‘s Portal: No Escape on top, along with a few other videos you may recognize if you’ve been paying attention to /Film for the past year. Or even if you haven’t — that adorable Super Bowl Volkswagen ad with the little Darth Vader kid also made the cut, as did Chris Marrs Piliero‘s video for The Black Keys. Check out the full 2011 Viewfinder List — with video! — after the jump.

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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 »

Must Watch: ‘Portal: No Escape’

Portal: No Escape is a must see for everyone, but especially video game fans. The film is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, who has been directing commercials for the last few years, slowly working towards his feature film directorial debut. In May, he directed a horror short film “More Than You Can Chew” for Black Box TV, which got a bunch of people in Hollywood talking. Dan surprise premiered a new short film at Comic-Con, which was met with a standing ovation by the almost packed crowd. The film brings a grounded realism to this sci-fi concept, which is rarely seen in video game movie adaptations. Watch Portal: No Escape now embedded after the jump.

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