Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Senior Visual Effects Artist Matthew Santoro (Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem, Rise of the Silver Surfer) has made his directorial debut with a dark and gritty sci-fi horror film called OFFLINE. I’m not sure if this is a short or a feature, but a trailer for the film has been released online, and has me really interested.
Update: We heard back from Matthew Santoro, who confirmed that it started as a short film but is now developing into a feature film:
Originally it was a short film idea or more like a 15-minute sequence within what I thought was an unobtainable feature project. So I started out small but with this bigger world only hinted at. But I still wanted it to have a big budget feel with well lets just say… no budget. So I really had to get my hands dirty in every aspect of production from the costumes and props to the visual effects and music. As I became immersed in the project, working on it like a madman, it started evolving more and more until the walls of the short version were busted down. I started showing the footage to people and getting really great responses and suddenly the unobtainable feature started to become something that could actually happen. So I started filming different sequences from the larger story to put together this Pitch Trailer to hopefully garner some excitement and get people interesting in further developing the project for the big screen.
The movie tells the story of a rogue scientist who enters the mind of a cybernetically enhanced super soldier with the intent of restoring his humanity through the potentially fatal process of mental reprogramming. Read more information about the film, and watch the trailer, after the jump.
Santoro tells FourthEye.net how Tool guitarist was a huge influence on him and the movie:
My goal was to make a dark and gritty sci-fi/horror based cybernetic dream experience type thing with a couple of good friends, a camera, some duct tape, and a computer. Pure Gorilla as they call it. [Tool guitarist] Adam Jones was a huge influence during this creative process. I look at him like a master Jedi and director/creator of all things awesome, his work pretty much speaks for itself. I remember as a kid watching the TOOL videos that Adam directed and being completely enthralled almost mesmerized like a moth to a flame. I’ve never seen anything like this before but I know one thing… I like it. His work opened my mind to another plane that I didn’t even know existed. Later in life we became friends and when I told him I wanted to direct my own film he gave me an important piece of advise that I’ve kept with me everyday of production. He basically said to look at every shot like a piece of art. If your going to put your name on something make sure its something YOU are happy with (emphasis on YOU) because if you truly consider it to be a piece of art then in a way it is a reflection of yourself.
Here is the official plot synopsis from the film’s official website:
*The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.* In this future, the world is dying a slow and ugly death. In an effort to cope or perhaps out of pure denial, humanity has become increasingly obsessed with mass media. The Internet has evolved into an all-consuming visceral experience where every one’s perception of the world around them is fully customized. The brown smog in the sky can be easily ignored when a beautiful sunset is projected through your optic nerve, courtesy of the Naneuron Corporation. But like all systems there are glitches. Someone or something is disrupting the feed; a Ghost in the machine. A group of extremists have risen up, led by young man named Maro. Defiant and charismatic, he has seemingly endless promise until he unexpectedly surrenders. All enemies of the state are processed for reprogramming. Those like Maro who are physically and mentally gifted enough are transformed into counter-terrorism soldiers. His memories are erased. His body is enhanced. His humanity is destroyed. Maro has become the perfect weapon. Until he begins communicating with the glitches, hearing whispers that lead him on a journey through the depths of his own subconscious. Trapped in the midst of a hellish nightmare, he must find a way to regain his identity and take down the system once and for all. But at what price comes freedom? WHEN A MAN?S MIND BECOMES ONE WITH A MACHINE? WHAT HAPPENS TO HIS SOUL?
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