One of the most fascinating aspects of short films is the realization that excellence has less to do with the story it tells, but more in its execution. Its short runtime allows filmmakers to place its emphasis on either showing you something, saying something, or take you on a quick trip somewhere.
Anthony Ferraro’s Aeranger opens with the crash landing of a space ship in the middle of a forest on a planet much like our own. Thrown from her ship is a determined female, humanoid alien (Bobbie Breckenridge) searching the fiery wreckage for a communications pod.
After activating the pod, she is in contact with her superior, and we learn that she is on a mission to save her world from an environmental catastrophe and that her purpose is of vital importance. She must complete an important task although mid-way through she discovers she is not alone.
“Thrown from her ship is a determined female, humanoid alien searching the fiery wreckage…”
While Aeranger’s story is a simple one leading to a nice sci-fi ending, Ferraro shows us that the tools necessary to create exceptional science fiction effects are accessible to anyone. In other words, if you have a sci-fi story in your head, you don’t need a big studio budget to make it happen and it doesn’t have to look cheesy at all.
Here’s just a few effects accomplishments achieved in this twelve-minute short: animation of the ship’s crash landing in the forest, a small CG-fire and CG-explosion in the woods, the fluorescent blue eyes of the alien, Star Trek-like panels and gauges activated on a small container, animation of wooly mammoth-like creatures, 3D holograms from her communication device, and much more. For you filmmakers, I should also mention the short was shot with a handheld camera making post-production that much more complicated.
For me, watching Aeranger is like watching a magic show. First is the joy as watching the impossible and fantastical happen right before your eyes. Then there’s the fun in trying to figure out how the magician, in this case, director Ferraro, pulled it off. Aeranger will wow you with admiration for its accomplishment. Now, anyone can make a sci-fi film. So do it.
Aeranger (2019) Written and directed by Anthony Ferraro. Starring Bobbie Breckenridge.
7.5 out of 10 stars