I have never been more inspired to make a short film than after watching Lon Strickland’s Billy Kills The Internet. Let’s be clear: I’m not going to make a short film, but I’m definitely inspired to try. The story is pretty simple, taking place way into the future. A fungus is slowly devouring the universe, which is comprised of a vast communication network known as the Internet! Gagnor of the Kingdom of Heaven summons Billy and his crew to kill the Internet before it’s too late.
Billy Kills The Internet is a visually dazzling explosion of sci-fi fun, and the way it was produced was so simple and ingenious. Let’s start with Billy and his crew. Billy is a little boy who could be the next Captain Kirk… if he were an elementary schoolboy. His partner is a ventriloquist dummy named Lester (as in Willie and Lester), on comms is ventriloquist dummy Danny O’Day, and then there’s Stella, who is an infant, speaks with clever use of camera tricks. I see a lot of the Muppets’ trickery when director Strickland shows Billy interacting with Lester, for example, walking to the Kingdom of Heaven.
“A fungus is slowly devouring the universe…known as the Internet!”
Strickland then world-builds using various space clip-art and cleverly built ships, including a pretty cool mashup between the Millennium Falcon and the Enterprise. There’s a vast amount of green screening and layering to produce the final product. Seriously, I could do this with my video editing tool if I wasn’t so uninspired and lazy. I’m green with envy.
Continuing the fun is the story. It’s funny, and better yet, clever as hell. Strickland’s assessment of the Internet is spot on and serves as a great story foundation. He described the fungus of the Internet as a web of communication that can reach mass audiences and then feed on the misery it causes and the confusion it sparks.
To emerging writers, the silly and straightforward plot works because audiences get it because there’s truth buried deep within. Pull up Billy Kills The Internet on whatever device you have, sit back, and be prepared for twenty minutes of sheer fun. For me, I’m adding admiration and respect to that as well.
For more information, visit the Billy Kills the Internet official website.
"…a visually dazzling explosion of sci-fi fun..."