Black Box Image

Black Box

By Callum Chiplin | July 21, 2020

Then again, the film has been in production in a warehouse in Salford, Manchester, for six years! Chorlton-based producer of Newfound Planet Films Gemma Bradley was fully immersed throughout the entire project, along with an initial team of volunteers who helped with the basic construction. When it came to painting and layering up the details of the spaceship set, it was Bradley, and director and VFX artist Ángel Delgado solely working on the film since 2014. Therefore, one would expect six years of 100% diligence and precision to form a futuristic verisimilitude from professionals such as Northern-Ireland born Gemma Bradley and Spanish native Ángel Delgado. 

From its inception to its close, Black Box’s feel is exceedingly claustrophobic, as is the preference of its creators to mirror films such as Buried or Gravity, even if it is a sci-fi film set in the future, Black Box, and all the stories that Newfound Planet Films present are human stories that happen to be set in space, rather than aliens or other implements of that ilk. Bradley’s filmmaking prowess and preference appeal to the humanity of performance, rather than a proclivity for the implementation of an extra-terrestrial distraction to discombobulate the narrative and impede a piece’s eloquence.

“…building and shaping with your own hands and overseeing every project crevice and minutiae to create a masterpiece is no small feat…”

Nevertheless, it will be intriguing to see how her work develops in the future. Will she indeed implement a Venutian host within her pieces, or retain a more organic application of the arts with a humanitarian focus and intimate and personal approach to her work? Hopefully, we will find out in years to come.

Hopefully, she will take on the task first hand as she did with Delgado on Black Box–spending June to October 2016 designing and building the spaceship escape pod set and creating a 3D model of the set on a computer. They also built small models to scale out of cardboard and balsa wood, with a real-size cardboard version to confirm that they could achieve enough camera angles from the current design. Then they sourced the essential materials and confirmed the precise dimensions, and the hard work really began. And long may the hard work continue with quality results.

Throughout all walks of life—the film industry, especially—you can “cheat” to obtain certain goals and angles. However, you cannot cheat hard work and the benefits which follow as a result. Six years, building and shaping with your own hands and overseeing every project crevice and minutiae to create a masterpiece is no small feat, but instead a passionate and committed investment of time and effort. Without a doubt, Black Box will have audiences on the edge of their seats throughout the viewing, and they will leave the film feeling satisfied upon its end – Eagerly and enthusiastically anticipating Bradley and Delgado’s next work of art from Newfound Planet Films…in the future.

Black Box (2020)

Directed: Ángel Delgado

Written: Ángel Delgado, Ben Edmundson

Starring: John R. Walker, Charles O'Neill, Garry Graham-Smith, Kerry Ely, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Black Box Image

"…an almost hyper-realistic state of zero gravity and is arguably the most satisfying and subtly supreme feature of the feature."

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