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Modern times call for a short film to get noticed by Hollywood.?And Modern Times has become the year’s first hot short, with agents and execs?scrambling to meet its maker, a 37-year old Scottish art director named Ben?Craig.??
Craig works on print ads and commercials at an Edinburgh firm called the Union.?He never went to film school, never touched special effects software. He read about the British Film Institute restoring and archiving old movies, which set him thinking: Who was going to be watching these old movies and where??The end result is an astounding three-minute sci-fi short showcasing what can be accomplished by sheer passion. And veering away from a superficial action-packed storyline of robots invading a city or drones chasing down a super-powered video game icon, it focuses on showing you a future world as realistically as possible.??
Craig said he watched people at work during commercial shoots, soaking up?knowledge, all the while thinking, “I fancy doing that.”?Once he conceived the idea, he teamed up with director of photography Richard Mountney using the latter’s studio space and equipment. Craig and his team shot the live action portion of the short over one weekend. Then he spent the next two months eating up every available moment in post-production. He knew nothing about the process and learned as he went along on software such as After Effects and Carrara.??
He relied on the goodwill of friends, with the ultimate cost of the short being sandwiches and pints at the pub.?Craig went back to work late last week just as the video, which was posted on Vimeo in mid-December, started hitting it big throughout Hollywood. He’s been fielding inquiries, not to mention several offers to be flown in for meetings,?from studios and representation firms such as Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount, Vertigo, CAA, WME, Benderspink, and Underground Films since.??
“It comes to a point that you just have to do it,” Craig said of his decision to try his hand at a new career path. “I said to myself, ‘I want to do this and I’m going to start it now,’ that’s kind of what happened.”
Check out the short below.
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