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enigma – low budget indie sci fi

5 Jul , 2009,
Chip Street
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4 comments

EnigmaPoster

FOLLOW UP: I’ve seen the movie. Here’s my review.

Stumbled across this series of clips today from the low budget sci fi actioner “Enigma” from The Shumway Brothers* and Frontier Studios.

Love to see this kind of ambitious filmmaking in the indie sci fi genre… the technology is so accessible and affordable now that films like this can be made for a fraction of what Hollywood does it for… and there’s no good excuse for it to look shitty any more unless shitty’s a “look” yer going for. (For another great looking no-budget indie sci fi action flick see The Men Who Fell -which I also haven’t seen but like the look as well.)

The Enigma rundown:

  • 50K budget
    Shot in HD on the Panasonic Varicam
    225 effects shots
    42 minutes long
    9 day shoot
    FX background shots are simply matte paintings handled in Combustion and PhotoShop

No I haven’t seen the whole thing, just the trailer and a few clips. My only negative comment(s) based on that: Googly eyed cartoon monkeys didn’t work in Lost In Space and I’m guessing they don’t work here; Why go to so much trouble to make something that’s not a short and not feature length? It might make an hour’s worth of TV programming with enough commercials but why the hell not make a feature and give yourself the best possible shot at distribution?

It’s a hell of a calling card though.

Here’s the trailer:

Clip One:

Clip Two: (Oh, Gawd, it’s that awful big-eyed cartoon monkey from Lost In Space. Was that necessary?)

Clip Three:

Go to their Website or YouTube channel to learn more.

FOLLOW UP: I’ve seen the movie. Here’s my review.

*I have lots of brothers. Maybe if I could talk one of them into making movies with me I’d be able to get this career off the ground.

4 Comments

  1. Matt Shumway July 6, 2009 at 10:00 am Reply

    awe, you don’t like our Phobos? (awful big-eyed cartoon monkey) Its ok, We’ve actually gotten a lot of complements saying that he is what the lost in space character should have been. Unlike LIS, The design is like that for a reason. And as for the short vs. feature thing. Yeah, it was always intended to be a short and a calling card. We had no intention to distribute it. It did end up being a bit longer than we originally planned. Unfortunately, the story would not support a feature, it would just look like 45 mins of padding. So we let the story tell us the length. A bit odd, but its actually making us stick out a bit in a weird and positive way.

    Thanks for the nice blog entry, and I take no offense to the Phobos comment, it is completely justified after what LIS did to us! haha, but trust that we did think about that, and he is designed that way for a reason. Hopefully you feel the same after seeing the whole thing…and if not…thats ok too!

    Take care!

    -The Shumway Brothers

    • crankydog July 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm Reply

      Perhaps I should have waited to see it before passing judgment but LIS made my eyes bleed and the googly eyed monkey put me back in ‘Nam. You got an uphill battle to make me a believer but it’s not impossible. I hope I’m wrong. Everything else looks good though!

  2. Jason Shumway July 8, 2009 at 11:33 am Reply

    If you would like I can send you a screener of the full film and you can give it a fair review. just email me and I can ship it to you. I can’t agree more with the comments about LIS, That damn monkey served no purpose. shouldn’t have been in the film. looks to me like someone at the studio said “Hey! where is the Toy to Buy!”

    Thanks for including us in your blog!

  3. enigma – epic sci fi on a budget « chip street August 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm Reply

    […] epic sci fi on a budget Posted in film, reviews by crankydog on August 6, 2009 If you read my first post on Enigma, you know that I was impressed by the trailer and excerpts, but had two primary issues: I was […]

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