By Sahil Patel
Back in June, Break Media partnered with New Regency Productions, the studio behind “Fight Club,” to launch an online short-film contest that would award one filmmaker a film development deal. The program, called “Prototype,” was transferred over to Defy Media when Break and Alloy Digital completed their merger in October.
Today, Defy and New Regency have unveiled the eight finalists for “Prototype.” The list (which you can check out in full below) is filled with individuals who have some experience in the entertainment business, but are still on the cusp of their first feature-length directing gig.
There’s Joe Ksander, who served as the animation lead on “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”; Steve Ilous, who worked as a digital artist on “The Matrix” sequels and “The Polar Express”; Chris Marrs Piliero, the winner of the MTV VMA Breakthrough Video Award for his work on The Black Keys’ music video for “Tighten Up”; “Art of Dixie” actor Wilson Bethel; and filmmaker Dan Bush, whose 2007 picture “The Signal” earned a theatrical release through Magnolia Pictures after premiering at Sundance.
Each of the eight finalists have been given $20,000 to turn their submission into a 5–10 minute action, sci-fi, or effects-driven short film. The films will premiere across the Defy Media network, spanning the company’s web, mobile, YouTube, and OTT platforms. Eventually, the grand prize winner will get a shot at turning his or her short film into a feature-length movie with New Regency.
Here are your finalists:
Writer: Daniel Perrera
Director: Steve Polis
Directing Sample: 2088 Trailer
Prototype Short Film: “POLIS”
Logline: A young man discovers the truth about his origins and its connection to a mysterious virus that’s sweeping across the industrial ruins of the 22nd century.
Writers: Matthew Wilson & Justin Robinson
Director: Matthew Wilson
Directing Sample: The Final Moments of Karl Brant
Prototype Short Film: “DRAKE”
Logline: A wandering warrior protects a small town from marauders in a post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy setting.
Writers: Dan Bush & Conal Bryne
Director: Dan Bush
Directing Sample: Ghost of Old Highways
Prototype Short Film: “SHUT-EYE”
Logline: Next Corp nears the launch of its greatest product ever: a mind app that removes our need for sleep. But when the son of the CEO discovers horrifying side effects, he must choose whether or not to bring down the giant corporation that his father built.
Writers: Dugan O’Neal & Wilson Bethel
Director: Dugan O’Neal
Directing Samples: Dugan’s Samples
Prototype Short Film: “MEMORY 2.0”
Logline: A tale of love lost in the distant future where people relive their fondest memories with virtual reality. Everything spins out of control for our Hero as the lines between reality and the virtual memories begin to blur.
Writer: Aiah Samba
Director: Michael Chance
Directing Sample: Project Arbiter
Prototype Short Film: “WHIPPING BOY”
Logline: A man who works as a human punching bag to relieve others of their stress gets caught up in a noirish mystery pertaining to a strange device that everyone’s after.
Writers: Chris Marrs Piliero & Don Piliero
Director: Chris Marrs Pilero
Directing Sample: Chris’ Samples
Prototype Short Film: “THE LIARS CHAIR”
Logline: A bounty hunter who moonlights as a hitman reluctantly gains a conscience when he uncovers a human trafficking ring that takes him and his comrades across the border into Mexico for a violent and bloody shoot out in this contemporary western.
Writer / Director: Tim Baldini
Directing Sample: Dice Awards Intro
Prototype Short Film: “HACKED”
Logline: A gritty Sci-Fi chase film about two young women, unjustly accused of murder, who escape custody and begin posting video content online in an attempt to vindicate themselves of the crime, find the real killer and evade a secret FBI manhunt.
Writing & Directing team: Kevin Adams & Joseph Ksander
Directing Sample: Kevin & Joe’s reel
Prototype Short Film: “GEAR”
Logline: In a future where robots fill our daily lives, a young girl loses her family to a killing machine which ends up becoming her only family.