"200 million kilometers from Earth, her base destroyed and her oxygen supply running out, a lone astronaut begins a perilous trek across the windswept deserts of Mars.
Her only company are the sporadic transmissions she receives from Earth; radio reports counting down the minutes to global war.
As her diffculties increase, the astronaut is forced to search for a way to come to terms with her circumstances - for herself and for the future of life in the universe."
So reads the synopsis of the short film Last Flight, produced in New Zealand on a budget of $17,000 by Damon Keen. The film has been touring film festivals around the world, and now available in its complete form on YouTube.
Keen documented the production as the film progressed on his blog Mars Shot. It was a long, slow process taking around two years, because the director was making it in his spare time.
Last Flight originated as a comic book story, "The Sparrow", which Keen produced in 2008. He then developed it into a thirteen-page screenplay, which he then proceeded to film - along the way having to figure out how to achieve the needed CGI and audio effects to bring the film to life.
|First page of "The Sparrow". Click to enlarge.|
Is there a Bradbury connection to the film? Well, it's set on Mars, so that tends to put us in Martian Chronicles territory. It's predicated on a countdown to global war on Earth, which is again reminiscent of the Chronicles. Then there's the sole survivor, and a hint of either dreaming or hallucination... all very Bradbury.
But there's nothing in Keen's blog (as far as I can see) that consciously references Bradbury, so it may be coincidental, or a case of a writer-director being unconsciously influenced.
You can read more about the film in the official press kit. It's a smart little film, and will only take about fifteen minutes of your time to watch, so why not give it a go? Here's the trailer; and if you scroll down, you'll come to the complete film.