I first encountered PostHuman at the 2012 Fantastic Fest film festival as part of their many shorts programs.
Well, actually I met it on my laptop when I got some PR-related emails from the producer with links to watch it on a private Vimeo channel a few weeks before Fantastic Fest.
This was, of course one of many such emails you get in this situation, but I am a sucker for the short-form, be it written or filmed. Or in this case, animated. I am also a sucker for well-done works all around. In this film I found satisfaction.
Oh, believe me… I want to see MORE of this story. I want to know why the dog is named Nine. I want to know how Terrence and Kali met.
I want to know why Benjamin was locked up in the first place, and for how long.
But you know what’s great about a good short? — you don’t NEED that information for it to be effective. Not at all.
I watched it like six times before I wrote to them asking for some interview time during the festival. Six times in a row. I also made my (ever patient) boyfriend watch it; (so really, seven) though a laptop is no place for such things it is what I had at hand.
In PostHuman you are dropped into a story (as they used to say about serial television) already in progress. But it doesn’t take long to catch up and figure it out (and you can read the synopsis for yourself here) — in a nutshell: Terrence and Kali are working to free Benjamin from some kind of Akira-level government lab. That’s pretty much the plot; or at least of how much plot we get so far. Also: Benjamin doesn’t need as much help as you might think.
This is a rated-R short film, thanks to the inventive use of telekinetic gore and some cussin’. There is some really great camera work (not often a priority in animation that doesn’t have Pixar/Disney/Studio Ghibli Animation money behind it) that shows how well director Cole Drumb thought it all through before starting the animation process.
Example: the camera follows an insect-sized robot among the pipes and walls of the facility to set up shop and it twists and turns like a CGI live-action camera.
There are some similarities to AKIRA (something I consider no bad thing) and I am certain this was an influence on them from the start.
Shorts, especially animated ones, can take (as such projects often do) years and much personal money for the filmmakers to get it out into the world and you never know how it will be received.
I can say that PostHuman has won several awards in this past year (4 out of the 5 nominated for) , and is totally worth your (less than) 10 minutes with this talented cast of animators and voice.
If you’re going to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, be sure and check this out as a part of the Independent Film Festival on Thursday July 18th. Attending will be Director Cole Drumb and Producer Jen Wai-YinLuk as well as storyboard artist Tom Price.
This was one of the shorts that many people were talking about at Fantastic Fest last year, and I’d love for a greater spotlight to shine on it (read: people there to see it and give them tons of money for a feature-length film) at SDCC and elsewhere.
PS… Did I mention that excellent human (I have met and interviewed her, so not hyperbole) Tricia Helfer does the voice of Kali?
Of course you know her from Battlestar Galactica,…but did you know she’s also a biker and has new show coming to ABC this fall (produced by Sofia Vergara no less) called KILLER WOMEN…? (clicky-click for trailer) Helfer is playing the only woman Texas Ranger (and co-starring alongside Marc Blucas (Riley from S.4 of BUFFY as well as other projects) and while the tagline in the trailer looks a little cheesy, this looks much in the vein of buddy-cop drama CASTLE.
I have an interview with Cole and Jen to post soon (though the two screenings of PACIFIC RIM this week come first) and will get it up before SDCC; so that if you’re going you can know some of the inside skinny, and find out just how some indie filmmakers from Seattle (not generally known as a hotbed of film-making, necessarily) got one of the hottest genre-actresses around to voice the part of Kali and have made such a splash with their film. Be in the know now and you’ll look cooler to your friends in the future.
You can find the trailer for POSTHUMAN here.
Review by Holly Blain at Live For Films