While researching PostHuman on the internet I ran into a ton of movies/web series all bearing the same name and I thought, that must be frustrating as a filmmaker. To know you might not have the dot com or the facebook url is sometimes a death sentence, but upon further inspection of these films none of these so called movies could hold a candle to the mind blowing experience that is PostHuman (the only) directed by Cole Drumb and produced by Jennifer Luk. PostHuman is brilliant and immediately harkens to cartoons like Aeon Flux, Paprika or Akira. Relentless in it’s no holds barred approach to blood stained action packed science fiction, PostHuman is a fest for the eyes, especially for someone who grew up on the works of Ralph Bashki or Don Bluth.
PostHuman follows Terrence and his dog Nine in an adrenalized future of espionage, super science, and assassins. Terrence agrees to help Kali, an escaped test subject from a black ops ESP test lab, in her effort to free the last surviving imprisoned test subject. The assault on the lab is fast paced and intense as Terrence uses every hacker trick he knows to destroy the lab’s defenses and give Kali the opportunity to free her tortured lab mate, Benjamin. Gritty, hyperstylized, and dripping with intense images, PostHuman is NSFW, for children, or adults with no sense of adventure.
I can’t explain it, but it harnesses that energy once thought forgotten to me and gives it the ever so gentle brush off and what I was left with, and I hope you are too, is a film that is the ultimate homage to great science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick, William Gibson and artist such as Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (Moebius) or Frank Nissen. It was imperative after viewing this baby that we get a few words from the creator, Cole Drumb, so that he might tell us, in his own words, everything that went into producing this skillfully crafted bit of futuristic chaos.
M.I.T.N.G: Is this part of a web series?
CD: Not at this time.Some of our other stories and ideas would be better served as a web series but never say never.
M.I.T.N.G: How did this concept come about and what were your inspirations?
CD: The primary storyline is based on a longstanding idea that I never thought he’d get a chance to tell. I wrote a script years ago about an escaped ESPer hiding in a house. The ESPer raids the medicine cabinet to offset the ESPer related headaches. This is happening as government officials searched the surrounding area. It all comes to a head rather quickly. I love the idea of ESPers and feel they are as open to interpretation as zombies.We had the movie Heavy Metal playing for much of this production. The hope is that if a new episodic Heavy Metal movie were made, PostHuman would fit seamlessly. We are huge fans of the Aeon Flux shorts, so-much-so that for a while we considered making PostHuman with no dialogue. We’re glad that changed since we later signed the amazing Tricia Helfer to do the voice of Kali.
M.I.T.N.G: How much of this was hand drawn and how much of it was computer graphics?
CD: All the characters, including the Micro-UAV Bug were hand drawn – brilliantly, we might add. The environments were 3D modeled.
M.I.T.N.G: How long did it take for you all to finish this?
CD: Little over 5 years from start to finish – a few examples of process:
Script, boards, animatic including temp sound effects, production research, animation, sound, score, voice talent – did we mention Tricia Helfer (!), editing and posting out. And to cover financing both Jen and I have day jobs – which slows down the process considerably!
M.I.T.N.G: Tell use a little (without spoilers) about the characters/world in this first episode.
CD: The world of PostHuman is similar to our technologically accelerating world. Most of the tech in PH, if not all of it, is already in R&D stages. The ESPers in PH is the one completely fantastical element added to the mix. Kali is an escaped ESPer from the test lab slaughter farm. She has evolved in her time away from the lab and the drug cocktail intended to castrate the ESPer abilities. The only other ESPer left at the time of PH is Benjamin and as we come to realize, he’s not long for the world. Terrence is a bad-ass rogue hacker with ties to a fast response government team similar to Section 9 in Ghost in the Shell. They are not included in the PH short but we hope to expand the universe to include them. His dog Nine is a data-dog with augmented aspects allowing him hyper-acute dog senses. The evil Professor is truly evil and completely bug-fuck paranoid. Think 13 Assassins kind of evil. His motivation is survival to be sure but nothing can excuse or explain away his actions.
M.I.T.N.G: Who would you say is your inspiration artistically and did you try to apply any of it to Post Human?
CD: Our inspirations are pretty varied and in no particular order, from Katsushiro Otomo, David Cronenberg, Michael Mann, The Coen Brothers, Joe Carnahan, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Charles Stross, Warren Ellis, Jamais Cascio, Ray Kurzweil, Masamune Shirow, Takashi Miike, Francis Ford Coppola, Werner Herzog, and on and on. I could never name them all…No one works in a vacuum, that’s a defining aspect of our world. New works are built from old works.
M.I.T.N.G: What’s your opinion of modern anime and manga.
CD: I feel that’s a question that really demands a long-form response elsewhere. I generally try to stay positive about all forms of art and creativity. It’s easy to be a hater in one form or another. Short answer is we read a good deal of manga and watch quite a bit of anime. Sadly there is never enough and we’re always looking for more, new, and unique. The classics (Akira, GiTS, Cowboy Bebop, etc.) will forever be classics, I always look forward to new mind-blowing works.
M.I.T.N.G: What’s the ultimate plan with Post Human and what would you like to see happen to your brainchild?
CD: We are keeping our options open regarding what medium we move PH onto next.
The world of PostHuman is large and offers a wide range of storytelling styles.
M.I.T.N.G: Can we expect to see you guys at the cons?
CD: We’d really like to show at the cons – we missed out on San Diego this year and missed out on our own Emerald City as well as PAX – we really hope the cons come into play for us next year!
After reading over Cole’s answers I’m liking this kid more and more. Clearly he has a vision and most importantly he’s driven by the same force that drove those he coined as his mentors. I can’t wait to see the follow up to this fantastic film. For the latest news on PostHuman you can check out their website here. I’d like to take this moment to wish Cole and everyone who participated in this awesome short the best of luck and much continued success.
Review by Jeffrey Lamar at Mediocrity Is The New Genius