PRISM is a sci-fi/action short film created by US based company Corridor Digital. In thefilm, two teenagers manage to steal a teleportation device, and are hunted by thedevice’s owner. The production was filmed over 2 nights in LA and featured Hollywoodactors such as Jimmy Wong, Mary Kate Wiles and Jilon VanOver (also known as JilonGhai). The film creators used a variety of technologies to create the film, most notablythe SFX software Hitfilm. Below is a ‘making of’ video for the film.
The film is set in downtown Los Angeles in the year 2032. This is reinforced by the non diegetic music used atthe beginning of the film and throughout the fight scenes which has a techno-disco style to it (we commonlythink of the future as a technologically advanced, highly industrialised age), and the fact that the initialestablishing shot shows the two main characters in a large heavily lit city. We also hear some non diegeticambient noises in the form of sirens, cars in the street etc. The shots used in the video are generally longand usually use smash cuts. The length of the shots is evident the part of the sequence where the twoteenagers are creeping through the building past the security guard. This emphasises the fact that they aretaking their time and sneaking around slowly and cautiously to avoid being seen. These shots do get shorterduring the fight scenes, to connote tension. (i.e. at 4:26, when the fight in the car park begins, and at 6:29,when Hayden Blackwell enters the fight) The most impressive use of editing is with the visual effects, such asthe gun muzzle flashes, lasers, teleportation etc. , as this adds a sense of depth and realism to the film.
The main props in the film are:• Guns/Rifles• Laser Gun• Body Armour• Masks• PRISM DeviceMost of these were made by hand.These props each add something of their own to the story and tell us about thecharacters using them. For example, the laser gun and PRISM device show that thecharacters live in a technologically advanced era. The types of weapon used by the twomain characters also challenge the stereotype that females are weaker than males , asthe female character Nessa (played by Mary Kate Wiles) is using a large, powerful lasergun while the male character Vadim (played by Jimmy Wong) uses a smaller, lessadvanced pistol.
The camera shots used within PRISM begin within an establishing shot which showsthe two main characters in a large city at night and about to enter a sci-fi conventionvenue. This sets the scene for the audience in terms of location and time of day. Weare then shown a series of close-ups of the two main characters talking to each other.This introduces them to the audience, and tells us a little about their relationship. Weare also shown a number of POV shots, (which allow us, as the audience to relate tothe character and see the world as they do.). This relation to the characters isreinforced by the number of handheld shots used. This gives the audience the feelingof ‘being in the action’ alongside the characters. The film also includes a number ofmid shots, which give us a view of the characters clothing, and in turn, theirpersonality, as seen below.
The actors and their roles within the film are portrayed mainly by their clothing and bodylanguage. For example, Hayden Blackwell wears a dark suit and often stands taller thanthose around him, this denotes not only power, dominance, and sophistication, but alsocreates an enigma, in terms of ‘ Is he hiding some sort of dark secret?’ Vadim and Nessa,on the other hand, wear hoodies and often show ‘relaxed’ body language, showing thatthey are young, scruffy, lower class citizens compared to Blackwell. This allows theaudience to better relate to Vadim and Nessa rather than Blackwell, as the two heroes andthe members of the target audience are teenagers.
This film shows a number of themes and connotations stereotypical of sci-fi movies, forexample, ‘good vs evil’, ‘the future’ etc. This is similar to some larger films such as‘Blade Runner’, which also features the theme of a person having to hunt somethingdown. There are however, some stereotypes of science fiction that the film doesn’tconform to, such as the use of ‘aliens’ and ‘spaceships‘, as is in the most famous filmsof this genre such as the ‘Star Wars’ series.