From steampunk to cyberpunk, filmmakers have been infatuated with technology and how it interacts with (or dominates) our lives since the early days of Hollywood. In the beginning, technology was easy to work into a story, as it was nothing more than the imagination of whoever was writing the tale. As technology advanced, so did the stories, as they tended to incorporate the potential of its darker side. When a movie set well into the future would include a technological element, it was almost never painted in a positive light.
When it comes to movies set in or about cyberpunk - Blade Runner, Hackers, Robocop, Akira, Ghost in the Shell - it's usually in a dystopian future, where technology has turned, rebelled, or is being used against the citizens of that time period - it generally uses quite a bit of CG and chroma key technology during production, as well. The era of practical special effects, while not completely gone, has certainly taken a back seat to its newer and most cost-effective CG cousin.
With the awesomely-titled Attack of the Cyber Octopuses! filmmaker/modeler Nicola Piovesan and his talented crew have set upon a short cinematic journey that both pays homage to the cyberpunk films of the '80s and the oft-forgotten craft of miniature modeling. Using Neuromancer by William Gibson as their main source of inspiration, the team is making the special effects for their short film using no computer graphics or green screen - though the editing and virtual cyberspace will be created on a computer.
The story for Attack of the Cyber Octopuses! is as follows:
The story takes place in Neo-Berlin, 2079 A.D. A dark and rain-soaked city held by mega corporations where the only way for people to enjoy life is by connecting into cyberspace and taking the "binary trip", a cyberdrug that fries your neurons but promises a feeling better than a hundred orgasms at once.
Piovesan is confident his short film will be "...a tribute towards a certain way of doing film that has disappeared in recent years with the arrival of CGI. A 'pulp' film, as Quentin Tarantino could make it, without being 'trashy' or 'cheesy', but also without taking things too seriously. A short film to make people think, in a visually attractive way, about our daily life and how addicted we are to the internet."
A quick glance at the gallery of images below, you'll see just how much time, effort and talent went into creating all of the miniature props and bad guys. You can also meet all the characters and see the shooting locations on the movie's website - HERE.
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Whether you're a fan of practical effects and miniature models or enjoy what CG brings to the table, one thing is clear: The cast and crew behind Attack of the Cyber Octopuses! will have put the full measure of their combines talents, efforts and dedication into this movie. If you find the concept of Attack of the Cyber Octopuses! appealing, there's a Kickstarter campaign running that you can help fund - HERE.
Attack of the Cyber Octopuses! releases in late-2017.