A Synthetic Human Fights to Survive in Visually Stunning Scifi Short Seam

Image: Master Key Films
Image: Master Key Films

In the not-too-distant future, a tenuous peace between humans and remarkably humanlike “machines”—some don’t even know they’re not real—is tested when synthetics begin spontaneously exploding. A military-led search for these unwitting suicide bombers begins, sending a terrified machine woman and her human partner on the run.

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Seam—named for a volatile border area sandwiched between the designated machine containment zone and the human world—borrows from some excellent inspirations, including Blade Runner. But the 20-minute short, made by twin brothers Rajeev and Elan Dassani, makes its mark with outstanding special effects and well-chosen location shooting. Though the film begins in sleek Hong Kong, its visual style is most unique when it contrasts the futuristic tech used by its characters with ancient settings, including a chase scene that winds through the narrow streets of Salt, Jordan. The climactic sequence takes place in Wadi Rum, the otherworldly desert last seen playing Jedha in Rogue One.

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Learn more about Seam—and keep tabs on the brothers’ quest to expand their short into a feature film—at its official website, which is also packed with behind-the-scenes info about the shoot and the visual effects process.

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DISCUSSION

Interesting movie. I stuck around for all 20 minutes, which is a metric fuckton better than I can say for many of the highly polished turds you see on Vimeo and Youtube that offer flashy effects but little else. Clean and simple pursuit story- not sure why that pilot at the end seemed so hellbent on breaking the chain of command, but whatever. Most of the cast turns in decent performances. Somehow they got Oded Fehr, he’s always great!

The thing that puzzled me about it- some of the FX shots were quite lavish in their degree of polish and professionalism- ready for the bigtime. Other shots looked really slapdash... (not that many, admittedly, but they sure as hell jumped out). Also, they curiously kept changing the font/size of the subtitling- if that was on purpose, the reason for it wasn’t immediately apparent, so it looked sloppy.