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The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger

The adventurous love story of a young couple escaping dinosaurs through spaceships and submarines.

2013 | 5 - 10 | Adventure | Love | USA | VFX

The Viewfinder List is an entertainment industry survey which polls studio executives, producers and creatives for their top 10 short films, commercials and/or music videos. It was created by Jeff Schroeder (Brain Farm), Aaron Schmidt (Langley Park Pictures) and Patrick Chu (FilmNation), and some of its featured works have been optioned to be  made into feature films in the past.

Some of the selected works from the 2014 edition are already being developed. One is Prospect, that we featured months ago. The other is the list’s number 1, The life and death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger.

The short was directed by Michael Lukk Litwak, an undergrad film student at NYU, and has been a hit in the US festival circuit. Being a student film, it was made on a shoestring budget (backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign), but the enormous creativity and inventiveness of Litwak were able to compensate where the lack of resources.

The Life and Death tells the adventurous and fantastic story of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger, a boy and a girl who meet during a terrible war in which humanity is fighting against… alien dinosaurs. The two, however, fall in love, and abandon the war escaping on a submarine, that will later turn into  a spaceship. The surreal – verging on nonsense – setting  is really just a means to narrate the various stages of each love story: the first sparkle, the initial passion and excitement, marriage, the first problems, the inevitable separation. After all, the initial pitch of the film was ‘Think Blue Valentine meets Jurassic Park’.

The bright and fast style of the short echoes that of the 90 video clips, with a nod to superhero comics and adventure films. Everything is (re)created in a mixture of in-camera and digital visual effects, sets and props built by hand and green screen. The DIY aesthetic works in this world where nothing seems to make much sense. While at times it has its naive moments, the overall quality, both in writing and realization, and especially considering it is self-produced student film, is high – so as to have convinced many experts who voted it as their favorite short of the year.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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