Other, a short sci-fi/horror film directed by Daniel DelPurgatorio and produced by the Chicago design, visual effects and animation studio Vitamin, will be screening as part of the SXSW Film Festival’s Midnight Shorts series in Austin, Texas, March 9-16.
Inspired by films of the ’70s and ’80s, Other centers on a brilliant doctor’s obsessive quest to cure himself of a terminal illness. While conducting a series of unconventional experiments, he discovers a scientific loophole that could possibly save his life, if he is willing to accept the sinister consequences.
“I’m a fan of older films that had an experimental edge and weren’t done by the book,” said DelPurgatorio, whose credits include the animated Warner Brothers short Tales of the Black Freighter – a tie-in to Zack Synder’s Watchmen adaptation. “Visually and conceptually, the film lives in that kind of a world.”
Other is the first narrative film for Vitamin, a creative boutique best known for its work on television ads for Nike, McDonald’s and FX Network. The story was conceived by DelPurgatorio and Vitamin art director Rob Foster, and then adapted in collaboration with screenwriter Anthony Williams. The rest of the studio’s creative and production staff assisted with everything else, including conceptual design, live-action production, 3D animation, visual effects, editing, color correct and audio.
In keeping with the style of the films that inspired it, Other has a hand-crafted look. Many of the visual effects were done in camera and all of the oddly convoluted scientific machinery featured in the film was designed and built by hand by the Vitamin staff. “The film really allowed us to do a little bit of everything,” explained DelPurgatorio. “We got to play in a lot of fields, and that made it really appealing to everyone in the studio.”
Like most short films, Other had a micro-budget, but according to DelPurgatorio, that proved to be a virtue. “A lot of older films of this genre were made guerrilla style and we always embrace that mentality with everything we do,” he said. “In the case of Other, it forced us to come up with creative ways to adapt the story and all of those choices, ultimately, enhanced the film.”
After its premier at SXSW, the film is scheduled to screen at several other film festivals including the Fort Myers Film Festival in March, and the Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, May 6.