Monday, September 24, 2007

Sci-Fi in Lo-Fi and HD

Tonight I was fortunate to attend a really special screening of two independent Canadian films.

Infest Wisely was produced by science fiction writer Jim Monroe for only $700. It is a low-budget sci-fi constructed in an unusual and engaging multi-director format. There were 7 episodes, each directed by a different person, but with the same cast acting out segments from the same storyline. And what a story, about a nanotech experiment in behaviour modification, a 'performance enhancer' with unknown side-effects, that begins propogating faster than a computer virus. This film is full of futuristic ideas, and you can watch it online.

Next up was Sanctuary, billed as "the first broadcast quality, High Definition dramatic series designed specifically for the internet". Sanctuary was created by Sci-fi writer/producer Damian Kindler (Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis). Financially, Sanctuary is the opposite of Infest Wisely. It was awarded a Guinness World Record for "Highest Budget Television Production Direct to the Web".

At the screening were Kindler, director Martin Wood and actresses Amanda Tapping (who plays Helen Magnus) and Emilie Ullerup (as Helen's daughter Ashley Magnus). This richly illustrated series plays like a graphic novel, and is surely headed to cult classic status. You *must* view an episode of this film, which you can buy and download in high res, or view free episodes online in low resolution (Chinese subtitles are available).