Well it finally looks as if we have done it – buggered up the planet that is. The world has seemingly become a barren wasteland in which food is scarce, clean water is even more of a rarity and as for breathable air….. well you can essentially forget that being in plentiful supply because as I just said, we’re buggered. Now before the mob of climate change denying fools start writing to me (in fits of illogical denunciation) this state of affairs is for now is merely the premise of a rather intriguing short film 5D had the chance to see just the other day. Though thankfully The Survivor (2017) doesn’t actually make any reference to the potential scarcity of red wine or in fact a lack of alcohol in general amidst this particular post-apocalyptic nightmare. This major fact is something of a relief to yours truly as I have long since decided that I could face any form of apocalypse as long as it’s accompanied by a damn fine Merlot, or at the very worst, a large Vodka & lemonade..
Anyhoo, back to the actual point of this article. The premise of The Survivor is thus……..
“In a post-apocalyptic world where the air is toxic to breathe and oxygen is a precious resource, a young boy named Billy embarks on a perilous supply run to obtain water and medicine for his ailing mother.
With just his toy robot as a companion on his journey, he faces many obstacles including desperate, sick people, crazed zealots and corrupt law enforcement officers but the real danger is waiting for him back home.”
Considering that The Survivor has a running time of just under 12 minutes, it confidently aims to explore an array of themes including climate change, child abuse, mass surveillance, corrupt law enforcement and economic inequality this film is clearly trying to intelligently deal with a harrowing warning of what the future may hold. It has already won “Best Sci-Fi” at the Festigious International Film Festival and at the Top Shorts Online Film Festival. So it must be doing something right, right? I can certainly say that it is and at the very least the future for the stories that the filmmakers intend to pursue in this time and place, ‘Nearscape’, seems a rosy one indeed.
I will readily admit to enjoying The Survivor immensely. The intelligent and thought-provoking narrative throughout its short running time is crisp, and while a couple of the lesser roles she may lack a little in terms of quality acting, the performances particularly of the boy and his mother, are confidently done. If you add to that some excellent camerawork and tight editing then you have a production that more than holds its own in the current climate of indie sci-fi films.
An even more intriguing thought about this film are the possibilities of expanding this apocalyptic future of a world where humanity is gasping its last lungful of air. Throughout this film there are subtle hints to a wider and far more complex narrative about this place called Nearscape which could only expand on some of the themes and concepts just briefly touched upon here. If the rumours are true that the people who brought to your The Survivor, Saga Flight Entertainment, are already formulating and planning an expansion of the Nearscape universe then there could be some interesting times ahead. “The Survivor” is a proof of concept for a much bigger story called ‘The Nearscape” that writer Mark Renshaw is developing. Initially the aim is a TV series but it could be a feature. It all depends on what interest and investment this generates, but he already has three seasons planned out and a unique backstory that goes back millions of years.
Director: Christopher Carson Emmons.
Writer: Mark Renshaw.
Executive Producers: Mark Renshaw & Tom Hoover.
Producer: Stephanie Spike Drewa.
Director of Photography: Nathaniel Haban
Production Designer: Zach McLain
Costume Designer: Rodney Dukes
You can find out more about The Survivor and how to see it at the film’s official website RIGHT HERE