This Eerily Beautiful Dystopian Short Film, Shot by Chris Doyle, Will Leave You Wanting More
In the past two years, I have written about quite a few cinematographers. Of that hefty group, few have stolen my heart quite like Hong Kong-based DP Christopher Doyle, whose cinematographic work with legendary director Wong Kar Wai will go down as some of the best in history. A new Doyle-shot short film just so happens to be making its way around the web, and, as you might expect, it looks absolutely fantastic.
The film is called The Sand Storm. Directed by Jason Wishnow, the short is a self-proclaimed "lo-fi sci-fi" look at a nearby dystopian future in which society is facing rampant water shortages and where technology is as much of a hinderance as it is an asset. Take a look:
Although the story and the structure of the film are a bit of a mess, Wishnow, Doyle, and the production design/art direction team absolutely nailed it in terms of creating a viably dystopian sense of time and place. Of course, it's also easy to see some of Doyle's trademark cinematographic sensibilities. The lighting is sparse and contrasty, but incredibly beautiful. The camera movement lacks the freneticism of much of Doyle's other work, but it interacts with the characters in a way that is unique and compelling. And the compositions, with their symmetrical leanings and use of leading lines, are nothing short of masterful.
Even though the film is definitely not as strong as it could have been, it's nonetheless an intriguing glimpse into a strange world, and it could very well serve as a nice jumping off point for a more fully fleshed-out feature film.