Making short films as Hollywood calling cards is a popular -- and, sometimes, costly -- effort to get the attention of studios hungry for fresh talent to tackle IP or genre fare.

While the process can be long and unkind to your bank account (or various maxed-out credit cards), it can also prove to be very rewarding -- even if it doesn't net you a gig directing Paramount or WB's latest would-be blockbuster, the end result can show you your potential as a filmmaker. Obviously, it lets you flex and fine-tune those muscles and it's just damn fun to put something in your head on film. 

Former Pixar Animation Studios employee Colin Levy knows how that is. His recent short, the impressive Skywatch, is a testament to that effort. It also is an impressive film that can and should inspire you to start or finish yours. Watch it below: 

Just over ten minutes, Levy shows he has a deft handle on executing Amblin-y or Bad Robot-style stories with compelling emotional beats among some impressive, studio-level VFX. (The latter will be what catches the attention of studio execs, but Levy's work with the young cast here and execution of the sci-fi story with an appreciation for giving it an emotional core should not be overlooked.)

Also, that Jude Law cameo?! How did he pull that off?

In an interview with SlashFilm, Levy revealed how and more behind-the-scenes secrets involving how he pulled off the VFX and what's in store for the future for his idea, should it get the feature treatment. Click here to read more