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Old School Sci-fi Short Starring Keir Dullea Utilizes Classic Effects 91

New submitter Wierzbowski85 (2852925) writes Indie Kickstarter-funded sci-fi short HENRi features classic visual effects and storytelling – with a twist. As detailed in Cinefex magazine (issue 134), the film itself utilizes a mixture of the old and the new — combining live-action sequences with puppetry, quarter-scale miniatures, and modern CGI. Speaking with Wired, the film's director said: "The goal was to seamlessly integrate these different techniques to create the world. My philosophy is that effects are merely a tool to help the story, and that in mind, we used pretty much every trick in the book." The film also stars genre legend Keir Dullea, of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In a making-of video for the film, Dullea says, "Having done 2001, [HENRi] was a wonderful homage to Stanley Kubrick and that film." The short is now available for free viewing online at Hulu.
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Old School Sci-fi Short Starring Keir Dullea Utilizes Classic Effects

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  • Hulu sucks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @04:10PM (#47638635)

    Went to view the Hulu link and it tells me I'm not worthy because I'm not in the USA. That is just douche-baggery.

    • Get a VPN with an end-point in the US. That might work.
    • I am in the USA and tried to watch it. The commercial played beautifully. Then after the commercial, just a black screen. I waited 5 minutes and gave up. Anyone else have this experience?
      • Yes. (Using Firefox.) I reloaded, had to click on a "which commercial experience do you prefer" selection, and eventually got to the next segment.

        Dear Hulu,
        I don't currently have a Hulu account. Given your broken advertisement insertion technique, I am unlikely to change that. Given the excessive number of over-loud and irrelevant advertisements displayed before your broke code degrades the remainder of the viewing experience, I am even more unlikely to apply for a Hulu account or to try yo

    • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

      It still requires an account for US viewing. Won't do it.

    • I AM in the US and after being asked which "ad experience" I want, not selecting one, and being shown a car ad anyway the film failed to play. Fuck hulu
    • It opened fine for me in Firefox with Media Hint - after the obligatory ad of course! But, yeah, Hulu is a terrible choice to host an "indie" short.
  • Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States

    Well, f*ck you and your stupid short-film then!

    Just 5 Minutes ago I deleted the open source Spring RTS and the shite they build. 3 different lobbys with 3 different technologies, none of which work or are documented, the one that works - a redo of a webbased lobby in QT called "Weblobby QT" (No joke, seriously ...), has no documentation whatsoever on getting it to work with an existing installation and the 90 seconds before

    • I just watched it. I was kind of underwhelmed. Not to worry, though, the torrent will be out in 5...4...3...
    • by gajop ( 1285284 )

      Not only are you a jerk, you post is also filled with misinformation.
      First off, Spring RTS is an engine, not a game. There are multiple games made with it, at least two of which are green-lit on Steam, so it's not clear what you are talking about.
      Next, while there are indeed multiple lobbies (as it's an open protocol), this is not something you need to concern yourself with (you can just use the one that comes with the game), and it's certainly not a flaw.
      Thirdly, the only information you need to give when

    • Bring on IPv6 - it breaks region checks from these annoying pricks that insist on placing artificial barriers to aid with regional price gouging.
  • Intelligent Decision (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @04:53PM (#47638819) Homepage Journal

    USA, population : 318,463,000

    *Rest* of world, population : 6,727,537,000

    That's a rather large population who could be donating to get this made that they've just alienated.

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      a rather large portion of the rest of world has better uses for their extremely limited funds.

      • by Zedrick ( 764028 )
        What's your point?

        A rather large portion of USA has better uses for their extremely limited funds - US poverty rate is among the worst in the developed world. But there are people with money and the bandwidth to watch the result, just like (almost) every other country in the world.
        • Yeah, I saw a documentary about poor people in the US - they were wearing nice clothing and were complaining they have no money for GAS and had to ditch their TV.
          I have to say it: you have a very weird definition of "poor".

          • In the US public transportation is not properly funded. To even get to work on time on a regular basis it's not uncommon to need a car. I'm not going to bother addressing the rest of your comment. Fuck you for spreading misinformation.
            • I'm not spreading shit, dumbass, I live on a different continent and here where I am people just make do, they don't appear on TV saying "hey we have cars but we don't have GAS MONEY".

        • ...but... but... they cant always have the latest iPhone.. sometimes their iPhone gets old and they have to wait another year for their cell phone contract to be up in order to get the new one...

          Yes, thats literally what the poor people the GP were talking about have to deal with. He of course wants to paint the picture that all the people in his statistic are living in slums with only tattered rags for possessions...

          ..the reality is that we calculate our poverty threshold differently than most other c
    • half of that 6 .7 billion make $2.50 or less a day, 40 percent of that 6.7 billion have ony five percent of global income.

      that 318 million get a quarter of that global income.

  • don't appear to let people outside the US view it.

    Nice business model :-(

  • No region blockages, etc.

    • I'm asking the same. The movie's creators know [] they are featured on /.. It is possible they read through the comments. They'll see Hulu is very unpopular. I'd like to ask them why they have chosen Hulu and not another, more international website, like youtube with ads enabled, for example.

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        For those who have Twitter, let's ask him for a non-Hulu web site so we can watch it.

  • I think this film was designed to make you want to go dig out your copy of 2001 and watch it. And in that, it succeeded.

    Being a 21%er I did get to enjoy the film.
    • Yes, an excellent film, even if you don't go back to look at 2001: A Space Odyssey. And I think it can stand as an excellent story even for people who miss the references to 2001 entirely.

  • by Tolvor ( 579446 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @09:31PM (#47639901)

    I watched the film, despite the long commercials. Essentially (for me) it is was a waste of time.

    A good scifi film should raise interesting questions (what is "intelligence", "human", "purpose"...) To some degree this film tries to achieve this. A computer more-or-less becomes self-aware on a long-dead spaceship. Okay, good start. However there is no point to it whatsoever. The computer sits in a chair and thinks and then watches the spaceship explode. Questions about why would someone send a (presumably) research vessel aimlessly into deep space, why design an AI that has no mission to accomplish (no programs, projects, repairs to do?), why did the crew die of old age (advanced spaceship and no cryo-storage?). Come on, a generational spaceship with crew being born, trained, and dying would be better. What destroyed the ship at the end?

    I feel this film is a weird cross not of 2001, but of "A.I." (where the entire point is to see the robot play out the end of humanity to far-future space aliens discovering the ruins) and "Silent Running" which details a man trying to save the last bio-habitat space station by sending it out into deep space before Earth can destroy it. At the end of the film he hides the habitat in deep space so Earth can't find it, and beyond their reach. So effectively it is the same thing as destroyed, and pointless.

    The commercials were more interesting than the movie. The film technique may be impressive and noteworthy. However to me I'd rather watch a film with so-so technique that is entertaining (ex "Avatar") vs something that is avant-garde and boring (ex: "HENRi", "Blue")

    • I think you missed the point.

      Somebody had reused a human brain as a ship AI. After the crew died (there is some indication it was disease, not old age- Dr. Calvin in her death scene did not look old and still had color to her hair, despite there being nobody around left to be vain for) he foolishly asked to be left turned on, and eventually the amnesia circuits started to degrade, bringing back his human memories- which is why he created the robot body for himself, and why, after he had recovered those mem

    • And you clearly missed the point of A.I. if you think those beings at the end of the film were 'space aliens'. Do some Googling. I missed that too... :/

    • by Anonymous Coward

      To each their own. I must have watched something different, because I really enjoyed it. Totally picked up on the classic sci-fi references. It worked for me on an emotional level as well. Slightly confused about the ending... but I think he was killed by the death (birth?) of a star. If that's the case, a star going supernova is a rather beautiful and spectacular way to end ones life. That was poignant to me.

      • And the ship just happened to have enough fuel to change its course and make its way to a some star instead of wherver it was going? In a time-frame short enough that the human brain inside the robot didn't die? Doesn't seem likely to me. Also, that fireball that was supposed to be a sun exploding was pretty unrealistic. I mean, a sun doesn't look like a fireball, and a supernova explodes pretty much instantaneously from your ship's point of view. It's doesn't gradually expand like that. You get hit by it e
  • Hulu? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @09:56PM (#47639979) Homepage Journal

    Why didn't they just post it to a private web server with no public facing ports?

  • by Jarik C-Bol ( 894741 ) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @11:31PM (#47640263)
    I bought and downloaded and watched this almost two years ago, why in the world is it making the 'news' now? It's pretty, but the story felt kind of.. absent, like it was trying to riff off of some of the great sci-fi of the past and not really putting it all together. to make anything particularly coherent.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Too bad they didn't mention Karen Allen's contributions to the project.

    I thought she brought a wonderful character to life for the film.

    One of the few films that left so many mysteries that a sequel could really add to the story rather than take away from it. I've seen many Indy films over the years, some good or bad, but this one truly, really served the Story and not the FX. It has an Alien (the Astronomer room bit) aspect to it. It has a 2001 aspect to it. It has an end of the human race aspect to it. An

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The fact that anything at all in it isn't a shitty CGI cartoon, or the fact that it doesn't suck?

  • by Sasich ( 3780639 ) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @03:33PM (#47643121) Homepage

    Hi – I'm Eli, I directed HENRi. I normally don't interact with forums or comments concerning my work – once a project is out there, it's fair game. However, I was made aware of the heated discussion here at /. about the film being released on Hulu, and I wanted to clear up a few things.

    First, I want to apologize to those of you outside of the U.S. who were unable to view the film due to Hulu's territory restrictions. I certainly want anyone who wishes to see the film to be able to do so, regardless of where they are located in the world. More on that later.

    Second, we didn't specifically pick Hulu for distribution. After the festival run we licensed the film with Shorts International and IndieFlix. These two companies then distributed the film with their partners across multiple platforms for maximum exposure – including OnDemand and TV programming, educational use, and streaming / digital download services. Hulu is the latest viewing option to go live, and the first "free" option for those who don't mind a few commercials. Hulu also has region restrictions, which is unfortunate and out of our control.

    For our non-U.S. based friends, there are several ways to check out the film. On our website [] we use a service called Distrify – which allows you to stream or download a copy of the film, and the making-of doc, for a small fee. There are no international restrictions, and we kept the price point at the lowest possible option. For those of you who subscribe to IndieFlix [], we are available on their service, which can be accessed around the world. We also sell region-free DVDs and Blu-rays.

    I hope that clears up any confusion or frustration some of you had. Many thanks to those of you who have watched the film and supported us. So say we all.

    Eli Sasich

    • by Artemis3 ( 85734 )

      Ever heard of, youtube, vimeo, dailymotion, etc? Just saying, []

      If you don't care, well; your loss.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's not often that the creator of a project will take the time to answer a question here. I thought it was classy and I appreciated the explanation.

        Your response was passive-agressive and childish. A link to wikipedia video hosting sites... seriously? Obviously they are trying a specific distribution process here. I don't mind giving them 99 cents to see the film. Grow up.

  • ...and at a reasonable price. DRM free and no geo-restrictions: []

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev