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4 items from 2014

12 sci-fi and horror shorts turned into feature films

2 December 2014 5:41 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

From low-budget dystopias to grungy horror, here are 12 shorts that became films such as Evil Dead, Twelve Monkeys and The Babadook.

The best story ideas are often the simple and pure ones. It's little wonder, then, that so many filmmakers and storytellers start by making short films - after all, if you can tell a good story in just a few minutes, you might be talented enough to make a feature.

Cinema history is full of stories about young filmmakers getting their start by making low-budget shorts. James Cameron famously made Xenogenesis, a sci-fi short which contained lots of things that would appear in his later feature films: a giant robot with big tank tracks, a cyborg, and a heroine at the helm of a hard-hitting mecha.

The short films below vary wildly, from two-minute chillers to 30-minute post-apocalyptic science fiction, but each of them are watchable for their own reasons, »

- ryanlambie

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How George Lucas brought Star Wars to the screen

12 September 2014 7:04 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

George Lucas' 1974 rough draft of Star Wars is now a Titan comic book. Ryan charts the script's evolution from page to screen classic...

It's like Star Wars, but refracted through a strange lens. Here's Han Solo, but he's green, like the Toxic Avenger, and has gills. Here's Luke Skywalker, but he's a powerful general with a white beard and a flinty look in his eye.

All this can be found in what is now commonly called The Rough Draft of The Star Wars, originally written by George Lucas back in 1974. A kind of mid-point between the somewhat vague ideas Lucas first had for his space fantasy movie earlier in the decade, and the fourth draft - which was used as the shooting script for the 1977 film - The Star Wars is a jarring document from the franchise's early history.

Last year, Dark Horse produced an eight-part series of comics based on The Rough Draft, »

- ryanlambie

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Watch: George Lucas' 'Electronic Labyrinth Thx 1138 4Eb' That Will Probably Be In The New Museum He's Opening

27 June 2014 7:24 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Before "Star Wars," before Indiana Jones and before "American Graffiti," George Lucas was just another film school kid trying to eke out a career. But it wouldn't take him long, with his student film kicking open the door that would lead to becoming one of the most influential blockbuster storytellers of all time. And now you can see where it all began. Though you might have seen it before, Open Culture freshly points us in the direction of "Electronic Labyrinth Thx 1138 4Eb," the short film Lucas made as a student, which showed his affinity for sci-fi tales centering on underdogs taking on oppressive authority. Lucas would expand the story to make "Thx 1138," his first feature film, but you can see the intriguing roots of his cinematic feature in this fifteen-minute take. And hey, with the director now planning to open the Lucas Museum Of Narrative Arts in Chicago »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: George Lucas' Student Short Film That Inspired 'Thx 1138'

27 June 2014 | | See recent news »

  Before George Lucas’ 1971 dystopian classic Thx 1138 hit theaters — about a future in which an android police force controls the populace and mandatory drugs quell emotions and personal desires — there was Lucas’ student film the story was based on. Electronic Labyrinth: Thx 1138 4Eb was created in 1967 while the director was still wet behind the ears, attending the University of Southern California's film school. Running 15 minutes long, Lucas cast his student short with members of the real-life Navy — as several military members were also attending USC for their studies. Most of the filming took place at night in locations the Navy granted him special access to. After 12 weeks of shooting in the USC computer center, a parking lot at...

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- Alison Nastasi

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2014 | 2010 | 2009

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