Posted by Martin Vilcans on 11 July 2007

I wrote about the low-budget effect-packed short film Broken previously, and recently I received a preview of writer/editor/director Alex Ferrari's new short film Cyn. It was made in just six days, from writing the script to the final master, which is an impressive feat.

Cyn is similar in style to Broken, but while Broken seems more like the first 20 minutes of a feature film, Cyn has a story that fits the short format well. Since the story is so short, I won't spoil it by saying anything about it, except that it includes guns and explosions. The special effects are good for a low-budget short, especially considering the short time they had. The SFX are not as good as Broken though, and the image is grainy and has a high black level. This is a stylistic choice, and while I like rough looking images, I think they are taking it one step to far in Cyn.

Apart from the (in my taste) too degraded image quality, the cinematography looks good, but there are annoying violations of the 180 degree rule in the initial dialogue. A casual viewer (such as me the first time I watched it) won't notice what the problem is, but it probably confuses people about the spatial relationships between the characters, i.e. where they are in the room, who's looking at who etc.

What's really impressive about Cyn is the beginning and ending credit sequences. They look very professional and the audio sounds good too. It's obvious that they spent a lot of the short time they had on them. In fact the credit sequences make up almost half of the film's running time.

What I liked most about Broken was the extra features on the DVD. They had quite a lot of inspirational information about how they made the film, even though I would have liked it to be even more in depth. It looks like the production company The Enigma Factory will release a DVD of Cyn too, hopefully full of additional features. In the meantime they have a MySpace page with a few short documentaries about the production. They'll add more of them later on, so keep an eye on it if you're into low-budget filmmaking in general, and special effects in particular.

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