Short of the Week

Project Kronos

Project Kronos is a documentary film set in the not too distant future, following a mission to achieve interstellar space travel. As the mission unfolds with extraordinary results, the scientists find themselves dealing with a much bigger agenda.

Unmanned space missions are the norm when discussing the future of interstellar space travel. Manned space missions present issues of basic human biology over years of earth time. NASA has forums and message boards dedicated to discussing humanity in space. Filmmaker Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull introduces an alternate possibility that will have you thinking in his short Project Kronos.

Conceived in a faux-documentary style, not unlike a touchstone of short sci-fi, Alive in Joburg, the film begins with a series of title cards that consolidate the American progress of space travel. Here, Project Kronos is defined. Twenty two years from now, humanity has achieved a version of manned space travel that is resistant to the biological constraints of the human body. The film focuses on a series of scientists discussing their thought process in creating and launching Project Kronos.

This film has benefits and misdirection on both story and design. The usual three act structure is scarcely evident in the film. Substance in storytelling does not kick in until the characters discuss how Project Kronos is executed. That pivot succeeds however, raising several moral, ethical, and technological questions that force the viewer to confront their views on the current space programs. This dilemma raises the possibility of a larger science fiction universe that could create a foundation for epic storytelling, and it is rumored that Dulull is considering expanding the short into a series. That could be an ace decision, as the film does make more sense as a prologue for a longer, sustained story.

A working VFX artist with several impressive credits to his name, Dulull’s design is suitably epic. Adobe is a presenting sponsor of the short, a unique and interesting tidbit, and the film is certainly interesting visually. Choices such as overwhelming infographics and a 2:35 aspect ratio were used to modernize fantastic concepts and create epic scope. Extensive use of creative common imagery from NASA is beautifully incorporated. However the success of this approach is undercut when the graphics are merely used as set decoration rather than enhancing the concepts discussed. While a flawed short, overall the craft and ideas presented are a great enticement and introduction into a world that has the potential to be thought-provoking and expansive—we keep our fingers crossed that this is only the first installment of Project Kronos.

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Genevieve is an adjunct instructor at New York University. Her belief is that shorts are the foundation for long form storytelling.
  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.dear.39 Matthew Dear

    really cool, loved it. I want to know more.
    The only criticism I’d give was the Lee Everson Astro Physicist, really not convinced by his acting, almost ruined the flow, sorry :s

  • Caladis

    hmmmm, I did like it but, from a physics point of view you just completely washed over how you would accelerate the probes. I mean you went into great detail on many aspects of the science involved but when it came to what fuel or method of drive to reach those vast distances you just left it blank. It makes it really unbelievable for me.

  • caladis

    Another massive issue is that you talked about storage space for computational information thus using the brain yet you totally ignored the fact that our brains use a disproportionate amount of the energy in our bodies, more than any two other organs combined. So, it would need huge amounts of nutrition in order to maintain homeostasis and mitosis. Probably as much space as the hard drives of some super computer.

  • Holly Plappert

    Didn’t you see the astronaut punt it when they let it out of the space shuttle? That baby is gonna keep going and going and going, just like our friend the Energizer bunny, which btw I could believe more than this crap of ever comming true.

  • Jason Sondhi

    Another hit for Scott at IAM Sports and Entertainment, lining up some prestigious partners to turn this into a feature. http://variety.com/2013/film/news/project-kronos-taking-off-as-full-length-feature-exclusive-1200563814/

  • brandon thompson

    I liked it. Another movie that plays off “leave the body behind” concept “The Host” where alien life forms take to the stars in pods is the more likely candidate for space travel in our future. Having said that anyone think its a conspiracy that Earth was put in the back lot of the galaxy FAR away as in -near impossible to get to another planet- on purpose? Lol. I think this was on purpose!!