Directed by: Jonathan Brooks
Written by: Jonathan Brooks - Andrew McGee
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This was a clever short film. Not so much the film itself, which is actually good, by the way, but by how it was made. Imagine creating a scripted science fiction film using only pre-existing and completely public footage from NASA, no less. Now imagine scraping through decades of files, a ridiculous number of files to even count, in order to make your short film a reality. Problem 1? It all has to match up somehow and make sense. Problem 2? The sheer amount of files and different codecs and problem 3? All the other issues I haven't mentioned. It sounds like a daunting task, and I'm sure it probably was, but for this filmmaker, it's all in a day's work. Scratch that, many, many days work.
It's almost become a cliche, the isolation of space. But for one cosmonaut, commander Connor, things only get lonelier when he can't seem to get any contact from the earth. Houston is down, and so is everything else, apparently. As Solus's hero narrates to us through his recorded entries, the isolation practically becomes tangible, and when he begins hearing strange noises and even records them, things begin to get weird. This is a science fiction film, after all, and without actually saying the "A" word, I'm sure everyone will quickly pick up on that.
The pandemic has infused the world with some pretty interesting movies from aspiring filmmakers and established ones as well, but this idea, at least as far as I know, is a first. Filmmaker and writers Jonathan Brooks and Andrew McGee have something unique to offer for sure. But the question you are probably asking is if it's actually good? In short, yes. Very few would suspect that this film was made entirely using public footage from the space archive, but the footage doesn't do it alone. The narrator, CDR Conner, is pleasantly believable. Both in tone and dialog, and to top it off, the scoring is executed excellently as well.
Solus is a great film wrapped over top a clever idea. The science fiction element plays out nicely against the backdrop of the space station and all in all. I was extremely and pleasantly surprised. This could really be a one-of-a-kind production so far, but it plays like any other nicely produced science fiction film. Thumbs up.