What happens when Humanity arrives
at the technological singularity and achieves digital immortality? Where do we go from here?
Written By: Justin Boon
Directed By: Justin Boon,
One fact about indie productions has always bothered me more than just a little: A severe lack of animation. It's as if the term independent production slingshots any and all forms of animators... to a galaxy far far away, never to be heard from again. That's why, good reader, when I received a review request for "Sonova", and realized it was animated, I was happy as a robot receiving a much needed upgrade. At first anyhow. The more I thought about the few animated indie titles I have watched over the years, and how... less than stellar... they were, I began to get a little worried. It's not that I expected "Sonova" to be a pile of scrap, rather I simply didn't want to find out. I'm a fan of animation and it's so rare that an indie, or low budget director can get it right... rare indeed. Let me be honest, I just didn't want to watch another bad, animated film. I'll get one thing straight however, Justin Boon did not disappoint. Aside from the instant thought of "Wall-E" when looking at the poster graphics, "Sonova", at least in the screenshots, looked pretty darn good. I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn't in for a half baked animation attempt... and when it was all said and done, I was correct. "Sonova" is a visual treat, easily on par with most studio productions out there. Although not the most unique of ideas in the way of story, there is a fresh feeling about this short film that makes it easy to fall into. My main complaint, when it's all said and done, was that the movie ends right when you feel it should be just starting. More on that later.
Regarding the technicalities of this short film... I don't have much to write. As I mentioned above, "Sonova" looks pretty good. From the opening cartoon(ish) sequence, straight through to the main course (the animation) things look pretty spiffy. Since this is a narrated short, I also have no issue with the audio. Overall, technically this is a pretty sound production. It's very rare I don't have anything to write/complain about with indie projects, so let me just conclude by complaining that I have nothing to complain about. Wait! There is something! I couldn't help but think as I was watching, about all the "rubble" scattered around the virtual sets. A lot of it was just so old, even by today's standards. Old computers from the 70's or 80's, mixed with a lot of retro... junk. You would figure that there would be some new (by our current standards) stuff laying around collecting dust in the future. Sure, this retro stuff makes for some interesting set pieces, but story-wise makes no sense at all. I would have liked to have seen some modern, and maybe some slightly futuristic stuff rotting away in the debris.
In the end, "Sonova" is an interesting little diversion with some real potential for a future production... if Justin Boon so chooses to go that direction. Sure, the entire short film feels more like a prelude to a larger story, but maybe that's the point. As I wrote above, it feels like things are just getting started when they are over. Yes, there is a start, a middle and an end; it just feels like it's the start, middle and end of the first act. A prelude. With the way things are set up, and the interesting twist on a familiar "computer takes over the world" plot, I felt almost cheated when it was all over. There is just so much here waiting to be tapped, and maybe... just maybe at some point a revisit will occur. For now however, come for the indie beauty, watch for the promise of an interesting story... and hope for the continuation sometime in our near future.
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