Watch The Astounding Trailer For Argentinian SciFi UNDERLAND: THE LAST SURFACER

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Watch The Astounding Trailer For Argentinian SciFi UNDERLAND: THE LAST SURFACER
Just in case the rapid rise of Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez - who jumped straight to making studio features on the strength of his Uruguayan short film Panic Attack - was not enough to convince you that things are changing rapidly in Latin America, here's another name to make the point. Gonzalo Gutierrez. Remember it, because you're going to be hearing it a lot more in the near future.

An Argentinian VFX artist and director, Gutierrez has freshly released a trailer / proof of concept reel for an epically scaled science fiction project titled Underland: The Last Surfacer. At least it certainly appears to be epic in both scale and budget but the reality is that Gutierrez shot it in only three days on a single location, which makes the sheer scope of things even more impressive. While there does not appear to be an official synopsis available anywhere you'll get the point: We've got the remnants of a post apocalyptic humanity living underground while the surface appears to be dominated by high tech robots of either human or alien design. Throw a handsome hero and a cyborg woman warrior into the mix and you've got a little something going on ...

Check out the trailer below.
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The CloneOctober 4, 2013 8:43 PM

Creativity abounds! This looks great.

rage72October 4, 2013 10:39 PM

OMG!! that was amazing! I have a great appreciation for the effects artist all over south America, they do amazing work in such a short amount of time!

Marcel SamsonOctober 5, 2013 4:10 AM

Wait, did he just save a princess from a tower? :P

Mehaillien ThundercrossOctober 5, 2013 8:49 AM

Looks pretty great!

dx_xbOctober 5, 2013 8:53 AM

Cue ubiquitous droning trumpets

GetFiquetteOctober 6, 2013 1:33 AM

cute robot!!! hope this goes somewhere. best of luck to them.

davebaxterOctober 6, 2013 4:27 AM

Using only 3% physical reality and 97% recycled CGI from Chronicles of Riddick and Immortals, we have put together a trailer with nothing but context-less action and the ultimate, ULTIMATE stock phrase: Everything you A LIE!!!!

Wish I could say this trailer meant something besides: yeah, we can do cool (but meaningless) VFX with a lot of man hours at a computer. Oh, what, the actual filming of actual people? Pshaw! 3 days, baby. I mean, why do we need to work that much with real people and real cameras? Or worry about our trailer telling any sort of narrative?

Answer: because that's how you make an entire movie worth anyone giving a crap about.

Ard VijnOctober 6, 2013 7:58 AM

That's a bit harsh I think. I'm not too fond of the IMMORTALS look myself, but seeing as how this is a cheapo proof-of-concept, I'm impressed with how "rich" it all looks. Based on this trailer I don't know if these guys can tell a story, but they sure prove that they can make it look good.

The movies you refer to were pretty damn expensive. If this was a calling card saying "We can do a production like that too", I think it's a success. And for each stolen element I see a few charming ones in there as well. So I'm not convinced, but I am interested.

tman418October 6, 2013 2:41 PM

Looks really nice!

davebaxterOctober 6, 2013 5:08 PM

I think its a false comparison in most cases to look at an indie film or short and say "But they did it for so little money!". They did it for so little money because they didn't have to pay anyone, and they could choose to handle more responsibilities themselves because they didn't have a deadline or studio execs to appease. If studios could make their tentpoles via non-union contracts and negotiate non-paying opportunities for everyone, they would.

In most cases, including I think this one, WHAT the film makers did, if you counted up the services and man hours, would cost a bundle. But they happen to have access to the equipment and skills and free/friend labor. That isn't exactly the same as doing something for so little money as compared to the studios. At least, it's not a big difference in terms of what they actually did and how they did it, just in how much they were forced to pay for it.

This is kind of the stupidity of Hollywood choosing to adopt the CGI model for their tentpoles - they've opened themselves up to competition to anyone who has access to the same computer equipment and know-how, vs. practical effects which most indie filmmakers couldn't manage even if they had the skills, because they would be less likely to get permission to buy/rent a helicopter and crash it.

So I don't think it's harsh - lots of people has the CGI skills. This trailer is void of any actual display of prowess besides being a VFX demo reel for the guy. A proof of concept for a feature film? It's garbage for that.

Todd BrownOctober 6, 2013 8:34 PM

They did it for so little money because they had the skill set to do it themselves and being in a position where I get sent these sorts of VFX heavy promos on a daily basis I can say absolutely that these guys are doing something at a level of quality that almost nobody else out there can manage. The level of design work, the lighting and texture, the composition of the shots, etc are all worlds ahead of the VAST majority of things like this I get sent. Nope, it doesn't tell you much of the story but it shows me enough that I very much want to know what that story is.

davebaxterOctober 6, 2013 9:10 PM

Yes, it makes for a killer VFX reel, I agree. But it doesn't show me one single thing that hints to there even BEING a story let alone making me want to "know what that story is". In fact, using lines like "Everything you a lie" makes me convinced that they don't have any storytelling skills whatsoever beyond the completely generic/recycled. Just because the VFX is pretty, even well beyond the norm, that shouldn't convince anyone to give the film makers a totally blank slate from which to consider their storytelling skills. They had plenty of opportunity to inject story and narrative elements into the trailer. They chose not to, or couldn't even determine that they hadn't. That = proof of poor storytelling choices right off the bat, not a giant benefit of the doubt because they're good at VFX.

LaubiOctober 7, 2013 10:27 AM

Regardless of the budget and circumstances, in the end of the day, does the trailer excite me as a film? I think the answer is no.

I am happy to overlook non-top of the range CG like many Japanese films that I have enjoyed (which is the feel I instantly got from watching the trailer). But the script, the unoriginal shots and the story that is shown to us did not raise my pulse at all. And to top it all off, the tag lines were just horrendous.

Copyright InfringementOctober 7, 2013 5:17 PM

This material was produced by Nomad VFX, the version you have uploaded is an illegally edited version by Gonzalo Gutierrez. CO-DIRECTOR OF THE TRAILER

You can see the official version

Todd BrownOctober 7, 2013 6:03 PM

Infringing and illegal how, exactly?

The only 'edit' in this is to actually include the full credit reel (which you completely omit in the version on your site, making it look as though you did all the work yourself) so people can see a full list of who did what. Nomad is fully credited here for their work, to the point of having a watermarked credit in the lower left of the frame for the entire duration of the video.

Gutierrez describes the rights situation here very differently than you do and given that you're actively trying to squelch the only version out there that actually credits the people who did the work on the film I'm far more inclined to take him seriously than you. Besides which, we're not actually hosting the video, YouTube is, so unless you can explain your position far more clearly than this and explain why it is that the rest of the people who worked on the short should not be credited for doing so, then I am perfectly happy to keep this version here until such time as you can prove to YouTube that you own the copyright and Gutierrez does not.

Copyright InfringementOctober 7, 2013 6:18 PM

Here you have the Official version with credits by Nomad VFX

Todd BrownOctober 7, 2013 6:25 PM

That version does NOT include the credits. It says only 'Created by Nomad'. It doesn't credit a single, actual human being who worked on it.

DafooleOctober 7, 2013 11:33 PM