Monday, July 16, 2007

Dastoli Brothers Create 'Omega 35' for $750



While poking around Google today, I stumbled upon a 20 minute short film created by a pair of obviously talented identical twin brothers, James and Robert Dastoli. Their movie is the sci-fi flick Omega 35, which was made for their senior thesis at the University of Central Florida.

The story centers around a jailbreak in deep space, and the relationship that quickly develops between the rouge Vegas (Ray Eddy) and his would-be rescuer, Evi (Joanna Eliza Stevens). It's a fun little movie that has tons of production value, some decent acting, and a whole lot of atmosphere. Inspired by 80's science fiction, it mostly succeeds, and is over before it wears out its welcome.

I learned some interesting stuff while watching this movie. Despite all of the CG work (which is pretty decent), the best part is the chemistry between the two actors. If you can nail this down, you've got your audience, and I liked what was going on. The technical side was also good, and I liked everything from the computer displays to the convincing set work. While I'm not a fan of bluescreen effects (which I find distracting), at least it was limited here. The brothers are also very good directors, and know how to point a camera effectively.

Omega 35 has a very good behind the scenes reel, which is informative and entertaining. The Dastolis even include footage of their profanity-laced bickering during a tough day of shooting, which is admirable (I'm not sure I would do the same) and funny, so my hat's off to them.

Their website is well worth perusing , as it is chock full of stuff. Be sure to check their large list of other shorts, most of which are for sale on feature-laden, modestly priced DVDs. While they don't have any features under their belt, two are in development, and are scheduled for completion in 2008. I'm very curious to see how they fare in a full-length venue.

Despite the fact I've never heard of the Dastoli brothers before, my guess is I'll be hearing a lot about them in the future.

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