In a new short film called They Will All Die In Space, a technician is awoken from cryo-sleep and is told that his starship has gotten lost in the cosmos. He’s needed to help repair the communications system to call for help, but quickly realizes that something has gone horrifyingly wrong.
The film channels the claustrophobic tension of Alien and the desperate situation of Passengers, and ends with a neat twist that pays off exceptionally well. Spanish director Javier Chillon told The Verge in an e-mail that after directing two other short films Die Schneider Krankheit and Decapoda Shock, he wanted to do something a bit more conventional, a science fiction film that was straight up science fiction with no supernatural elements.
What’s most striking about They Will All Die In Space is that it’s shot in black and white. Chillon says that throughout production, he and his director of photography, Luis Fuentes, thought of the film as a crime thriller, and went with the monotone look to inject a sense of noir in to the story. The effect really works, driving up the tension all the way to the end.
Chillon says that he worked on the film for four years, borrowing a sound stage and camera to keep costs down. The biggest part of the project was the sets, which Chillon and his crew built from scratch in an effort to minimize the amount of CGI that they would need. The result is a short film set in a gritty, claustrophobic space that helps fuel the sense of dread that builds over the course of the film.
Chillon explained that while classic science fiction films like Alien and Outland were a huge inspiration for They Will All Die In Space, he was mainly influenced by what helped inspire those films in the first place: “the whole French new wave of science fiction comic books in the 60s and 70s,” such as Métal Hurlant, Valérian, and artists such as Moebius and Enki Bilal.
The film has already gone through the festival circuit, where it’s received quite a bit of praise. Now that it’s online, Chillon explained that he’s now hard at work writing his next project.