Directed by: #JoaquinSharpeJr
Every filmmaker has to start somewhere, there’s no doubt about that. Filmmakers from Spielberg to Edgar Wright have told countless stories about their earlier works on Super 8 cameras, editing from their bedrooms. But even though probably wouldn’t want those early attempts to hit YouTube.
Which makes it hard to give Galaxy on Fire, clearly a very early effort from young director Joaquin Sharpe Jr — the kicking it’s about to receive, but this #animation is probably best left to the laptop screen in his bedroom.
Because, if truth is told, this short film is utterly unwatchable. Made from a hodge podge of cheap animation (a “free trial!” logo is watermarked across the entire runtime) and actual footage from the video game of the same name it is adapting (presumably without consent). Neither style is pleasant to look at: the former makes characters appear on screen like cardboard cut outs, moving jerkily, with mouths that either don’t move in time with speech or simply don’t move at all. The latter, compete with floating health bars, is rendered like a PlayStation-era cutscene. This is especially true in the short’s interminable dogfights, which sees lasers flying in all directions from ships you can’t even see properly. Sharpe may also want to get to know a lawyer pretty quick, and hope that John Williams doesn’t find out about the snatches of his Star Wars theme used in theses sections…
Even behind the look and sound of the animation, Sharpe has everything ahead of him to learn about narrative. The story makes zero sense, with characters zipping in and out of far flung locations with no understanding of how they got there, while the characters themselves are entirely non-existent. The voice performances are extraordinary too, and not in a good way: flat and monotone, with some clearly recorded over Skype and a TV blaring in the background.
If film really is Sharpe’s passion then it would be churlish not to wish him luck in learning his craft; but that doesn’t make Galaxy on Fire any more enjoyable to sit though, feeling more like a playground recreation of a video game by a bunch of ten-year-olds.