Grounded: An Eye-Popping Sci-Fi Short Filmed Using Canon DSLRs

It’s mind-blowing what can be created these days using ordinary DSLRs, a small team of people, and a whole lotta skill with visual effects. The short film above, titled “Grounded“, was emailed in to us by its creator Kevin Margo, who works as the visual effects supervisor at Blur Studios. He says that it was inspired by his father, who passed away from cancer. Here’s the synopsis:

One astronaut’s journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop.

It was shot using a Canon 5D Mark II for 24fps footage, a Canon 7D for 60fps footage, and the Canon 24mm, 50mm, and 135mm prime lenses. The software used in post include Vegas, PFtrack, Zbrush/Vray/Max, Fusion, and AE/MagicBullet.

The project took two years to complete, and Margo himself did pretty much all of the filming, editing, and visual effects. While watching the 7-minute short, see if you can distinguish the DSLR footage from the computer generated imagery.

What’s awesome is that Margo also released a behind-the-scenes video that breaks down how some of the scenes were created. Prepare to be utterly amazed when you discover that many of the things you thought were part of the actual shot were completely generated by visual effects trickery:

The film has won quite a few awards already in the short time since it was released. Check out the credits to see just how barebones Margo’s production team was.

P.S. Feel free to offer your interpretation to what the film actually means in the comments.