LOSTBOY: A Dark Dystopian Cyberpunk Short

An intense cyborg chase sequence through the ruins of an apocalyptic future.

A frantic woman, decked out in leather, spikes, and a mohawk, races through desert mist, dodging jagged pillars of cybernetic waste. On her trail is Lostboy, a cyborg hunter who's more metal than man, and has a singular objective: catching his prey.

Born of a love of cyberpunk and westerns, LOSTBOY delivers a bite-sized dose of science fiction cruelty that's going to make you hungry for more.

LOSTBOY is a short film directed by Ash Thorp and Anthony Scott Burns, who have hopes of turning it into a feature. PostPanic Pictures, who’s very name brings to mind dystopian futures, produced the sci-fi short. As Burns puts it: “The story came from wanting to show where humanity could be headed in a way we haven't seen before. A beautiful, demented, cautionary tale.”  

Concept art for LOSTBOY. Image copyright Ash Thorp.

Thorp has done concept design for a litany of projects, including Prometheus, Ender’s Game, Total Recall, Iron Man, and Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. Growing up with dreams of becoming a comic book artist, he created character sketches for a possible comic book project in an “attempt to re-connect with his child like self again”. He went nuts with it, creating over 500 sketches. Thorp began texting these sketches to Burns, PostPanic Pictures’ commercial representative. Burns was incredibly excited with what he saw.

The two decided to work together to bring Thorp's sketches to life as a live action short, with the intention of expanding the world later. They pulled influences from a variety of sources -- the acclaimed films of Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone, for example, and the intense comic book worlds of Moebius, Frank Miller, and Katsuhiro Otomo. Even nature films figured into their creative process. Perhaps most obvious of all is the aesthetic influence of 1980’s science fiction, which is apparent in the cyborg design, mohawks, and Lostboy’s glowing red visor.

That visor, by the way, is not just a slick looking pair of cyberpunk specs. It is a cartridge that's been rammed directly into Lostboy’s cybernetic face, presumably loaded with terabytes upon terabytes of cyborg hunting tactics. 

Concept art for LOSTBOY. Image copyright Ash Thorp.

Concept art for LOSTBOY. Image copyright Ash Thorp.

PostPanic worked hard to find just the right actor to portray Lostboy. They needed “someone with a powerful stature and presence, along with a very well-defined and chiseled face, because he needed to be able to cut the light and wear the physical role well.” The team found what they needed in Wasteclay Moreas (am I mistaken in thinking his name would be perfect for a badass cyberpunk villian?). The woman being chased, who the directors have named Xeh, is played by Nerea Revilla. Revilla was chosen for her “beautiful facial features that played well with the feel and sense of the world.” After looking at each of the actors’ headshots, the directors auditioned Moreas and Revilla via Skype, asking them to perform movements until Thorp and Burns were confident they had what it took to perform the physical demands of the production.

The short was filmed near a small desert town in southern Spain, a spot the directors felt was sufficiently alien and lacking in life to act as the film’s hellish backdrop. Cables and wires hanging off the pillars of this desert suggest that it is some kind of post-apocalyptic waste yard for cybernetic leftovers, or perhaps the remnants of some kind of an apocalyptic war.

According to the directors, there’s more in store for the world of LOSTBOY. Thorp and Burns have a finished draft for the full feature film, which presumably works off the mountain of sketches Thorp created for the concept. Also possibly in the works are alternate films and adapted series that could play off the ideas in LOSTBOY

However, the only hint we get regarding a release date for a feature film are two words at the bottom of the blog: "Coming 2017." Here's hoping the project doesn't fall through, and that we'll be seeing more of Lostboy's glowing red stare in the near future.

For more concept art and information about the production you can check out the blog, or go to Ash Thorp's website. You can also bookmark the LOSTBOY website for official news and media. 

Concept art for LOSTBOY. Image copyright Ash Thorp.

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LOSTBOY: A Dark Dystopian Cyberpunk Short