Short of the (every few) week(s)!: WORLD-BUILDING

Hello Internet Dwellers!

In consistently inconsistent fashion your favourite wedge of Internet cheese is back, once more here to stain your palette with it’s fragrance and flavours. This week we are looking at World Building. Specifically around the idea of futuristic/dystopian type shorts where you need to very quickly explain to the viewer where they are, what the status quo is and set up any rules which will inevitably broken later on.

The short I’ve chosen for this is THE EXIT ROOM written and directed by Tom Wiseman and loosely based on “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”.

Open your eyes and watch this:




Welcome back. So, pretty brutal eh?

Ok so the ending was a bit cheap but definitely makes it provoke a reaction. The production value of this very impressive &almost feels like cheating by having the world’s second best looking man (Charlie from Girls) in your short. Timothy Olyphant is number one obviously.

But in terms of world building how well does it do? Personally I found it a great example. Using things like the Youtube to explain the back story is brilliant and certainly something I’ll be looking to rip-off at some stage. (See also Catfish’s use of Facebook/Google Maps/ iTunes interfaces. These tools are now as ubiquitous to us as an Indiana Jones’s style map overlay. Instantly understood and can be a great solution to wordy exposition).   It lets you quickly and relativity cheaply cram a lot of information into the front end of your short so by the time we get into the meat of the story we have a very good sense of where we are and what the issues of this world are.

From there it’s about creating a consistent world. The look of the rooms and especially the costumes/props all work so well to make you feel this is a real world when in fact all we get is a few corridors.

One aside, and I’d be interested to see if anyone else picked up on this, but was the buzzer sound the same as the exit room gun sound? I remember the first time I watched it it immediately but very subconsciously made me realise something was not right, without it being too obvious.

So in short, set your world out quickly, define your rules, make them consistent and then have fun breaking them.



Hugely rated sci-fi drama, I wasn’t mad on it but again it’s all about making a consistent believable world. Amazing what the costumes/props add to it. If they hadn’t looked good it would have just looked like some people being weird in a forest. With them you can buy this being an alien land. This has been optioned for a feature.


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