Gamma is a sad, dark and utterly fanastic post-apocalyptic short film that was actually filmed in part in the ruins of Chernobyl.
In the irradiated nightmare of the future, one company promises to restore a clean Earth to humanity: Gamma. Its patented “Nuke-Root” biotechnology, part fungus and part mollusc, absorbs radiation, restoring blighted cities to their former glory, after which they’re “switched off” and safely disposed of underground.
But something went wrong. Deployed over the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, rendered uninhabitable by the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the organisms instead left the city more radioactive than ever and choked by an out-of-control infestation. And now nobody knows what will happen next.
Created by U.K.-based film and animation studio Factory Fifteen, Gamma is a faux-documentary following researchers as they enter the abandoned city of Pripyat in an effort to discover what happened to Gamma’s recovery project. It’s eerie, dark and incredibly tense, sensations heightened by the real-life backdrops of Baikonur, Kazakhstan and Pripyat, Ukraine, where filming took place.
It’s a brilliant piece of work, and is more than a little reminiscent of the original District 9 short that ultimately led to the feature film of the same name. Could it happen again? Anything’s possible, I suppose; in the meantime, don’t miss out on a very cool glimpse behind the curtain, in the form of a “making of” video and a big pile of concept art and stills, at factoryfifteen.com.