In a story a plot device is generally an object or character that has the singular purpose of driving said story forward. It can be a lost love, legendary object, secret formula, hidden mythical realm or anything else that propels the characters and story along to their conclusion. In Plot Device, you’ll see that the creators have taken the term as literally as possible.
The short opens with our protagonist, ostensibly a budding filmmaker, sitting at his computer about to order a book about how to use digital technology to make “killer action movies on the cheap.” Just as he’s about to add the book to his shopping cart his eye catches the infamous “Customers who bought this item also bought” line. Intrigued, he takes a look and sees that the book is coupled with something called “plot device.” Intrigued and tempted beyond resistance, he immediately buys both.
When the mail arrives his package contains the book, which he quickly tosses aside, and a yellow plastic box with a single button on it. He finds out that pushing the button shifts him into different cinematic situations. With each push it gets crazier and crazier changing our protagonist’s reality into a variety of movie genres complete with unbelievable situations.
This short was created to showcase the abilities of a software package called Magic Bullet Suite by Red Giant software. Normally I wouldn’t foist unwanted ads on you, but this is a really fun little short and the only place the software is mentioned is in the credits. The effects created with the software are impressive, but what’s most impressive is the imaginative and humorous story the writers have woven together to entertain you by using several movie cliches very effectively.
I had originally come across this video sometime late last year and then forgot about it. Recently I happened to stumble upon it again while aimlessly wandering through the flashing lights and shiny things that fill the internet. Remembering how much I enjoyed it I thought I’d share.
If you’re interested in how this short was made, the developers have created a behind-the-scenes video. It shows how they made the short on a tiny budget, but with the look and feel of a big-budget film. To be fair, they do talk a lot about how the software was used, but they go into a lot about the practical solutions they found to make Plot Device a great looking little film. It’s worth a look.