Science Fiction is a pretty broad genre. And one of the more popular sub-genres is Steampunk. And for a sub-genre, steampunk is pretty cool. Not to mention it has a devoted fan base and its own conventions (likeConTemporal). So it's no surprise that there are a number of amateur steampunk films - and many of them have some impressive graphics. This list is dedicated to these amateur works of art, which deserve more attention among the broader Sci-Fi base. If you're interested in Steampunk, or if you just want to find out more about it, then check out these short films.
After his wife is kidnapped by a group of slave traders, Emerson Marks, captain of the airship 'Aurora', must fight against all odds in order to rescue her.
The film was produced with a budget of $1800 over a 3 1/2 year period, with over 100 people involved.
Aurora won the best action/adventure film at the Comic Con International Independent Film Festival of 2013.
Airlords of Aria
Airlord Karak, admiral of a fleet of airships, discovered a powerful ancient weapon on an expedition. After he conquered the Wodnik 7 naval base, he plots to seize power of the Airia Republic and drag the entire continent into war. Lura the chief of police joins forces with a gang of smugglers in order to thwart the power-hungry admiral's plans.
This film is a bit odd to watch for one reason - it was originally made in German, and the English speech has been subbed over the original acting. But once you can get past the mismatched visuals and audio for speech, this video is really quite impressive - and the graphics are among the best of the lot.
A short, steampunk comedy film with a mad scientist loose in Victorian England. Unfortunately she has to stop for tea...
This lovely short film recently won Best in Show at the Wizard World Comic Con at St. Louis. It was funded in part by a Kickstarter project, and filmed over the course of a weekend. It features some superb acting and a delightfully sweet concept. One of my favorites!
The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello
Nominated for an Oscar and for a BAFTA award, Jasper Morello is a short feature made in a unique style of silhouette animation developed by director Anthony Lucas and inspired by the work of authors Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne. In the frontier city of Carpathia, Jasper Morello discovers that his former adversary Doctor Claude Belgon has returned from the grave. When Claude reveals that he knows the location of the ancient city of Alto Mea where the secrets of life have been discovered, Jasper cannot resist the temptation to bring his own dead wife Amelia back. But they are captured by Armand Forgette, leader of the radical Horizontalist anti-technology movement, who is determined to reanimate his terrorist father Vasco. As lightning energises the arcane machineries of life in the floating castle of Alto Mea, Jasper must choose between having his beloved restored or seeing the government of Gothia destroyed. Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself. Also winner of the Grand Prix award at the Annecy Animation Festival, Jasper has also won the top honours at the Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival, Best Animation at Flickerfest 2005, Best Animation at the Sydney Film Festival Dendy awards and Best Animation at Toronto worldwide shorts.
Eye of the Storm
Technically, this is a music video. But it's really more of a musical short film. The steampunk graphics are impressive - very artistic - and a very interesting story is told. Watch this short video to find out what happens in this storm.
In an alternate 19th Century, dust bowl Kansas, a young boy witnesses his parent's murder, and is forced to survive in an underground child fighting ring. Only the wealthiest are invited to attend these secret communities to bet on the children for their own amusement. However, one among them, is determined to find her abducted son ... whatever the cost.
In 2010 the film won Best Science Fiction at the Fargo Fantastic Film Festival in North Dakota.
Two blind visionary brothers set off on a whirlwind adventure to invent the world's first airplane.
Let me start with this: Airfoiled is hilarious. It's the only comedy Steampunk film in this list, and it deserves a spot at the top. Airfoiled is smart and funny, and will leave you laughing well after the 8 minute run-time.
AHNECTHA Voiceless Room
This film is creepy. Not just because nobody talks, not just because of the slightly disturbing imagery... but there is something else. Maybe it's when you realize that the chess board is long because it's against a mirror. And the reflection in that mirror doesn't exactly reflect reality. In any case, this film is well-worth the watch - and the unsettling feeling that will likely stay even after the film concludes 14 minutes of silence.
Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man
Based on the backstory of one of the most beloved childrenʼs novels of all time comes the extraordinary love story between a simple woodsman and a beautiful maiden. Not having many possessions but wanting to marry his maiden, the woodsman sets his heart to build a large and beautiful cabin.
Is there any more classically popular Steampunk character than the Tin Man? Well, this is his origin story. The real Steampunk imagery is a little ways into the film, when the "tin" part of the man is being created. The acting is not the best, but for an amateur film it's not bad.
On a sun dappled summer day a science expedition propels two children toward an enigmatic encounter at the edge of their known world.
Although only the trailer for this short film is available, you can see the full film on Vimeohere.
In 2009 The Anachronism was nominated for the Leo Awards Short Drama Categories Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography.
This film is generally regarded as one of the best Steampunk short films, so it's well worth a watch.
Trial of the Mask
This is a Star Wars inspired fan film based on Steampunk Boba Fett.
For all of you Star Wars fans out there, this is Steampunk meets Space Opera, with Boba Fett's futuristic suit transformed into a steampunk suit - and it makes a very striking appearance indeed. In fact, Fett's whole ship is given the steampunk makeover. The visuals for this short film are simply fantastic.