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Oceanus: Act One (2015 Short)

 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 9:20 pm    Post subject: Oceanus: Act One (2015 Short) Reply with quote



Oceanus: Act 1 is a 31-minute short film by Jeffrey Morris.

It is now on Youtube under Science-Fiction Short Film "Oceanus" |DUST|. |DUST| offers short SF films on YT.

Scenario: In the year 2029, on the verge of an amazing breakthrough in whale communication, a married marine biologist and aquatic engineer are caught in a catastrophic global disaster that separates them from each other and their spectacular underwater city, the Oceanus Research Facility.

I had seen snippets of this production on YT, but this is the first time I was aware that it had a thirty-one minute episode available.

Well this is one doggone awesome looking production. The special/visual effects are second to none in their superb quality. The exterior Oceanus Facility is breathtaking to behold, and the exterior aqua shuttle where the majority of this episode takes place is a marvelous looking design.

The interior practical for the aqua shuttle is fantastic.

The cast of Sharif Atkins, Bruce Davison, and Meagan Dodds are terrific and all likable characters.

This production hails from 2015. So I'm unsure if there are anymore episodes to follow, or how many? I don't know how or why a seven-year old production is now just showing up on YT? Is it a failed pilot? If it is, how come we never saw it on television?

I also wonder if this is Jeffrey Morris's attempt to resurrect his Oceanus concept here and know?

Wish I had more answers.

However, make no mistake, Oceanus would make a magnificent weekly SF TV series. I hope and pray that some network will see this and greenlight it.

I love that we are being offered a SF TV production that is set undersea. The majority of SF shows are set in outer space. And while I love that setting it would be wonderful to see a SF show that deals with the future beneath our seas for a refreshing change.

To my knowledge we've had all of two SF TV series that did so: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964~1968) & SeaQuest DSV (1993~1996.) .

Voyage had a decent first black & white season. When they went to color for the remaining three seasons the series devolved into monster-of-the-week plots and sheer fantasy.

It had twin Leprechauns in one episode in its final year for crying out loud!!!

SeaQuest started out quite strong in its very first season. The following seasons were hit and miss with their episodes unfortunately.

So a brand new undersea show might just get it right this time as to the quality of the storylines. And such a show is well overdue.

So in essence we haven't had a SF TV series set in the oceans in over twenty-five years! Yeah, it's time to venture back into the deep.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Holy crap! The YouTube thumbnail alone proves what you said about the great designs in this production. Very Happy

Thanks, Mike!

Actually, Eadie started a thread which discusses the DUST productions, right here in our SCi-Fi Independent Films forum.

I've added the YouTube video below to my reply on that thread.

Hey, here's an idea. When we finish the five remaining episodes of Space Rangers on All Sci-Fi's Saturday Live Chats, why don't we watch some of the DUST short films, starting with this one? Cool

Which ones would you suggest?


Sci-Fi Short Film: "Oceanus" | DUST | Starring Sharif Atkins, Bruce Davison, and Megan Dodds


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oceanus Background Info:

Oceanus Research Facility: This is a wonderous undersea structure that conducts numerous forms of scientific research beneath the ocean.

Oceanus is home to 312 scientists and engineers. The base is comprised of an upper Primary Dome that houses the Command Node, research laboratories, and docking ports for the AquaShuttles, Technology Capsules, and other undersea craft.

The three lower Habitation Domes serve as living and recreational areas for the occupants of Oceanus.

AquaShuttles: They serve as the Primary mode of transportation for the Oceanus scientists and researchers.

They are designed for speed and observation. They are a two-person vehicle which includes a cockpit for piloting the vehicle, as well as a scientific station.

The craft utilizes magneto-hydrodynamic propolsion to jet through the the water. The windows are made of "spinel"---a transparent clay that can take tremendous pressure.

Cetacean Compod: A major breakthrough for interspecies communication. It is a powerful transmitter that is connected to a computer-based linguistic algorithm that replicates the songs of marine mammals.

They are designed to float on the surface and contain a living area and scientific workspace for one individual.

Oceanus Autonomous Drone: These are robots that are the primary workhorses of the Oceanus facility. From transport models---that can carry the Cetacean Compod---to moving elaborate construction drones for the aquatic engineering team.

The robots maintain, repair, and upgrade the Oceanus Research Facility as required.

Oceanus relies on these mechanisms as their support in the challenging and potentially deadly underwater environment.

Triton: This is the ever-present computer that shepherds all activity minute-by-minute throughout the base.

No mere robotic servant, Triton speaks with the warmth and authority of an old friend: alerting the Oceanus scientists and engineers to changing conditions and potential problems---and ultimately danger.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2022 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I've refrained from watching it until I can share it with the chat group, or perhaps just you and me. Cool

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Premise: After a devastating and mysterious global disaster severs all contact of the Oceanus undersea base from the surface world forever, the inhabitants must now fight to survive as they attempt to establish a brand new undersea society---while fending off deadly attacks from unseen enemies trying to claim Oceanus for themselves.

Sidebar: Intriguing concept for the series. Both Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and SeaQuest DSV set their respective series in a business-as-usual type of world.

True, that earth was fraught with dangers and instabilities here and there. However, neither show had to deal with a world wide apocalyptic catastrophe leaving the futuristic submarines all by themselves and cut off from the surface.

The creators of Oceanus were taking their show into a whole new setting with its scenario.

Questions abound: What was the cause, or causes, of the global disaster? What had happened and was happening on all the continents with their various governments and populations? Who exactly were those "unseen enemies" who were a threat to Oceanus? Were there other such incredible undersea cities as Oceanus?

These questions offered many potential exciting storylines for Oceanus and the audience.
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2022 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wrote:
Questions abound: What was the cause, or causes, of the global disaster? What had happened and was happening on all the continents with their various governments and populations? Who exactly were those "unseen enemies" who were a threat to Oceanus? Were there other such incredible undersea cities as Oceanus?

I'm hoping there are other undersea habitats so that we'll have a variety of environments and occupants on which to base stories.

That way the writers don't have to come up with "the sea monster of the week" or aquatic aliens, etc.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2022 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hardily agree with you, Bud.

Creating compelling stories on any weekly SF television series is a monumental challenge for the creators and scriptwriters to continually come up with sensational plots without devolving into absurdity.

We saw this exact thing happen to Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and to a lesser extent, SeaQuest DSV. Both shows about a futuristic submarine started out strongly in their first seasons and then sank into unsatisfying plots as time went on.

Voyage was the worst offender. It had the inherit problem of scripting intriguing stories set beneath our oceans, as I already have cited before, it also had Allen as its creator/producer in full charge. And that's always a problem for the serious minded SF fan.

Allen was all about "running and jumping shows" as he called it. He demanded high production values, and often achieved, them for each of his four SF TV series he produced. I'll give him that.

Other than that he had no interest in any of the vital aspects of a great SF TV series.

Reading interviews with the men and women who wrote for his shows absolutely confirms it. So does viewing of any of his SF TV series today.

Allen wanted special effects and action, action, action. From season two on (the series ran four years), it became a monster-of-the-week show. Even the better written Kolchak The Night Stalker ran into problems with those kind of plots each week.

He didn't give a dang about everything from profound stories with something important say, to rich characterization for either his regular casts or guest stars. Forget any trace of scientific accuracy in his series. His Time Tunnel show rarely would strive for historical accuracy. Many critics feel his shows may have had the basic premise of SF but were mostly fantasy once they got underway.

So his Voyage series collapsing after a fairly interesting SF/espionage first season with its episodes and into sheer fantasy was inevitable given the Allen approach.

That's why his City Beneath the Sea TV-movie/pilot which wasn't too bad, never stood a chance as being a quality SF TV series had a network picked it up. I guarantee you it would have become another sea monster of the week kind of show. Or he would have the entire earth in jeopardy every single week. Even that scenario becomes stale and trite if you dish it out to the audience unceasingly.

SeaQuest never got as horrible as Voyage did. They managed not to turn their series into a dreaded undersea monster encounters with every episode.

However, they suffered numerous cast comings and goings (always a sign of a troubled production), and the lead demanded to be let out of his contract when he saw the decline in quality scripting.

SeaQuest wisely did establish in its series that there were numerous undersea private and government facilities existing. This gave the awesome submarine places to travel to and stories to deal with each week.

But even those kind of stories can run dry after a time.

It got so bad with running out of plots that SeaQuest once did an episode where their engines malfunctioned creating an undersea black hole! From there the sub was drawn into it and travelled back in time to the Cuban Missile Crisis. And then safely returned home of course.
Irwin Allen would have relished that kind of script on Voyage.

A wonderful new SF TV series set in outer space has the enormous challenge of following the plethora of similar series set in space. ST: TOS, Lost In Space, ST: TNG, ST: DSN, ST: V, ST: E, ST: D, The Starlost, Batllestar Galactica (both new and old), Farscape, Firefly, Andromeda, Babylon 5, Crusade, and the list goes on. Including a handful of TV-movie/pilots that were set aboard spaceships but (in some cases) unfortunately not picked up as a weekly show.

Space has the vastness and grander for its endless canvas. You can travel to all types of worlds, encounter aliens, and even decades after the original Star Trek, we're still discovering more and more mysteries with spatial phenomena. Some are solved, others have not been.

That concept provides writers with unlimited story ideas for their series.

SF shows undersea don't have any of that going for them. Unless you wish to make it a comedy/spoof, or a silly show like Irwin Allen did.

If one is producing a serious SF show beneath the sea, we cannot believably expect to meet alien planets or spatial phenomena without rolling our eyes at such ludicrous plots.

So I greatly admire the fact that any creator would tackle what can be a limited environment for telling fantastic stories that don't morph into malarkey.

I don't know what the creator of Oceanus had in mind for his show had it become a weekly series? After viewing the marvelous episode provided on Youtube he certainly is someone who desired to produce a high quality series, both visually and from a story and character standpoint.

We'd have to trust his vision and that he could give us wonderfully written and produced series that would not lose its way as Voyage and SeaQuest sadly did.

Perhaps as seasons went on with Oceanus we would have seen them not only survive but thrive. Maybe Oceanus would have in time been instrumental in helping to save and rebuild the surface world? Maybe Oceanus would have expanded and been able to construct other such underwater habitats as itself?

The creator and his staff may have wisely plotted and mapped out a huge story arch covering the show's multiple seasons so it would have a clear and intriguing direction to proceed in without it suffering the fate of Voyage or SeaQuest?

I only know that I hope and pray he would be given the opportunity because Oceanus deserves a shot.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2022 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More Oceanus background info.

Oceanus: Act One, is a human drama with amazing aquatic technologies set against stunning unexplored locales.

Created with input from science advisors from N.A.S.A., and the film Gravity.

Oceanus is written with an approach of plausibility and realism.

Sidebar: So this informs us that the Oceanus creators and producers were going to present an intriguing futuristic SF show, but one that had a firm foot in a significant degree of believability.

In other words I don't think that they were interested in producing their show as ones filled with stories about aliens from outer space, a gigantic mythological King Neptune with his trident attacking the research base, a monster-of-the-week formula, or undersea black holes, and time travel.

I find that to be a refreshing approach as well as a daring one for the writers. By eliminating those kinds of classic science fiction tropes, as outlandish as they would have been for a series set in the oceans of our earth, you eliminate such plots utilizing those classic science fiction devices.

Trying to make this both an exciting and futuristic show while also keeping it real in other ways would have made it very challenging for the writers.

This approach was evident in two other well done SF TV-movie/pilots I saw years ago. The first was Earth II. It took place on board a large space station orbiting our planet. It was futuristic but they presented it in a near future manner. It had cool looking technologies but certainly nothing along the lines of transporter systems such as we saw on Star Trek, or ray guns and aliens that were so common on a number of other SF TV shows. This was to be a series about human technological capabilities that was several decades, not centuries, away.

The other pilot was called Plymouth and was from Disney. Here we had a colony on the moon that had both families and individuals working on behalf of a corporation. Once again, the show strived for intriguing futuristic tech that looked as if it was not too far away in our actual future.

This moon wasn't going to be shot out into outer space on a journey and guided by some unknown and unseen force as we saw on Space: 1999. Nor was the Plymouth colony a militaristic operation created to battle alien starships such as we saw on the UFO SF TV series.

The drama for Plymouth was about how the inhabitants live, thrive, survive in their daily lives as the first civilian/corporate colony. Aliens need not apply here.

I don't know how those pilots, or Oceanus, would have fared as a weekly television show? Could the creators and writers have kept us enthralled and entertained without resorting to the more fantastical SF elements we've come to appreciate with the various Star Trek iterations, Babylon 5, or Farscape, to name but a few of those types of series?

Would these respective SF TV pilots that were striving to
keep it "somewhat real" and futuristic succeeded or flopped with the audience?

When it was announced that the Battlestar Galactica reboot was going to be devoid of alien civilizations, alien starships, time travel stories, mirror universe plots, and so forth, I was intrigued if they could make this show successful.

When I told a friend of mine about this direction for the reboot he was quite disappointed. If its a SF TV series set in outer space he demands all those SF-types of plots that can go with it.

I watched the series and found it terrific. Refreshing and original that they just stuck with the humans and the robotic Cylons they created and were now at war with. The writing was top notch. My only disappointment was in the series' finale which seemed to be nebulous and have fantasy elements in it. But up till then this was a serious and intelligent SF TV show to reckon with.

Such shows may have to remain rarities as they eschew the SF cliches that we are accustomed to seeing. But I applaud their verve in following the road less traveled.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2022 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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This certainly sounds like the kind of science fiction production that appeals to my optimistic view of the future — rather than the pessimistic and conspiracy riddled visions of the folks who seems to think that mankind basically corrupt.

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