The Verse Short Film by Loot Crate
By Cape Rust
Hungering for more Firefly? Who isn’t? OK there are like three people who might not give a gorram about it, but those are not exactly the kind of people I want to deal with on a regular basis. Loot Crate has your six; they have just released a sixteen minute short film called The Verse. Now before you get all pissy and whining because you’ve seen some really crappy fan films, stop and consider how many really good fan films you’ve seen. The Verse should fall in closer to the good fan film category.
The ship in this short is called the Overland and is almost identical to Serenity in form in function. The deviations between the two are just enough to allow this film to maintain credibility. The special effects are actually really good and reek of high production value. Sure not all of them are ready for the big screen, but this is a sixteen minute fan film, not a block buster Hollywood film. The music is 100% Firefly and it quickly reminded me of just how important well planned music can be towards creating the mood. In the case of Firefly and The Verse, it acted like a set piece and a great prop all at the same time.
This is the first installment in what I hope will be several, but films like this are not cheap to produce and as loved or loathed as they may be, tend not to generate enough income to become a sustainable resource. Most people who have seen and commented on this mention that they loved the feel of it and no matter what their feeling was, it made them want to binge watch the entire Firefly series again.
My biggest complaint was that the creators tried way too hard to remake the crew in the images of the original crew of Serenity. From a first film standpoint I get it. Someone who is a casual fan of Firefly would see this playing and it might take them at least a minute to see that it is in fact a different crew. That is important to create the relationship between the two, but I hope that if they do future episodes or installments, the characters will drift away from similar fashion choices so that their actual characters can stand out a bit more.
The characters themselves deviate enough from Serenity’s crew that with a bit more budget and some backing they could really attach themselves to original Firefly fans. The nicely dressed oriental man in the crew is not in fact a doctor, but a inter-verse salesman. If he had been a Dr. I might have turned the film off right away. The ship is actually co-owned by the Captain Reynolds look alike and the white version of Zoe. Instead of the cute and innocent Kaylee we get a male mechanic who seems to like to wear the same type of T-shirts as his female inspiration. To add diversity to The Verse, we get a black female bounty who is currently being held at gunpoint by the crew during the entire trip rather than being locked someplace secure. Jayne is replaced with a white female, who doesn’t seem to wear iconic hats and didn’t get much play in the short (in their defense it was only sixteen minutes long). Finally we have the pilot who was kinda meh for me.
If you are a Firefly fan, you need to support efforts like this. No The Verse would never replace Firefly, but it is one way to get a fix. There is a strong and dedicated fan base out there who hungers for more, and Loot Crate has provided it. When you watch this, don’t look for the flaws (I’ve already done that), look for what they did right, embrace it and share it. The Verse got me hungry for more and in the end isn’t that really all you can ask for? Num num num.