A sci-fi fantasy inspired by anime and classic horror, Dust is set in a harsh and unpredictable natural environment where people have isolated themselves in an ancient city behind a massive wall. A socially marginalized tracker teams up with a black-market merchant to save the society that has rejected his way of life.
A deadly plague linked to a mysterious dust is devastating the countryside around Kabe, the world’s oldest city.
Irezumi, a disgraced Tracker living in the abandoned outskirts of Kabe, is hired to find a cure by a Merchant from the city’s underground medicine trade. Little is known about the dust or the unusual sickness it causes, but as it continues to consume the countryside, Kabe is preparing to shut its gates, denying refuge to anyone outside the walls.
With the city verging on lock-down, Irezumi unwillingly returns to the countryside in search of a solution and perhaps, personal redemption.
The filming of Dust began with an 11-day guerrilla-style shoot in Japan. The cast and crew traveled to remote heritage sites in the southern island of Shikoku, Japan, where they hauled film equipment up mountain paths, across vine bridges and through bamboo forest trails. Several of the film’s locations were shot in the remote Iya Valley sometimes called the “Tibet of Japan.” Iya boasts Japan’s steepest ravines, emerald green rivers, magnificent waterfalls, and ancient thatched houses perched on misty hillsides.
During post production, the film’s cinematic beauty was enhanced and expanded through the creative talents of dozens of VFX artists whose vision and hard work brought to life the creatures of the story.
The film stars Masashi Odate (Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima) and is directed by Michael Grier. Michael began his career as a digital artist in Tokyo working as a Creative Director. Upon returning to the US, he attended the Dodge School of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University, and co-founded a VFX and Animation studio, Ember Lab, with his brother Josh. Winner of numerous awards, Dust is an Ember Lab production. Dust was an ambitious undertaking, pooling the talent of artists from around the world. Ember Lab, a boutique production studio specializing in character design, VFX and animation, continues funding its own creative projects through the commercial work it produces.
Since its inception, the primary goal of Ember Lab has been to develop and produce quality entertainment in the tradition of authentic storytelling. Since releasing the trailer, they have been pursuing opportunities to expand the Dust concept into a feature film or television series
This project would not have been possible without the generous support of the Kickstarter community. After shooting the film, Ember Lab needed help funding the post production costs and raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter.
Download Dust Trailer 2
Download Screen Shots as .zip