A man, Chris Zylka (The Leftovers), wakes up trapped in a white room with a machine that gives him everything it thinks he needs to survive, but is that enough?

  • Ramez Silyan
  • Ramez Silyan
  • Ryan Curtis
  • Chris Zylka
    Key Cast
    The Leftovers, Amazing Spiderman
  • Rachael Doughty
    Director of Photography
    The Hateful Eight
  • Natalie Ziering
    Production Designer
    Palo Alto
  • Ian "Napolian" Evans
    Music Composer
  • Melissa Dezarate
    Make Up Artist
  • Grace Phillips
    Make Up Artist
  • Jeremy Peele
    Key Grip
  • Austin Michaels
  • Casey Pereira
    Sound Recordist
  • Michael Jenkins
  • Eric Shin
    Sound Mixing
    Sonic Highways
  • Trevor Durtschi
    Kendrick Lamar: Alright
  • Joe Hughes
    Visual Effects
  • Shinichiro Fujita
    Visual Effects
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Sci-fi
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Athens International Film and Video Festival
    Athens, Ohio
    United States
    April 8, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Durban International Film Festival
    South Africa
    June 18, 2016
    International Premiere
  • Hollyshorts
    Los Angeles
    United States
    August 12, 2016
  • FilmQuest
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    United States
    June 23, 2016
    Utah Premiere
    Nominated for Best Actor: Short Film
  • LA Shorts Fest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
Director Biography - Ramez Silyan

Ramez Silyan is a first generation Syrian-American born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He received a bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and has since moved back home to pursue his filmmaking career. Little over a year after graduating he has worked on commercial, music video, and feature film sets, directed his own videos, and edited countless projects along the way. Animal is his latest work as a writer and director, and his first to be considered for festival exhibition.

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Director Statement

The original idea behind this short was born out of the need to create something as large as possible with as little as possible at my immediate disposal, a fools errand really. At the time, I was interning at a production company and could not stop thinking about helming a production of my own. The principle concept of a man stuck in a room with a machine actually came into my thick skull while working at this company, The Director’s Bureau, my saving grace of internships that re-instilled some sort of faith back into a business that had chewed me up and spit me out countless times over.
The Bureau, as we called it (Roman Coppola’s production house) is chalked full of, not only talented and amazing people, but great vintage quirky contraptions, one being an old vending machine that sat near the front desk. It just sat there in a peculiar state of malfunction, everyone knew it was there, but nobody ever really acknowledged it. It was just a permanent fixture unworthy of further attention. That was until the day I was tasked to figure out how it worked, to learn its language. The image of its constant blinking red button has been forever seared into my mind, telling me to get off my ass and make something for myself.
I took up the task and did just that. After learning the ways of the machine, I delved into the idea that became Animal. The original idea went from comedy, to black comedy, and finally to straight drama. It’s through these revisions that I discovered what I was really interested in showing people, an existential game of chess between man and machine. I wanted to create a surreal space where man seemingly becomes the less sophisticated caged animal ruled by an emotionless survival driven machine, but through the process the two begin to bleed together. Somewhere in space in time where Bergman's Death and Kubrick's Hal become one.

"Animal" follows a man, Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spiderman, The Leftovers), who finds himself trapped in a white room with a machine that gives him everything it thinks he needs, but is that enough to keep him satisfied? This is both, Zylka and I's, first short film debut to be considered and screened at film festivals worldwide.