Steampunk Canada

Tie up Your Dirigible and Visit for a Spell


Post Reply
Forum Home > News > Award Winning New Steampunk Western Short Film

Ramon Leon del Mar
Posts: 2

“Nickel Children“:  SteamPunk/Sci-Fi Western Short Film


I have gotten so hopeful, then disappointed with other attempts to use the currently fashionable Steampunk Aesthetic and Fictional approach (much less actual Steampunk Cultural ideas or values) to boost attention to various movies or TV shows lately that I find myself almost afraid to hope that something really good would come out of a project like this.  Thank Goodness Kevin Eslinger, apparently with help from his brother, was the one that put this project together! 

    Imagine a place where an “Indiana Jones” like vigilante goes after the most evil imaginable, yet classic, bad man from the old west, who is hiding a secret weapon right out of classic science fiction horror films. Now picture it set in the one place and time on earth where everyone, and probably the family pets even, would need to have a pair of adventurer’s goggles on them at all times, the dust bowl time period in Kansas.  As this is a “Steampunk Film” the goggles are naturally very decorative and science fiction looking including one pair (that the vigil ante’s partner uses) that appear to be the most elaborate pair of magnifying, telescopic goggles I have ever seen, and I assure you I have seen a lot of them!

    The acting ranged from good/very good (depending on your interpretation of the director’s intent) on the part of some of the minor actors to some of the finest acting I have ever seen on the part of the stars.  The script was also tight, well written, well thought out, and well executed, as it must be when you have only 16 minutes to tell a gripping tale.  All short films try for that perfect blend, but few come up to this one’s high standards of delivering this combination that can make even a very short film something to remember!

    Easton Lee McCuiston plays Jack, a quiet, polite, young boy, whose parents are murdered, apparently just to steal him for the child fighting arena. When I asked the director about the very emotionally restrained performance of this character he gave a very sound and artistic explanation for how this character was directed to perform:  “Easton did a fantastic job at keeping that somber, blank expression, of a kid whose been almost completely traumatized by the events he's witnessed. Almost catatonic shock, he's going through the motions, but not really understanding what is happening. “

    Amanda Bailey apparently (per another reviewer’s comment, as she changed so expertly in her two double roles I actually missed that it was the same actress) plays both Jack’s mother in the opening scene, and Anastasia, the vigil ante looking for her stolen son.  Both were absolutely incredibly well performed in all ways!  To give you some idea of how talented this actress really is, she managed to convey deep love and protectiveness for her son, love and admiration for her man, thanks that he did not object when she gave the lion’s share of their meager food to their child, then fear, grief, shock, and finally abject terror in every possible way without so much as a single spoken line.  She did this as well, in my opinion, as Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, or anyone I have ever seen, and she did this all in about 60 seconds total.  I know this sounds impossible, but if you pay close enough attention to body language (even breathing patterns) and have ever seen real people going through that level of real terror and tragedy, then you will understand when you see her in that scene!  I had to catch my breath again from that alone just to be able to focus on the core film which followed and we were still in the first two minutes or so of the film with almost no spoken lines! It only got better from there.

The full review of the film and link to the official web page is at the following address:


Admiral Ramon Leon del Mar

S.S. Kali's Hourglass

Covenant of the Kraken

November 17, 2010 at 10:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Adam Smith
Posts: 8

I know it's a late reply, but "Nickel Children" will have a screening at the CNSE, followed by a Q&A by the director and the producer!

March 30, 2011 at 6:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Amelia Beale
Posts: 15

Great to know it will be at CNSE! I've been wanting to see it for a while now...


Amelia Beale

Jewelry Artisan for Neverwares Emporium

March 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 185

I've scheduled a whole day around this screening lol

March 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.