In Came From The Archives: Dust! “A YouTube Channel For Sci-Fi Fans”

By | June 2, 2021

(Hi everyone! Brandon Scott here! It’s been more than 2 years since I reviewed this YouTube channel. So, to prepare for future reviews, here’s my original take on some of their videos.)

Originally Published: May 27th, 2019

(Content Warning: The following videos are PG13-R in content. Watch at your own discretion.)

Dust was a good idea, certainly. A YouTube channel devoted to sci-fi shorts, with high-budget productions and a variety of creators. A place for covering interesting subgenres within sci-fi. A good way to give power to individual artists by collecting their work in one place.

And, well, it’s not nearly as bad as Strowlers

But, apparently, it’s a hard thing to collect work like this and have them come out with more than a “meh” as the average. In preparation for this review, I watched maybe 8-10 different short films, across a few subgenres and I found 2 films to be satisfying.

Dust Does Have Some Good Stuff On Its Channel

And the problem is absolutely an issue of length or storytelling. While I get that a short movie is much easier on the budget, that doesn’t mean you can just cut off the story right there and expect the audience to be okay with it—but that’s the reoccurring issue.

If you’re familiar with the three-act structure, then you can see how you need an actual ending, a third act, for a story to be appealing—and some of these just don’t have it. The worldbuilding, the art style, the acting (sometimes) are often pretty good—but you can’t not end a story.

Dust Has Unfortunately Mastered The Anti-Climax

However, I don’t want to rag on Dust too much. It doesn’t deserve it. None of them blew me away, yes, and they have irritating anti-climaxes sometimes, but I do not mean to imply that all of these are not worth your time. “The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9!” is a genuinely funny, clever, and well-done video. If all of them were at that level of quality, then we’d be having a very different conversation here.

Some Of Dust Is Pretty Pitch Perfect, Though

As praise though, the one thing that is routinely impressive is the effects. The props and sets and C.G.I. are often way better than it seems logical for a five-minute video. I would love to know the budget for some of these. Either consumer-grade C.G.I. software has come a long way, these people are rich, or the visual design talents on Dust is underappreciated.

The C.G.I. Artists On Dust Deserve A Gold Medal

So, in conclusion, I can’t ultimately recommend that many videos I saw, but the beauty of this channel is that each new video is a chance to impress and entertain.

So, give it a shot. Watch a few videos. I feel like, even if it’s quite the cliché to say, that there’s at least one video for everyone on this thing—and it just must be found.

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