L5 (2012) HD

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Stanley Von Medvey
hard sci-fi, short, sci-fi

The crew aboard the spaceship Argo has just awoken from hypersleep to a nightmare. Having spent the last twenty years searching for a new home to salvage humanity from a dying earth they return home and find something has gone terribly wrong. They have been mysteriously impelled 200 years into the future and find not a trace of any human life. The Argo's Commander, Dr. Richard Adams is determined to find some answers and, aided by the ship's surgeon, Rod Lewis, and onboard Artificial Intelligence, Clarke, decides to explore the one clue to the massive floating O'Neill colony named L5. After an exploratory skiff goes missing inside the colony, Adams and Lewis venture inside themselves to find the answers they seek, nothing can prepare them for what they are about to find.

Director: Stanley Von Medvey
Writer: Tom Ptasinski
Producers: Tom Ptasinski, Adam Nelson

Official Website
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L5 is a completely crowd-funded production, through the generosity of donors from sites such as kickstarter and indiegogo, the creative team of L5 has spent a year bringing the story to life.

Our goal with L5 was to create a compelling, high-production-value science fiction on a small budget. After endless hours in post production were volunteered by a talented team of visual effects artists all over the world, and with the spit and vinegar of home grown construction methods for building props, sets and costumes, as well as the unrelenting support of our families and the local art and business community in the Chicago area, the result was accomplished inside a budget of $15,000.

Now we need your help!
You've seen what we can do with so little. We want to multiply that, and do even more. We want to build a unique production environment that will enable us to continue creating more episodes of L5, as well as other original science fiction content.


The money we raise with your support will go towards seeding a brand new, cloud based production system. It will fund a proof of concept for a cloud based intelligent task management technology, allowing us to pursue the investment we need to create a global film and visual effects production system. It will allow us to research the best open-source VFX pipeline, taking advantage of all the existing free tools, while allowing us to develop new ones. This system will drive the cost of making high-end visual effects down, allowing us to produce L5 and other content cost effectively. Our stories are just huge, and we need an equally huge and innovative approach to film making to pull it off. Combined with the local film production talent in Chicago, we believe we can make anything, on a fraction of the budget.

We want to offer these services to up and coming film makers and productions, giving creative and talented people the most bang for their production budgets by opening up a tool set that was previously inaccessible to all but the most well funded productions.

Help us usher in a new renaissance of science fiction!


Stanley Von Medvey

This film has not been reviewed yet.


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on February 24, 2012 at 6:13am

Allow me to clarify. The astronauts emerge roughly half way down from center. This would put them in roughly lunar G. The sliding happens on a slope, it is not a perfect vertical. This means that a component force arrow can be added horizontally, allowing for a bit of friction. Friction means that the colony rotation now has a way to be imparted on the sliding astronauts, and thus, acceleration occurs.

You are correct that the astronauts would not contribute a significant mass to the elevator, and alone would likely not be what causes structural failure. Unfortunately, I cannot say more without revealing too much of the larger story, but suffice it to say that there are other... forces at work. Ones that are not mystical. This is a secular show, and we don't ever plan on doing a Lost flavored mysticism/supernatural cop-out. We have reasons things happen.

Thank you for your comment though, we are glad people are paying attention to the details!

Stanley - Director, L5


on February 24, 2012 at 4:39am

I agree with the comments about the audio. Great show, but the audio should be reedited. Also, I think a half hour sci-fi show isn't long enough. I mean, look at everything from Trek to Stargate, etc. They're all an hour. Okay, so maybe I'm nitpicking. lol


on February 24, 2012 at 2:31am

I herald the effort. The tension, directing, and dialog are exceptional given the budget. I was totally glued until the story elements surrounding gravity (fake or not) unraveled.

Our expectations of gravity are established through several scenes... Objects are floating in the wake-up scene. Then people are standing around on the ship, with vague suggestion (from external scenes) that it's based on classical centripidal motion (rotation of parts of the ship). Then two astronauts are zero-g navigating into the center of a giant station (which admittedly might be rotating).

Moments later the astronauts are standing on a giant platform, which seems also to be near the center of the station, but they have some gravity. How is that possible? If they are near the center of rotation, they wouldn't experience much force from centripidal rotation. It appears to be less-than full gravity though, because of they way they 'hop' forward. Maybe it's close-to but not at the center? Okay, still expecting realistic physics.

The spontaneous failure of the massive platform support is pretty unbelievable. The two astronauts can't have even 1/10,000th the mass of the platform. Please give us some reason this coincidentally fell right now other than the relative addition of two feathers to this massive steel structure. Unless we're headed into the mystical... but really? No hints of that.

Then the physics disconnect happens. So far I'm expecting realistic physics. But when the platform falls down, and the astronauts "fall" with it.. If this mock-gravity is from centripidal motion, the physics is totally incorrect. The astronauts are not rotationally attached to the station. If their mock-gravity is created by centripidal motion (i.e. the station rotating), they would fall "straight" in their previous direction, which would be sideways relative to the platform 'fall' direction. They would also NOT accelerate. There is no gravity, the mock-gravity force is simply the floor continually pushing their momentum around a circle. If it disappears, they don't accelerate. They continue straight in their previous direction of travel until they hit the rotating bottom of the station (which would be rotating relative to them the entire time).

If this is going to be hard-core sci-fi, it needs to make sense. Make up physics if you want, but make it believably consistent.

Other than this physics problem, amazing work... really astonishing given the budget.


on February 24, 2012 at 12:56am

looking forward >>> beautiful ;)


on February 23, 2012 at 7:54pm

I will have to agree with karatasiospa. While the show was so well done, and so attention grabbing, it did seem as though the characters audio was about level with the background score. I would like to admit that while my ears where missing lines; my body was inching closer & closer towards my tv.
The plot, the delivery, hell even the WONDERFUL A.I. where so stunning that I was left with goosebumps at the thought of what would follow this wonderful Part 1.
That being said, I believe a subtitle or re-editing of audio is essential! Many of the missed lines where at core parts of the show. Where we would have a better understanding of what this show is setting while, we actually find ourselves missing ( what i assume to be ) essential storyline points.
I have high hopes for this show. I find myself filled with an eagerness felt towards Zenith & Pioneer One. So please do your work, and the viewers, the respect of making it easier to hear. Thanks for your work guys!


on February 23, 2012 at 2:26pm

A very good beginning! and yes this is science fiction, pure, high concept, thought provoking science fiction!!
Only please either improve the sound or give us some english subtitles. Many times i don't umderstand what the actors are saying.


on February 23, 2012 at 1:37pm

I like the story, and I think the series could do much better with even better soundwork as i can't tell what people are saying half of the time.

Not that I know anything but sometimes dialougtracks need a compressor to help me understand what is said.


on February 23, 2012 at 1:37pm

Enjoyed episode 1 and it left me wanting more. I hope you really enjoy making the show. A donation is on its way :o)


on February 23, 2012 at 10:26am

Congratulations, wonderful first episode... Enjoyed it very much and I'm looking forward to the next one. (English) subtitles would be nice though, lots of the dialogue from the men in spacesuits is inaudible to me. My English is not good enough to understand the muffled dialogue...
That being said... Nice work on creating L5... Can't wait for the next episode ;-)


on February 23, 2012 at 9:23am

Gorgeously done! Yes some of the CG was a touch basic, but for once an indy sci fi show nails a strong premise, a great script, excellent direction and, omg no... believable acting! It was nice seeing a computer ai a touch smarter and more able to show things like surprise and misgivings than the usual talking calculators elsewhere. There was a rather obvious spot where I found myself thinking "their helmets would have been smashed clean open by all that" (if you've watched this yet, you know where I mean). That said, these are minor niggles that were brushed aside by the believable characterization of the people in this dilemma.

Now I just hope we won't have to wait months on end for part 2! (That's what kills me about vo.do). Good luck!


on February 23, 2012 at 5:57am

¿Do you have English or Spanish subtitles?


on February 22, 2012 at 11:15pm

From the team at Zenith, we offer a hearty congratulations on a stellar project. Here's to the future of filmmaking.


on February 22, 2012 at 5:29pm

The first episode looks awesome, looking forward to more of the same! I did happen to see the film crew reflected in a helmet at 19:47 to 19:55, though :)


on February 22, 2012 at 10:11am

How about other payment methods than Paypal? Lots of the crowdfunding/fre culture audience boycott Paypal after the Wikileaks incident.

I would love to give money even before seeing the show - but I need some other way to transfer the dough... Bitcoin, Visa, Google Checkout etc...


on February 22, 2012 at 8:58am

Please rectify your obvious physics violations and I may think about funding you.

James Zawacki

on February 22, 2012 at 4:44am

Awesome job! It seems these crowd funded "TV shows" are harder to wait for than big budget network shows. I watched this and can't wait for the next episode. I watch "The Office" and think.. I hope the next episode doesn't suck. The rest, I could have 3 or 4 episodes stacking up on the DVR and get to them whenever.. but Pioneer One, and now this.. Actually make you learn patience.

Nathaniel Smith

on February 22, 2012 at 4:04am

This was an awesome first episode and is definitely the future of SciFi cinema!

Nick Erickson

on February 22, 2012 at 1:54am

Awesome work!

Edward Wright

on February 22, 2012 at 12:48am

Very impressive. Can't wait to see the next episode. I gave you a short review:



on February 22, 2012 at 12:36am

Please provide English subtitles (or transcript) to make a translation.