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Colin Levy left his job at Pixar Animation to finish directing this proof-of-concept short, full of impressive VFX and a cameo from a big Hollywood star. The end result was worth it.

Making short films as Hollywood calling cards is a popular — and, sometimes, costly — effort to get the attention of studios hungry for fresh talent to tackle IP or genre fare.

While the process can be long and unkind to your bank account (or various maxed-out credit cards), it can also prove to be very rewarding — even if it doesn’t net you a gig directing Paramount or WB’s latest would-be blockbuster, the end result can show you your potential as a filmmaker. Obviously, it lets you flex and fine-tune those muscles and it’s just damn fun to put something in your head on film.

Former Pixar Animation Studios employee Colin Levy knows how that is. His recent short, the impressive Skywatch, is a testament to that effort. It also is an impressive film that can and should inspire you to start or finish yours. Watch it below:

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Source: No Film School