The trailer for Russell Goldman’s new short film “Burn Out” executive produced by Jamie Lee Curtis is here, and it gives us a small taste of what this explosive horror short has in store.

The short film is “inspired by my love of Cronenberg-style body horror,” the writer-director tells MovieMaker, referring to David Cronenberg, the director behind iconic horror films like Dead Ringers, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, and most recently, Crimes of the Future.

We get a small taste of the body horror up Goldman’s sleeve in the trailer, which shows quick flashes of main character Virgil (Everett Osborne) screaming and being set on fire.

All that intense emotion angst comes from Goldman’s own inner world. Another inspiration for the film was his “experiences with post-concussive syndrome and wanting to stay ahead at work even as my head and body are telling me ‘slow down,'” he says. “I wanted to make a film about how we push ourselves in breakneck work environments and make disastrous compromises with our bodies and minds. Nothing is scarier (or more absurd) than what we can do to ourselves.”

You can watch the trailer obtained exclusively by MovieMaker above.

A wide release date for the short has not yet been set, but it will make its world premiere at Dances With Films on June 27, followed by screenings at the Chattanooga Film Festival on June 28 and the Wyoming International Film Festival on July 12.

More About Russell Goldman and Jamie Lee Curtis’ Short ‘Burn Out’

According to Goldman, some of the fire and creatures you see in the short are actually real.

“I wanted to create some bizarre and spectacular things people might not have seen before. It was my first time working with pyrotechnics, VFX animation, practical SFX, or making a mold of an actor’s head that we could set on fire. And there’s a character you get to meet later in the story who I think will stay with people. Even if I tried to describe his appearance, it wouldn’t do him justice,” he says.

Interestingly, the short was filmed in the same office that once contained the now-defunct streaming service Quibi — a detail the writer-director found amusing.

“We filmed for a weekend at Verve Talent and Literary Agency’s new offices right as they were moving into them. They had taken over from Quibi, and elements of the office were still frozen in time from when Quibi dissipated. The ghost of Quibi haunting over this movie feels correct to me,” he says.

Also Read: Russell Goldman’s ‘Closing Time’ Short Puts an Unexpected Twist on Time Travel

He cast Tommie Earl Jenkins (Death Stranding) and Osborne (Sweetwater) as his leads, Gower and Virgil.

“The two most exciting pieces for me of this project are the performances from Everett (Virgil) and Tommie (Gower).  They ground the absurdity in something that feels not just familiar to us but immediate and real,” he says. “It always felt recognizable to everyone working on the movie as a story about drive and ambition in the workplace corroding our brains.”

Originally from Virginia, Goldman is the screenwriter behind Return to Sender, a feature script that placed in the top 10 of the 2023 Black List. He is directing the feature later this year, produced by Curtis and Molly Hallam (The Mustang). His other short films have played at over 100 film festivals around the world, including the short version of “Return to Sender” and “Closing Time.” He also wrote the Blumhouse/Titan Comics graphic novel Mother Nature based on a screenplay he wrote with Curtis.

“Burn Out” is written, directed, and produced by Goldman. Jamie Lee Curtis executive produced, with producers including Michael A. Fry, Everett Osborne, and Wendy Wang. The cinematography was done by Ali Arminio, the music was composed by Eric Poretsky, and the film was edited by Marco Rosas.

Main Image: Everett Osborne in a still from “Burn Out” courtesy of Russell Goldman.

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