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Disney Meets David Lynch in a Surreal Short Film [Premiere]

A mermaid in a bathtub, a first night of lust, a plan to overtake a mob boss; these are but a few of the scenes out of Daniel Brown's 'Color TV, No Vacancy.'

Screencaps via

Color TV, No Vacancy; these are signs were accustomed to, outside sleazy motels and desert highway resorts, seducing new customers with jacuzzis and free HBO. Its also the title of the sumptuous-yet-ominous short film from writer and director Daniel Brown. The surreal 12-minute film follows a peculiar cast of characters in a series of dubious side plots. detached from one another. The only thing seemingly tying our protagonists together is the decrepit motel that makes for the backdrop for the film.


A mermaid smokes a cigarette in the bathtub; a prom Queen and King experience their first night of lust; a prostitute and her pimp hatch a plan to overtake one of their mob boss client.

In the absence of dialogue, the director tells this story through light, color, texture, and allegory. The Emmy-nominated Brown has worked on music videos for the likes of Odesza and Portugal the Man, as well as a number TV spots for big brands like Microsoft and Beats By Dre. Brown is also the Executive Creative Director for World Famous Inc., the creative agency that produced the film.

Color TV, No Vacancy is Disney meets David Lynch, with a little bit of Nicolas Winding Refn for good measure. Brown’s film alternates from the ordinary, to the peculiar, to the outright supernatural, in a montage of fantastical delusions that will make you question what's real and what is a dream. Some of his close-ups of completely inanimate objects are so vivid and crisp, you feel like you can touch the surfaces.

Its sexy and violent; scattered and at the same time disconcertingly satisfying. If you find yourself confused or lost midway through, don't get too discouraged—there’s ostensibly so much to unpack in this film it could take an entire film studies degree to analyze each and every frame. Watch Color TV, No Vacancy below:

Color TV, No Vacancy from Daniel Brown on Vimeo.

For more of Daniel Brown’s work, head over to his portfolio page on World Famous’ website, here, and check out more videos by the World Famous Inc. crew by clicking here.



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