THE opening shot of Nash Edgerton's short film, The Captain, barely hints at the mayhem ahead.
A man, played by the New Zealand director Taika Waititi, wakes up in a car wreck and takes a long swig from a hip flask before extricating himself from the tangled metal.
As Edgerton cagily puts it: ''It's about a guy who wakes up with a hangover only to discover the damage he's caused the night before.''
Waititi's dishevelled blue pilot's uniform is a strong pointer to the destructive aftermath of his bender, which rivals a Hollywood blockbuster for sheer spectacle, despite this film being just six minutes in length.
Yet Edgerton, best known for being Ewan McGregor's stunt double in Star Wars, says The Captain was filmed with little time, even less money but with the help of friends.
''We only had a small amount of money so we went around LA looking for existing sets that we could get a hold of,'' he says. ''We found the set on a Wednesday and were shooting on a Saturday …
and we only had like half a day to shoot it.''
Edgerton's co-director, Spencer Susser, says: ''We still don't really know how we got permission to do it. We didn't ask many questions.''
The Captain will be screened at Flickerfest, as part of the short-film festival's Australian competition.
It will also be shown at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this month, the sixth time Edgerton, 39, has had a short film screened there.
More than 100 films will be screened at this year's Flickerfest, including documentaries, films made by school students and a program of shorts inspired by Elvis Presley, the director of the festival, Bronwyn Kidd, says.
Now in its 22nd year, shorts that win Flickerfest's international and Australian competitions become eligible for the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs.
The Captain was shot by Australian cinematographer Greig Fraser, who worked on Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's film about the execution of Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALs and which stars Edgerton's brother, Joel.
Edgerton also had a small part in the film, playing one of the SEALs and was a stunt double for his brother.
Besides the odd scratch, Edgerton's work does not appear to have left many scars: ''I get a few. I try not to hurt myself otherwise I can't work.''
Flickerfest is on at the Bondi Pavilion until January 20. See flickerfest.com.au