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Muldoon kicks off AICN SHORTS

Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with the grand opening of AICN SHORTS, your own personal film festival every Saturday here at AICN. For your viewing pleasure I’ve gathered what I consider to be some damn good shorts created by you, the badass readers of AICN. Below you’ll find a nice serving of jam-packed shorts awesomeness. This week we’ve got everything from big budget high concept off the wall sci-fi badassity to well… zero budget high concept badass comedies. We’ve also got the World Premiere of SQUID, a short that visually blew me away.

If by chance you submitted a short to me and don’t see it below, fear not, I very well might have it planned to hit the magical screen AICN SHORTS next week. OR if you have a short that you think the fine readers of AICN should check out, here’s how to submit:


Shoot me an email at ""
In the subject line include:

“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”

Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need [EX: the film’s website or a funny story involved with getting the film made…] (You can find my original call for shorts here)

Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.  I swear to each of you I truly check every email I get, and sending the same short a few times just makes it a bit messier.


That’s enough of the business end, so who’s ready to watch some kickass stuff? Grab some popcorn, silence your cell phones, and please remember the creators of the shorts just might be in the row in front of or behind you, so after the screening remember to keep your manners about you. If you perhaps didn’t care for a short, that’s okay, it’s your opinion and you can absolutely express that.  However, being a jerk about something really isn’t cool and doesn’t have a place here. So ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats so we can begin the program.



First up is MELTDOWN, the film that got me thinking about this column in the first place.




Dir. Dave Green

TRT: 6:08

Genre: Comedy

"Last night's leftovers battle for their lives.”


MELTDOWN from Dave Green on Vimeo.


Here we have MELTDOWN, the film that got me thinking “This is badass. Why haven’t I seen this before? I must have more.” I actually had the opportunity to interview Dave Green and screenwriter Henry Gayden about their web series (ZOMBIE ROADKILL) at Fantastic Fest way back when. I recently checked out Dave’s Vimeo account when he shot me the link to MELTDOWN. The guy’s got a slew of kickass stuff that you should watch. In fact, you might have already seen a music video he did for Miles Fisher called “New Romance.” The video tied into FINAL DESTINATION 5 with a parody of SAVED BY THE BELL and is definitely worth checking out along with his other stuff.

MELTDOWN brilliantly showcases how inventive people can get and how engaging even the silliest things can be when in the right hands. I literally spent six minutes of my life watching talking food in a refrigerator and was engaged the entire time, that says something. Green’s command of the camera and cutting style feels like old-school Sam Raimi. I hope he keeps it up.


Check out photos and behind the scenes stuff here:

Check out Dave’s website:



Next up, we have The World Premiere of SQUID. I feel incredibly lucky that the filmmakers, Robert Olsson and Chris Ingersoll, chose AICN to unveil their kickass giant monster movie here. It’s a real treat.



Dir. Robert Olsson

TRT. 3:27

Genre: SciFi/Horror

"SQUID is an action packed short, following one man trying desperately to survive a devastating invasion by horrific creatures, emerging from the sea. What are these "squid" and why have they attacked human civilization? Is mankind finally doomed?”


According to director Robert Olsson, SQUID “was shot on a shoe-string budget with the help of many talented volunteers. Almost every shot in the film contains some form of visual effect, including dozens of high res matte paintings, and fully articulated, computer generated creatures. The filmmakers have an extensive background in the vfx industry and wanted to put together a film that's not only interesting to watch, but exciting to experience!”

Well guys, I think you more than succeeded.  SQUID kicks all kinds of ass in my book. My only regret is that it ended. Seriously, I’d love to see some sort of prequel or sequel around this. I, for one, can’t wait to see what else these guys come out with next!

Check out the film's website here:

While we’re on the subject of sea creatures toying around with people, our next film is JELLYFISH GIRL, an animated short from director Mike Caracappa that has a beautifully twisted story that… well I don’t want to give anything away, but “Wow.”


Dir. Mike Caracappa

TRT. 3:01

Genre: Fantasy/Animation

“JELLYFISH GIRL is about a boy who goes swimming in the ocean with his underwater camera where he discovers a girl/jellyfish hybrid creature and tries to get a picture of it.”

According to Caracappa, the film was made in his second year of college at California Institute of the Arts and took about 8 months to create. As a tasty little nugget of geek cool - the sound design was done by Caracappa’s friend Crispin Freeman, who is a well-known anime/American voice actor (the voice of “Alucard” in HELLSING, Zelgadis in SLAYERS, and Togusa in the GHOST IN THE SHELL TV series).

I love this short. I love how beautifully Pixar-esque it is at first, and how I felt like I was on a nostalgic trip to the Disney beach. The music and overall look scream joy up until the end, which, my god – talk about a tonal shift. I’m shocked Caracappa went with that ending but love how he executed it. What an incredibly disturbing ending to such a playfully whimsical beginning.

He’s got another short called BEAR TRAP that he didn’t submit, but clicking around his YouTube account I stumbled on and think it’s worth checking out. Keep them coming, Mike!



That last film ended on a badass but still bummer of an ending, and it looks like director Patrick O'Leary is here to pep us back up with TIME TRAVEL, an incredibly super short yet enjoyable film that I definitely got a kick out of.


Dir. Patrick Leary

TRT. 00:30

Genre: SciFi/Comedy

“A young man thinks about buying a time machine.”


There’s not really too much I can say about TIME TRAVEL other than Patrick O'Leary, Todd O'Leary, and Nicole Holovinsky did a hilarious job with such a simple concept. The short did remind me of a story WIRED did where they challenged celebrities to make six word stories, much like Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Alan Moore responded with “Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time,” and this short absolutely reminds me of that, like “What the hell happened when he went back?” and clearly he did go back at some point…


Here’s another great comedy, this time straight from down under from director Mathew Jenkin called FAMILY VALUES.



Dir. Mathew Jenkin

TRT. 7:00

Genre: Comedy

“One family. One lesson to be learned. One twisted way to teach it.”


Fortunately, my father has never pulled that kind of lesson giving. What kind of troll of a dad does that? I loved the twist after twist after twist and think the acting was incredibly well executed. With so few characters and a one-room setting, Jenkin’s knocks it out of the park here.

Be sure to check out the film’s Facebook page:

And also the production companies website:



Next up is ATTACKAZOIDS: DEPLOY!! from Brian Lonano.


Dir. Brian Lonana

TRT. 4:16

Genre: SciFi/Robot Propaganda

“War is declared on the off world settlement. Everyone from suburban homemakers to super scientists are uniting to deploy an army of the giant killer robot Attackazoids.”



Who doesn’t love old timey newsreels discussing killer robots? The production design that went into the film kicks immense ass, and the stop motion animation and composite work blend together beautifully. I found the short incredibly enjoyable and want to see a feature version!


Here we come to our last short of the evening with REIGN OF DEATH from Matthew Savage.



Dir. Matthew Savage.

TRT. 5:34

Genre: SciFi/Noir

“REIGN OF DEATH is a sci-fi film noir starring Noel Clarke (Star Trek II, Doctor Who) and is a micro murder mystery set in a diesel punk future.”

Savage’s design background absolutely is showcased in this kickass noir short. What a gorgeously designed look of a film, like SIN CITY meets I, ROBOT. Hell, it could even work as a PSA for why not to urinate on things…

Check out the film’s Facebook page for a VisFX breakdown:

Check out Matt’s website:




Sorry ladies and gentlemen, but that’s the last show of the day. Come back next week for a slightly less FX heavy day of kickass shorts. Next Saturday, we’ve got some wonderful dramas, thrillers, horror, possibly a doc, more comedy, and some more crazy SciFi, plus a short straight out of the 80’s that will blow your mind!

I’d like to thank everyone who has and is continuing to shoot their shorts at me. As I mentioned above, just because you didn’t see your short today, it could pop up next week or the week after that! Keep them coming!



Mike McCutchen



Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 28, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Sounds interesting

    by dead youngling

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    "shoot their shorts at me"...hee hee

    by dead youngling

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10 a.m. CST

    Awesome! Muldoon I'll submit mine this week

    by D.Vader

    Been far too busy with work this week, I was never able to get to my computer and send you some links. I'll definitely have to do it soon and strike while the iron is hot!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    What about the short "Old Greg"?

    by Mr.Macphisto

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    really d.v. , ironing?

    by DrMorbius

    One can hope it's full of 'pressing' issues!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    What about the 'shorts' as in ...

    by DrMorbius

    ... eat my ... D'oh

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    really d.v

    by DrMorbius

    a video about ironing? Could it be full of 'pressing' issues?

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    It's Saturday and AICN has been updated!

    by Denty420

    Color me shocked.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    8 minute time warp?!?!

    by DrMorbius

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Reign of Death ripping off PA's Automota?

    by chronicallydepressedlemming You be the judge..

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    They don't have to be genre at all. To be perfectly honest - I'd say only about 10% of the submissions I got weren't genre (animated/action/scifi/horror/comedy/etc...). Next week we'll hopefully have a few that fit more towards what you like!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Wow how long did it take these guys to do this?

    by Bass Ackwards

    Seems like the call out for submissions was just a week ago.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Now, THIS is Cool

    by amrcanpoet

    It's like Saturday Morning cartoons for adults! Just make sure you keep this going!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Vader, ignore Morbius

    by BlaGyver

    I'm sure he's just letting off some steam.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST


    by BlaGyver

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Muldoon, here's hoping you have...

    by Carnotaur3

    ... my film "In Aggression" scheduled for next week.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I don't see this ending well with talkbacker trolls.

    by 3774

    I hope you moderate this heavily, Muldoon.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    blagyver ... is making me ...

    by DrMorbius

    ... hot under the collar!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST


    by bubcus

    I could submit mine (it showed at a festival last night), but I don't know how it would go over with this crowd. AICN posters aren't exactly the tolerant bunch (especially when it comes to docile, reflective films about life and death and spirituality).

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Q: So where did you go to film school?

    by MooseMalloy

    A: Youtube.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by bubcus

    Most short films are done on volunteer work. I only get paid on about 1/3 of the short films I do storyboards for and even then it's maybe a couple of hundred bucks. There is often almost no budget to work with. I just chalk it up as experience, IMDB credit, and portfolio additions. Most of us do these short films in the hopes of getting noticed and getting picked up by a large studio (or qualify for the film union's on-set experience requirements).

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Great job to all the Filmmakers!

    by T 1000 xp professional

    Those posters are top notch. Hopefully ours will be selected soon. Great stuff, Muldoon! The times are changing and our concept of what a festival is is too! This is why I love AICN.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    after all d.v

    by DrMorbius

    Was is not you that said ... *Most im'press'ive. Obi-Wan has taught you well ...* pally

  • Jan. 28, 2012, noon CST

    Straight out of the 80s?

    by Policar

    Sounds like my favorite decade for genre film and synth scores... Tell me more...

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Speaking of shorts . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . I can't find the short that used to play on H.B.O. in the early 80s where a guy is fighting for his life as a roll of film is crawling around, trying to get him. Anybody know what I'm talking about? He uses a magnet as a weapon . . .

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Yeah Morbs, blaguyver

    by D.Vader

    Just a few *wrinkles* to iron out and then these *shorts* will be ready to go.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    well played pally!

    by DrMorbius

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Brilliant! Hope that this gets the support it deserves.

    by Feral Colon

    Loved Meltdown. What a fun concept! I will never treat leftovers the same way again. Some real talent all around Cudoz to the filmmakers.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Don't know how long you guys can...

    by MaxHeadroom

    Don't know how long you guys can keep finding good new videos to put up, but this first one was fun. Thanks for the effort.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 3 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    In the time this has been posted, I've gotten an influx of emails with some damn cool shorts. I'm not too worried, but hopeful this column will be around for a good while. Well as long as I keep getting kickass shorts sent to me. Glad you liked this week's picks.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST


    by robin31684

    This is just what us young filmmakers need and want. Making movies isn't that difficult if you're passionate about it and doing it for the right reasons... Getting an audience to watch what we create is the hard part. Hope my movie, "Whitehead" makes it on here soon! Thanks so much for this! Really exciting and entertaining!

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Testcase: Squid = 33 views at noon, 225 views at 5PM.

    by Feral Colon

    I know views on Youtube aren't' related to actual views but page hits and refreshes. Still significant to the quality of the short and a testament to this new endeavour. Good to see AICN staffers putting the sites popularity back to good use. Couldn't think of a better way to kill 45mins on my Saturday morning, while eating breakfast. Cudoz to all the filmmaker this week! Look forward to more next Saturday.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Give Muldoon all the money

    by David Cloverfield

    Best new column ever. Always when i'm about to leave this place because the entilted, stupid as hell talkbackers something like this comes along. Or a cool Behind the screen pic of the day. Or just a cool article. Or a surprisingly insightful talkbacker. The good outweights the bad on AICN is what i'm saying, thanks to columns like this.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Nice column

    by Caerdwyn

    Columns like this and Behind the Scenes make this site worth a visit. Harry's "reviews" really aren't the draw for me -- I've read one too many "when I was 7..." stories from Mr. Knowles. But here... here we can celebrate the heart of film-making, something sorely needed on this "Film News" site. So thank you, Muldoon, and Quint, and Scorekeeper...

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Time Machine

    by Tigger Tales


  • Jan. 28, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Great column!

    by Xenodistortion

    Muldoon is kicking ass. Something like this should have been put on aicn years ago. Great stuff. Some of these shorts are damn good! Can't wait to see more.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 8:44 p.m. CST


    by GaiustheBrave

    Was pretty fun. Not to be taken as a criticism of the others. Just enjoyed that one the most. Definitely saw the Pixar parallel mentioned in the description.

  • Jan. 28, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Muldoon has been kicking ass lately

    by Cold_V

    I really like this column and WTF Hollywood

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST


    by cobrakinte

    Best idea since bts pictures.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 5:46 a.m. CST

    This column---

    by dahauk--

    = Super fun time. Thanks- Keep it up. Great support and exposure for the film makers. Well done all.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    This is for you Ham Sandwich.

    by magazoid

    All were very good, but Melt Down was probably my favorite followed by Jellyfish Girl. Fantastic stuff.

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Absolutely superb - all of it

    by Mister Vertue

    Not just the initial contributions, but also the column itself and the talkbackers who responded so positively. I'm not sure how many talkbackers posted something negative and have been deleted, but if you're thinking about doing so, think of this first: What have *you* done? Could *you* do better? Maybe you watched one of these and thought 'That was rubbish, I could do much better than that pile of crap.' If so, do it, and submit it. Try doing what these people did, on their budget, taking hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks, months and months, only to have their efforts shot down in mere seconds by some idiot who decided it was easier, or 'more cool', to be mean. I hope Muldoon's new column proves to be inspirational for most of you reading it. If you have something negative to say, do so in a constructive and well written way. Of course you're not *all* going to like *all* of the shorts, but don't slag something off for the sake of it in a wee sentence or two. That's too easy and it'll make you look like a complete fool. Looking forward to future installments!

  • Jan. 29, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    nice marmot

    by sonnyhooper

    the short film you are looking for is called RECORDED LIVE and it was made it 1975. it actually has a IMDb page and you can find a video of it on youtube. just be warned it's one of thoses videos where someone pointed a camcorder at a tv so the quality is shit, but i does work as a stroll down memory lane.