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Jonesing for some genre shorts? BAM! This week's SATURDAY SHORTS have you covered

Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with a fun package of shorts that all in some way or another have something to do with scifi/horror/fantasy and on top of that, really stood out to me as something special and worth sharing with my pals here on Ain't It Cool. Now if you've checked out SATURDAY SHORTS before, you know you're in for some quality stuff here and this time we've got monsters and magic! Today we have six sick shorts screening here at the SATURDAY SHORTS theater, so let's get this screening underway. Go grab yourself some popcorn, lock your kids in a closet, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here.

Let's roll 'em.


(SciFi / Fantasy)

Two adult brothers are finally moving out of their childhood home. Keeping them from making their escape are years of sibling grief and animosity... and nine foot tall, 8-bit video game villain: the pixelated "Commander Gorgo."

Written, Directed and Edited by Rogelio M. Salinas
Cinematography by Ellie Ann Fenton
Original Music by Michael Pace
Visual FX by Rogelio M. Salinas
Special FX by Rogelio M. Salinas, Kim Ngo, Kevin Beltz, and Benjamin Slamka

Starring Carter Smith, Michael Kanarski, Pierce Purselley, Joey Hood, James Ireland and Conrad Gonzales.

8.BIT.BROS from Rogelio Salinas on Vimeo.

So that was kind of awesome. Check out the film's official website HERE.



(Music Video)

Up next we have this oddity of a music video shot in by director Tore Frandsen.

Karin Park - Fryngies from Tore Frandsen on Vimeo.



(Irish Fantasy)

Up next we have Stephen Murphy, a very talented Director of Photography's addition to SATURDAY SHORTS with THE FORMORIAN.

"Set in ancient Celtic Ireland, the People of Dana fight to defend the island from an invasion of a demonic race called the Formorian. One warrior decides to desert the battlefield to return home, but his journey becomes another battle he has to face.

Directed by Aideen McCarthy, a young writer/director who worked her way through the ranks of the camera department on Features and commercials before starting to direct shorts and commercials herself."

"The Formorian" from Stephen Murphy on Vimeo.

If you got an extra two minutes, you might want to check out the "Making of THE FORMORIAN" HERE.



(SciFi Music Video)

Here's PUTEROBO, a crazy cool and head scratchingly bizarre french rap music video sin subtitles sent in by Stephane Grasso . That all said, it's still incredibly inviting and a fun little bit of escapism. I don't speak French at all, but the vibe this guy gives off if pretty funny. I might just be a sucker for French rappers punction robots in the boob though.




Up next is director Mike Le Han's award winning fantasy short.

"Eloise a nine year old girl passionate about books moves with her adopted parents to Black Lake a remote Cornish fishing village on the south coast of England.

No sooner does she arrive, she discovers a closed bookshop, the reading room. Befriended by two odd characters Mr and Mrs Libby she's told of an elaborate story of Mrs Peppercorn (the bookshop owner) daughter had mysteriously disappeared one night nine years ago.

Inquisitive Eloise secretly leaves her home in the dead of a wintry night to investigate, only to be confronted by Old peppercorn herself.

Magically she is taken on a journey of self discovery and excitement, when Peppercorn is not quite who she is thought to be and Eloise's life is turned upside down."

Mrs Peppercorn's Magical Reading Room in HD - Short Film from Mike Le Han on Vimeo.

Check out the film's website HERE.



Believe it or not, I do get sent in quite a few shorts that came out of 48 hour film competitions and for the most part they can't compete with well planned and executed shorts (go figure). I've done quite a few 48 hour film competitions myself here in Austin and I've seen first hand how tricky/fun constructing/shooting/cutting/delivering a short in two days can be. This next short is from one of these such competitions and it's damn funny. I enjoyed the hell out of it, just a head's up - it was made in the span of 48 hours - so it's obviously not as polished as some of the other guys here today.

"Zombie Team Building is a comedy about the ultimate corporate retreat ... zombie survival.  It's the last day of the corporate team building experience and the surviving members now face their final test."


And there we are with the last screening of the day, but what's that? You want to keep this shorts watching festival of fun going strong? Badass! Here's list of previous columns below. I like to think of them as different theaters, so feel free to pop into any of them and give them a shot!












If you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in, please do send it in - I'd love to see what you've put together. I've already seen hundreds of fresh new filmmakers' shorts and like any good addict, I need more!

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 or would want published.

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.

Remember, the filmmakers might still be in the audience, so feel free to share your thoughts in Talkbacks below. (Just don't be a dick) I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? What are your thoughts?




- Mike McCutchen



Readers Talkback
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  • April 14, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    This column sucks!

    by brad negrotto

    It would be a lot more interesting if you picked shorts from non-professionals.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    That really depends on your definition of "professional." Is this a column that supports poorly made things? I hope not. I'm fairly certain 75% of everyone involved in the sum of ALL of the shorts here have day jobs and really do their damnedest to give these shorts a level of high production value that you're picking up on. If this column isn't exactly what you want it to be, I'm sorry. My only goal with SATURDAY SHORTS is to hopefully give you/the readers of AICN a chance to see something you might not otherwise see.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Agree Palefire...and actually Muldoon

    by allouttabubblegum

    Most of these shorts clearly have decent budgets many from guys who contribute have some work in the field (FX guys being one example). Of course Im pissed at you for ignoring my short (probably due to being B&W and shot on nothing) so I guess mine was poorly made on that basis of being too low in production "value" to be deemed worthy of a heads up. But there are loads of decent short films on vimeo/youtube on no budgets by guys who have a passion for making films but dont have access to the toys or the funding...many are way better and with more content than most of these tech demo's. I would like to see more of those kind of shorts being given a mention.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Day jobs = directing commercials

    by brad negrotto

    Mimirsan, couldn't have said it better. And note I've never sent a video in to be passed on.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Palefire, et all

    by Battybrain

    Its one thing to gripe about 150M movies that you pay money for. That's not what these are. I don't care who the filmmaker is, if they're making a short, it ain't because they think they're going to make money on it. Shorts don't make money. Period. If they work in the business, they'll have a ton of friends that can pitch in (probably for free), and contacts to get gear (again, cheap or free). Pros + pro gear = pro-looking film. The point is, you want all the shitty movies Hollywood pumps out to start being replaced with these? Then these are the people that need our support. People willing to spend time on their weekends, doing the same thing they do 70 hrs a week, to make a film that comparatively few people will see, even with the best results. Its people like you who ruin movies for everyone else. How dare you. And by the way, I've submitted films to Muldoon. He didn't like 'em, apparently. Next time I'll make a better movie.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    battybrain..missing the point.

    by allouttabubblegum

    Hes not complaining about the shorts quality. Hes complaining that only the high production shorts (mostly done by pros in the industry) are largely shown in these articles. Which he does have a point. Check the credentials of most of the shorts shown...large portion are industry workers. Are there many chosen by muldoon shot by Filmmaking mates with a script ,passion and with absolutely no resources? Its these kind of filmmakers who would benefit most from word of mouth from this article. Just because something has low production values does not mean its automatically crap and not worth putting the message out. Just because something has flashy visuals doesnt mean its great either yet they get plenty of coverage. Guys in the industry wanting to make a short film have a lot of help to make their production look great. Others have to struggle to put a budget together to make thier stories onto the screen. Should he not show these shorts by pros making shorts on the side? No of course not But there should be a balance. I would find it more interesting to see more stuff by no budget filmmakers with no industry links. Can be more suprising.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by Battybrain

    Fair enough re: low production value shorts having good scripts, too. That doesn't mean that the guy directing commercials should be ridiculed for his day job. Secondly, we don't know what else comes in, aside from our own stuff, so its a little unfair to blame Muldoon for not picking options you can't prove are available. And its his playground, so he can decide what toys to bring, so to speak. If I got over-righteous in my defense, its because this is the kind of thankless job that people give up on unless they get some zealous support. There's not a ton of places to submit this type of work that gets any view with the general public (i.e., people that don't seek out short film festivals). It sounds like you don't want this column going anywhere either. I'm glad to hear it. If there's any thread on here that should be clear of trolling, its this one. Starting a thread with "this column sucks" is not constructive. Hey Muldoon-- how bout a set of ground rules like the one the DocBack has? There can be discussion, commentary, criticism-- its good and necessary for art to continue. But how about some maturity in the proceedings?

  • April 14, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    So much animosity, why?

    by Muldoon

    I've been fortunate enough to have had close to 800 shorts sent to me. Mimirsan, if you are honestly "pissed" at me for not selecting your short out of those 800 and personally think I'm less than because of it, I have nothing to say to that. I see a lot of assumptions being brought up here and I honestly don't understand why there's such anger. I really don't get it. My goal: Show interesting shorts created by AICN readers to AICN readers. If you want me to ignore shorts because they look "too good" or "too professional," then you're essentially condemning a filmmaker for doing a good job or me for having the audacity to show you what I think is "cool." It's like you're saying, "Make a good short film, but not too good..." It seems like regardless of what I try to put out here, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't with some of you. I've never once gone out of my way to attack a single talkbacker here at AICN, but with headers like "This column sucks!" Why should I even bother?

  • April 14, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    I've seen/posted a handful of some really good black and white films that were shot without a budget. Budget does not equal production value, so you can't say "I shot it black and white with no money, therefore Muldoon is being some kind of elitist and clearly avoiding me, because I haven't seen it yet." Also production value doesn't necessarily mean a short is good either. I'm human. I've got my opinions as to what I personally like and what I don't. Obviously your film means the world to you and you are proud of it, as you should be (making films is hard), but you can't possibly think every single person who's film has been showcased here doesn't feel the exact same. I'm not out to exclude anyone, hence the fact this column exists in the first place. I spend several hours a week after I get home from my own day job to watch shorts in the hopes of giving you something interesting to check out. That said, I'm certainly not stopping you from posting a link to your short here in the comments.

  • April 14, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Muldoon is pretty cool. More from him please.

    by Fritzlorrerains

  • April 14, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Haha he isn't ignoring B&W shorts

    by Fritzlorrerains

    You obviously aren't watching the shorts, only looking to see if yours was posted.

  • April 14, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    That sweet robot one was B&W.

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Loved that one.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Crazy Commentors

    by roger_runrabbit

    Really don't get the anger here either. I am in the same boat at mimirsan, I submitted a few shorts when this column started but haven't seen them posted. I didn't take it any more personally than I do when festivals don't show it. Its life. This is a hard business to break into and you have to prepared for a ton of rejection. I had thought about posting links to my own stuff but out of respect for Muldoon's choices I refrained. However as he appears to have tacitly given such practice the green light I'm going to go ahead and include a link to two VERY NSFW horror shorts. ps. Muldoon I love this column, keep up the good work!

  • April 14, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST


    by brad negrotto

    You are arguing things he didn't even claim. It would be nice to see shorts that aren't just films made by insiders. That is all. And sorry, no budget films are made with a piece a shit camera and crappy audio equipment, not for instance cameras that cost more than a couple of thousand. So calm down buddy. You are irrationally getting pissed at things that weren't even said.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Okay, what is the deal with the Puterobo one?

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Is it a Freudian nightmare or an embarrassing peek into a Frenchman's mind? Kinda weird...

  • It really is great to see what kind of ideas these indie filmmakers get, and how they go about executing them.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    I find this column to be about the most exciting thing on the site

    by mynamesdan

    I often bookmark it so i can watch them 'properly' later on

  • April 14, 2012, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Why so many music videos?

    by Barnald

    I thought you said a while back that would be a rare occurrence in this column...

  • April 14, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Muldoon, thank you for the saturday shorts.

    by t_allen

    I for one really enjoy the time spent over a weekend to see something new. I don't get out much being slightly disabled and all that, so these are very welcome! Also, almost 800 submissions? I can't imagine how long it would take to sift through all of that.

  • April 14, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    To the bitter fellas who commented first.

    by T 1000 xp professional

    I lol at your "insider" comment. Some of these guys may very well be consistently working filmmakers, but TRUST me on this, some if not most of the Ain't It Cool readers who sent in the shorts are filmmakers that are the opposite of Hollywood "Insiders". You will also be surprised how many of these were made on very small budget. Verrry small... Bottom line: Your shorts weren't picked. So what..... I have a challenge for you.. Go through 800 shorts and make everybody happy. Ready. Go.

  • April 14, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    I love Saturday shorts. One of the reasons I come to AICN

    by Lee Rainberg

    None of the shorts featured are by people who have made feature films, or they are aspiring to make better features if they have made a feature before. Featuring their shorts here is about exposure and improvement by positive critiques by talk back members. We are supposed to celebrate film here and support those who want to contribute to the future of all things geeky in cinema. If you love film you should be supportive of every filmmaker on the road to realizing their dream regardless of how many music videos or commercials they work on. These production values they feature are the kind you should aspire to as a filmmaker, quality is just part of the journey towards features. These filmmakers don't have an unfair advantage, they have worked their ass off to gain the technical knowledge they have and the support from fellow artists who help them in this collaborative medium. Whether you think any of the work is good or not is no grounds to run down the artists who are only trying. They are only learning. No need to be nasty, I'm sure the filmmakers read all of these comments.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST


    by Michael Foulke

    If you have a link to your B&W short, I'd like to check it out. Please post a link. I'm not saying this to be a smartass, I'm an aspiring filmmaker myself who just submitted two shorts to this column this week, so I always like to support other filmmakers. Submitting your short to this column is about getting it seen by fans, so I'll check out your work. Thanks! Also, I want to join the praise parade for this column. I appreciate what Muldoon is doing here. Not only does it entertain me pretty much every week, it also provides a much needed venue for filmmakers to get their work seen by a decent sized audience. I made a short last year that won "Best Dramatic Short" at the festival it played, but there was only really about 20 people in the audience, and I'm fairly certain they were all there to see their own movie, so this is a great place to get your short out to a bigger audience than a small film festival can accomplish.

  • April 14, 2012, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Keep up the good work Muldoon ...

    by DrMorbius

    The Saturday Shorts is a MUST SEE for me, This is aicn, so there's always going to be some self-appointed jackwagons complaining ... I Want blah blah blah ... To quote Neil Young (sort of) *Don't Let It Bring You Down ... *

  • April 15, 2012, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Agree with the positive posts, keep up the good work...

    by SK229

    This is one of the best things on the site, for me at least, and I complained regularly and asked where Cinematic Shrimp went, the first incarnation of a shorts column. And I LOVE seeing the high end stuff that gets people some traction on the road to a filmmaking career. THAT'S what provides a road map to actually making a living doing this, not the consistently shitty and unwatchable selections at major film festivals these days. And I'm an editor in television, have also worked in animation, several very big shows, in my early 30's, and it took a very long time to even get to THAT point. I STARTED with a camera when I was 12 and only just got paying work the last 4 years. It's an extremely tough business... imho, it's the toughest business there is, especially just to GET INTO. The pressure is insane on some gigs, and I come from a blue collar family with zero connections in the business... and I do mean ZERO. I scratched and clawed my way even to where I am now, but I still want to write and direct, so I applaud ANY effort, especially the people are actually good at it. As far as resources, try being around BEFORE you could literally shoot a pretty good looking movie on your phone... and edit and storyboard it on there too! I sound like an old man, but really, renting a Red camera or bartering for favors and getting a few locations can get you an extremely high end look for less than a few thousand dollars. And I know how discouraging it is to see your film passed over and feel that everything else you're seeing getting plaudits seems like lesser work than your own. THAT'S part of the problem, because there's a kind of cognitive dissonance going on in terms of what's good and what isn't in the festival feature world. For the most part, Muldoon is putting up the best of what's out there in SHORTS, and we should all applaud that, cause that's what it takes to TRULY make it and it gives you a bulls eye and a compass, again, UNLIKE places like Sundance where the last really good film to come out of nowhere was Primer... maybe Brick, but that had a sizable budget. The days of good genre filmmaking from nobody filmmakers getting traction at major festivals ARE OVER, in favor of people who haven't made it that big yet (talking Nolan/Aronofsky big) but still bring the horror or sci-fi every year (your Ti West, your Adam Green, etc.). So shorts are the way to go. Quickest way to a career if you can make one that makes waves. Shuts people up really fast too if it's beyond great. AIM for that and I can guarantee you'll get somewhere. Also, I think this column can go nuts in other ways, like filmmaker interviews, examining how people leveraged a short film to get places in the industry (it happens a lot more than with features these days), and also covering technical and storytelling aspects for the budding filmmakers out there. Don't get discouraged, get better.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Am I writing in a different language Muldoon?

    by allouttabubblegum

    Stop writing things that I claim to have said. And clearly you havent tried to make a film because I can tell you if you have one ounce of passion for what you make you would be pissed too. Dont understand that? Thats your problem. To those saying theyre on VERY small budgets...pull the other one. Smaller than a hollywood budget yeah of course! But fuck me some were shot with a RED...have you seen how much it is to hire one? Clearly my views are not agreed with in that low budget filmmakers should be given a heads up (and im not talking about myself) originally I thought thats waht this article was about. I was wrong. You dont want to support the lower end of the budget filmmakers. So be it.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST


    by allouttabubblegum

    For what its worth Shot for under £350 mostly on a compact camera and Lumix micro four third cameras (sell buy sell buy). Thanks for not being a smartass ;-)

  • April 15, 2012, 1:19 a.m. CST

    @Muldoon pt2

    by allouttabubblegum

    Btw im not actually pissed at you about not showing my short but I am annoyed that your choices seem to mostly veer towards stuff by guys who already work in the industry. Because of course its going to have high production values and look "cool" over something shot with a cheap dslr and basic editing suite. To simplify this is the issue I have. Never said any of the shorts shown were crap or putting the filmmakers down for being pro. Some great work here. But now after the 11th week id just like to see less ones done by filmmakers who have access to all the toys and more films by guys with no money but passion. Im done.

  • April 15, 2012, 1:30 a.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    And clearly you havent tried to make a film because I can tell you if you have one ounce of passion for what you make you would be pissed too.

  • April 15, 2012, 1:41 a.m. CST

    @mimirsan Minus Quotation Issue Fun

    by Muldoon

    You have no basis for such an assumption. I saw your link and checked my email. I got your short on March 11th and hadn't even seen it yet. Sure I wish I could watch more films in a given week/day, but I'm one guy and I do make a point to get to each and every email sent to me, so it can take some time. I'm sorry you feel slighted or think I'm against no budget film making. I'm not at all, but feel no matter what I say or do you'd hold firm in your beliefs. I'm tired of defending myself. I'll be back next week with some more shorts. I really do appreciate all the kind words. I'm not typically easily offended/feel the need to respond to negative views, but this column in particular personally means a lot to me and I don't want to see the talkbacks here go the route of so many others.

  • April 15, 2012, 2:02 a.m. CST

    I think what mimirsan is saying is....

    by F-18

    ....that he wants to see some shorts that are done by amateurs. Those look like they were made by professionals.

  • April 15, 2012, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Saturday Shorts — aka — more, more, more!!!

    by justmyluck

    8.BIT.BROS Sibling youth rage, adult suppression, projection and guilt — the elephant (or Gorilla) in the room. TRON/SCOTT PILGRIM. Shrewd compositions with the empty house and moving boxes appearing like primitive video game geometry. Gets a little over the top, but the message is in there. KARIN PARK *FRYNGIES* Kinetic combo of song, visuals and editing. Polanski's THE TENANT. Seemed devoid of any meaning or subtext. Knew what it was aiming for, as far as music videos go. THE FORMORIAN Demonstrates that a moody visual texture alone can be riveting (at the right length). Loved the low-key look and vibe to this. Tight, rich story. Exceptional short. Can't ask for more. PUTEROBO Franco-rapper going strong the raunchy lyrics don't miss a swipe but those illustrated bookends had more of a bite. Imaginative computer graphics like floating boobs in the sky thankfully no such enhancement when groping his fly. MRS. PEPPERCORN'S MAGICAL READING ROOM Stephen Murphy's (THE FORMORIAN) dazzling camera again. Great production design and overall look graded to the gold, probing camera, those feature-film level British production values all technically perfect. Unfortunately, while aimed at kids, I'm not sure there's enough razzle-dazzle here to hold their attention. Likewise, six-minutes of credits, for a 25-minute film, is overkill. Well-cast with a storybook quality which should engage young HARRY POTTER fanatics. ZOMBIE TEAM BUILDING Everyone involved seems to have had the right approach to the material and rushed production, and the dialog for this is actually quite good. The real humor here is in the details and reaction shots. My only suggestion would be a recognizable corporate font for the intro text. This 2010 insta-movie is similar to a bigger budget, 2012 short posted on AICN called COST OF LIVING. This week = super duper!

  • This week was mostly great. Last week's TRAPS and MIRACLE FISH were outstanding. Sure, there's going to be some which aren't your cup of tea. The bottom line is you'll find work in the short format which hasn't passed through the nattering nabobs of negativity and gatekeepers of mediocrity (also known as studio executives). The short format is also a training ground where feedback is not only wanted, but necessary, being viewed outside the mainstream critics' columns. The digital video format allows more experimental works to be *open frame* and re-shaped based on reactions. So, if you love film, you love watching filmmakers learning the ropes. Not only that — a good deal of these are from accomplished talent working in the short format. A great antidote to the majority of comic book adaptations, reboots and remakes pumped out weekly at the corporate box office.

  • April 15, 2012, 4:04 a.m. CST

    No the_cellarrat

    by allouttabubblegum

    Mr spork is 100% correct in what I was saying yet most of you are eager to blow a top. You sir are the one mistaken. And calm down Muldoon fer crying out loud.

  • April 15, 2012, 5:15 a.m. CST

    You People...

    by Starcrossed_Part_2

    Can often be moaning, selfish cunts

  • April 15, 2012, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Anyone who's genuinely passionate about film...

    by biscuithead

    ...will be open to watching shorts of any kind, whether it's low-budget or not. You should be looking at all areas of your chosen medium to understand it more, to see what works and what doesn't, particularly if you are an aspiring filmmaker. Quite simply, if you are strongly critical of the idea of someone trying to uncover new material, you are not really interested enough in the subject...

  • April 15, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST

    @Muldoon, and everybody else I guess

    by RRL

    I come here every weekend for the shorts- I think it and the BTSPOTD are the best thing here. Thanks for the shorts bro- not always great, but always interesting. So, why don't you clean up your weekly schedule a bit so we can see more features from you and less from Billy and the chick?

  • April 15, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    My favourite this week ...

    by Industrious Angel

    ... has to be The Formorian. Not much of a story, but good setting and atmosphere, executed within a minimal timeframe. "Magical Reading Room" had not much more of a story either but was stretched out over 20 minutes, and long 20 minutes they were to watch. Very good camera/light and set work but looks more like a showcase for the art director than a film. And thanks again for the column Muldoon, looking forward to it every week :)


  • April 15, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Re: Gatekeepers of medicority (studio execs)

    by SK229

    I CANNOT FUCKING STAND that mentality in indie film. While it's true, they will probably FORCE you to be mediocre unless you can leverage your creativity to power, like a Christopher Nolan, BEFORE they let you into the magical kingdom of studio filmmaking, the level of polish required on your 'calling card' short or feature has to be pretty damn high, and that can either be on the technical side or the story side or both. An example of it being on the technical side would be that short film 'The Raven' that got the guy a studio gig. And example of the story side, of sheer vision, would be the shorts of Neill Blomkamp. There's a terrible attitude that doing excellent looking work, of operating at the top of your craft and shooting for the moon in a 5-7 minute short and especially in an indie feature is somehow selling out or bad. That's fucking ridiculous... don't you want your talent to feed and clothe you someday? Any negativity is pure ego. Stay positive and look for the lesson. Of course, we're not all zen monks and it does hurt to be rejected, but you have to find a compass and know when you're doing work that's so good that somebody will eventually take notice and when the people doing the rejecting are right. I DO agree that when it comes to film festivals, the cat is out of the bag... for the most part, they pick absolute shit nowadays and it's hard to believe there aren't better entries in the reject pile, and you find out that so-and-so knows the programmer and this person had a connection to this person and on and on and on until we're where we're at now, where film festivals are more of a crap shoot than throwing an excellent looking short film up on youtube. THIS IS THE WAY IN NOW, so take note. Unless you have major festival connections, I wouldn't blow your wad on a feature. And if you do, you better make sure it's genre (sci-fi, horror, or comedy) and has something new or original to say within that genre... and even then, it can be the indie equivalent of The Exorcist and not get into a major festival. But if you put a few scenes online and it's that good, you can be sure people will take notice. That's the mentality I hate, this is an art, but it's also A CRAFT. Hone your craft. Films CAN look amazing on no budget, it's all in how you use your resources and how much you realize that simple lighting, even with shit from home depot, can look as good or better (even just using the entire palette, rather than the bullshit orange and teal look that's all the rage) than a Hollywood movie. Since there's no time constraint on your personal artistic endeavor, there's no time constraint on how long you polish your script and plan out your shoot. That's why watching the best looking and the worst looking and everything inbetween is important. I personally like that Muldoon is looking for the best of the best. Like I said, you should be happy to have something you can can look at and AIM for, unless you're sole purpose is to keep this as strictly a hobby. And for the person talking about "Have you seen how much those Red Cameras cost to rent?" Ok, for an ENTIRE WEEKEND, you can get a basic Red package in most cities for $500-$750 if you rent the Scarlet. Download the free premiere trial and make sure you can edit your film within a month. Keep it short, 5 minutes, a low shooting ratio, say 5 or 7:1, transcode to pro res and get it done and exported before the trial is up. Where there's a will, there's a way. And the Red isn't the magical camera that requires 50 technicians to operate like the tech-heads online would have you believe. I plugged the fucking thing into the wall and had my sister holding it for some shots, used some fluorescent lighting banks to light and it looked fantastic. It shoots RAW, so when you rent, you just make sure it's black balanced and they've removed any preset looks that were applied by the person renting before you, and VOILA... you're shooting on the same format as the big boys. You think that's expensive, try going back to the days when THE FILM DEVELOPING AND TRANSFER COST AS MUCH OR MORE THAN THE ENTIRE RED RENTAL PACKAGE. And if you don't have a Red, a Canon 7D or like I said, even an iPhone is fine to shoot on and can look amazing if you know what you're doing and make it work within your limitations. Bottom line, again, stop bitching and don't get angry, GET BETTER.

  • April 15, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by Fritzlorrerains

    Great post.

  • April 15, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Sweet lord...

    by darth_miyamoto

    People can get awfully bitchy. Muldoon, I just wanted to chime in and say, keep up the good work. I look forward to this column every weekend, and I agree with others that it's one of the best things on the site.

  • April 15, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by brad negrotto

    People are just silly. I can understood how my first headline could have been taken as something other than sarcasm, but all the comments after cleared up my complaint. All I can say is calm down people. I'm only making a suggestion: it would be a more interesting column if he included true independent films. This is the only I come back to AICN for anymore these days. Definitely the best the site has to offer, sorry for trying to make it better.

  • April 15, 2012, 6:34 p.m. CST

    To all the haters

    by cenobiteme

    Lets put things in perspective here. Muldoon didn't charge anyone to screen their films. He takes time out of his day job to watch the films and then he posts a handfull of them from week to week. Some have higher production quality than others. All of these shorts have an "independent" nature to them even if they are made by people who work in the industry. Some of the films have amazing effects but most of those films effects have been performed by the director/editor/fx artist. It's like you are condemning people for having knowledge about things that you don't understand. It's like you are condemning people for having talented friends. This is absurd. If you want to complain about the film festival world being a racket you have every right to but don't feel you are entitled to a screening that is free on the internet. Muldoon is doing the legwork so he alone gets to decide what goes up week to week. The most valuable lesson I have ever learned from filmmaking is that the people that complain about everything (long days, horrible working conditions, low pay) are also the people that don't get asked back. You and your film will go further the more connected you are to other people. Networking is the most valuable tool a filmmaker can ever acquire, it trumps a red one or an avid media composer. So for those who complained this week about their film not showing, don't be surprised if it never shows at this point. Way to piss off the programmer, that's always a great strategy to get your film screened.

  • April 15, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Muldoon, I want to thank you for your dedication to see this through.

    by adeceasedfan

    Week after week of entertaining shorts is always a welcome delight. I can't imagine the investment involved to turn this in on a regular basis, but it is most appreciated. This weekend's tb got a bit out of hand, but now that you have made clear your purpose and intentions (again). Hopefully those who look forward to Saturday Shorts can ignore the self serving few who intend to disrupt. Btw...I will never be able to see the Death Star again without thinking of boobs. Just weird.

  • April 15, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST


    by brad negrotto

    You are one of the silly people I was referencing above. No one is downing people that have budgets, or work in film and have friends that will help them out. We were just asking for some films with a zero budget and a pal that does fx for WETA.

  • April 15, 2012, 9:32 p.m. CST

    I say show them all! Let the readers vote! But all get viewed!

    by DrunkenBusboy

    It is supposed to be about exposure. So post more videos with the moderator just thowing some quick comments here and there! Let the readers vote for the best ones. More importantly though they all get viewed. Just my 2 cents! I have submitted a bunch of my shorts long time ago. So yeah I keep checking to see if one got posted. Who wouldn't.

  • April 16, 2012, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Mimirsan, Watched the Short

    by Michael Foulke

    I thought it was well done. I know you were talking about your budget limitations, but I think that visually, it was pretty interesting with a lot of nice shots. If you only had a limited budget I think you made the most of it. My one question is: was the audio recorded in post? I only ask because it had an interesting sound to it that almost sounded like it was recorded at a studio. There wasn't a big synching problem or anything like that, just sounded a bit different than it normally would if it were just recorded from a regular boom mic on the spot. I could be crazy. Also, the effects in the film were fun to me. They are clearly done for little money, but they have a certain "indie film" charm to them that I enjoyed. I think the black and white actually adds to the story and was a good choice. You definitely have a story to tell and I enjoyed my twenty minutes with your film, so bravo to you for getting it out there! Thanks for posting!

  • April 16, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    FoRmorian? Someone needs to do further research.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    It's "Fomorian" (Fomhóire).

  • It's a transliteration, so deal with it.

  • April 16, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST


    by allouttabubblegum

    Thanks matey. The audio recoeding equipment was bad bad bad (something to learn for next time) and was ruined by wind so everything even the sound fx was done afterwards by me and everyone involved. Would be really interested in seeing your work too link here if poss.

  • April 16, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    @ everyone whos a touch too sensitive

    by allouttabubblegum

    Im not a hater. I was making a suggestion. And going by what ive seen in the column its not unjustified. Ive been following these columns every week and I just wish there was more shown of lower budgeted films. There are some shoestring stuff shown but very very few in realtion to the high funded ones with the fancy FX,gear and by experienced guys. If one supposed to be open minded and enjoy a film made by any means like say on a iphone (like someone suggested) then why is there not many being shown considering the columns been going a while. I was asking for a clear balance between whats picked on the column. That is all I was I saying. Muldoon when I said I was pissed you not showing my short Im saying that as a example. I understand you dont have the time to see all the shorts that have been submitted and thats cool. This is a talkback and if one cant make their own opinions (good or bad) then perhaps there should not be one? I myself love films but I dont make comments on the quality of the short films as I dont beleive Im qualified to...only the person making the film know what they were aiming for and showing it for free. Call me a cunt. call me a hater. Im just a guy with a opinion. And if there wasnt a issue I wouldnt of said anything.

  • April 16, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    @ the_cellarrat @ cenobiteme

    by allouttabubblegum

    Opinions are not allowed.kiss ass or fuck off.

  • April 16, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    @ the_cellarrat @ cenobiteme

    by allouttabubblegum


  • April 16, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST

    It's possible but still not easy to make a compelling movie on an phone....BUT..

    by T 1000 xp professional

    I found this one that opened the 2012 Miami International Festival of the Arts on one of the vimeo iphone channels

  • April 16, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Sorry, but no. I'll trust the definitive reference books

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    on Irish folklore written by Dr. Dáithí Ó hÓgáin over an unsourced Geocities page, thank you very much.

  • Dipshit.