Movie News

This week's SATURDAY SHORTS are sure to brighten your day!

Published at: April 21, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST by Muldoon

Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with a whole slew of awesome shorts for your viewing pleasures. We've got a lovely assortment of some pretty funny bits of comedy gold that are sure to help brighten your day. Some had a budget of nothing, were shot on the weekends with borrowed equipment, and others clearly had a budget of so meting, but who cares? A good film is a good film, so I hope you can enjoy each one of these guys for what they really are, a kickass story done right. If you've checked out SATURDAY SHORTS before, then you know what your in for - a damn good time.

As I've stated from day one, I try to watch every short for its entire duration when I receive them and because of that I still have around a hundred emails in my inbox that I've still not been able to get a look at, so if you've submitted a short in the last few weeks, chances are I've not seen it, but absolutely plan on it. If you don't see your short up here or haven't yet, please be understanding and don't take it personally. This is a special pocket of film appreciation, not necessarily the place to go beat up on Michael Bay or hear tidbits of news spread by a studio's PR department - these are shorts submitted by AICN readers for other AICN readers to check out, so let's just have some fun and see some things we might not otherwise be privy to.

So let's get to it! 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 rock.

 

 

THE ACTION HERO'S GUIDE TO SAVING LIVES

(Action/Comedy)

We're kicking this week off with a crazy fun short starring The Tick himself, Mr. Patrick "Ultimate Badass" Warbuton. Director Justin Lutsky's short kicks your ass in the funniest, most badass way possible. If you dig it, then be sure to check out BLOOD FROM A STONE, which seems to swim in the same pond as this big dog.

If At First You Don't Succeed... You Must Be Ace Mulligan!
 
When lives are on the line... When there's danger at every turn... When clichés run amuck... Sometimes the best thing to do is call Mulligan!  Ace Mulligan!  Starring PATRICK WARBURTON, “The Action Hero’s Guide To Saving Lives” is a laugh-out-loud action-comedy that takes you behind the scenes of Ace Mulligan’s perilous and not-always-successful mission to stop the bad guys, get the girl, and save the day. It’s not always easy being an action hero!
 
Produced entirely from concept to screen in just under 6 1/2 weeks and shot in 4 nights.  This ambitious, micro-budget short was made possible through collaboration with a talented and dedicated cast and crew.
 
a Justin Lutsky film - www.EpicImageEntertainment.com
 
Staring: Patrick Warburton, Brett Simmons, Sean Naughton, Andrea Bogart
Produced by: Keegan Wilcox, Clint Carmichael, Justin Lutsky
Written by: Brett Simmons, Opie Cooper
 
 
 
THE HOBO MENACE
 
(Comedy)
 
After following that beast of a short, I better have something damn awesome to follow it up and well, I absolutely do with Rob Neilson's nostalgicly told vision of hobos running amok. I love the style of this short so damn much, it succeeds where so many shorts seem to fall a little flat. It rides that line of funny, old school, awesome so incredibly well. I think you guys will dig it.
 
THE HOBO MENACE is a warning shot fired across America's bow. With the economy in shambles, an ominous shadow looms on our horizon….THE HOBO.

So before it's too late, join Little Billy and his older brother Timmy. Using a new secret weapon they will teach you how to defend your town from itinerant rail riders.

Take heed, the life that you save…could be your own.
 
 
 
 
ROD, STEWART, AND THE MUMMY
 
(Comedy) 
 
Here we are with this piece of love of beer translated to film. The film was made for Dogfishead Brewery beer. (If I'm not mistaken, the company asked all sorts of people to build a short around the beer for a contest, so TalkBackers - No, this is not just a blatant advertisement.) Mitch Cansadi's film embraces the crazy zaniness of gore much like a Troma film, so fair warning - it might not be for some. I dig it, so here's hoping you might.
 
 
 
 
TRUTH BE TOLD
 
(Comedy) 
 
Up next is Steve Peterson's motion graphics heavy short that feels like an uplifting THEY LIVE. I really, really dug the vibe of this one.
 
A girl gets a pair of magic glasses that let's her see the truth in the world.
 
Link to some more info on the film on my web site that has some BEHIND THE SCENES photos:
 
Note:  I made the film because I wanted to try out a bunch of new visual effect and animation ideas in a fun, short live action story.  I wish I had a pair of those magic glasses!  Ha..
 
Me too, Steve.
 
 
 
 
THE ABC's OF DEATH - T IS FOR TEMPTATION
 
(Comedy)
 
There seems to be a distrust of girl scouts out there... Mike Foulke shot in this funny little piece and it's certainly worth checking out.
 
I was watching the shorts this week as always when I came upon "Get Off My Porch" which I enjoyed very much and reminded me of a short I did for the 26th director contest of The ABC's of Death called "T is for Temptation."  The top ten films in the contest made the finals, so of course out of 175 entries, I came in 11th, but it was still a great experience.

I was very happy to see that the talkbacker justmyluck actually remembered my short from the contest and mentioned it in the talkbacks, so I thought it may be fun to include in a future entry in the shorts program.  Mine is about an overeager girl scout who won't take no for an answer, but she may have bitten off more than she can chew when she knocks on the door of a serial killer.  The short stars veteran character actor Daniel Roebuck and a little girl named Ashley Lynn Switzer. 

It isn't nearly as involved as "Get Off My Porch," because the rules of the contest stipulated no longer than 4 minutes, so we had to get in and get out.  Also, we had a budget of about $400 total, most of which went to catering.  I was calling a lot of favors with this one.  No cast or crew were paid, just a labor of love.

Funny story, Daniel showed up on the morning of the shoot and let us know he had double-booked that day by accident, so we ended having to shoot the whole movie in a half a day.  It was a bit of whirlwind, but it was fun.
 
 
 
 
PLOT DEVICE
 
(Comedy/SciFi/Action)
 
Here we are with an oddity, a short from the folks over at Red Giant lead by director Seth Worley. I personally use Red Giant stuff all the time, along with perusing Creative Cow, and Andrew Kramer's VideoCopilot.net, and in case you have no clue what I'm talking about (Though I feel a giant ton of you do), these are the leading visfx big dogs (in terms of online help for no budget filmmakers), the websites you go to that give you free tutorials on how to tackle big expensive looking visfx bits for your own projects and sell all sorts of kickass plugins for After Effects and FCP or... Nevermind, let's focus on the short. This is a fun little short with an epic feel that I had a fun time watching. Give it a shot, I think you might too.
 

A young filmmaker obtains a mysterious device that unleashes the full force of cinema on his front lawn.

 

Director: Seth Worley

Executive Producer: Aharon Rabinowitz

 

Watch the Behind The Scenes documentary at: http://vimeo.com/24747132
 
 

And there we are with the last short of the day, but what's that? You want to keep this shorts watching explosion of greatness going strong? Kickass! 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!

First

Second

Third

Fourth

Fifth

Sixth

Seventh

Eighth

Ninth

Tenth

Eleventh

Twelfth

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 "Mike@aintitcool.com"

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

"Muldoon"

Mike@aintitcool.com

 

  

Readers Talkback

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  • April 21, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Some of these in the past may have been semi-pro but so what?

    by Longtime Lurker

    This is still a very cool idea and a great column.

  • Some unbeleivable films considering they were shot and edited in two days! https://vimeo.com/groups/scifilondon48hr2012

  • April 21, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Plot Device FTW

    by Longtime Lurker

  • April 21, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Good Stuff

    by cenobiteme

    I'd seen "Plot Device" a while back; really great short. I think "The Hobo Menace" was my favorite this week though.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Watched hobo menace.

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Entertaining I liked it. Can't watch more til I get home tonight :(

  • April 21, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Change the name of the column to DEMO REEL BREAKDOWN

    by MooseMalloy

  • April 21, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    The Hobo Menace

    by Savage Henry

    Thanks all for your kind words about my short!

  • April 21, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Saturday Shorts — aka — Short and Sweet!

    by justmyluck

    THE ACTION HERO'S GUIDE TO SAVING LIVES This mash-up of genre expectations and safety procedures was a great concept, and works better than a direct parody like MACGRUBER. Narrative shuffling to avoid harm reminds me of those old Laserdisc videogames like SPACE ACE and DRAGON'S LAIR. Not big fan of lens flare overuse, but the Cokin 2-point star filter added the required 80s TV vibe. Knowing touches in the credits and with the *Wilhelm scream*. THE HOBO MENACE REEFER MADNESS meets KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL. Hilarious! ROD, STEWART, AND MUMMY Right tone, right length, right budget. Voila! Another funny short. TRUTH BE TOLD THEY LIVE meets THE MASK. Kicks off great, mid-event, with propulsive music. CG and match-moving well-done, and wisely cartoony. Cute, just the right length, though the overall approach feels more like a one-off music video. THE ABC's OF DEATH - T IS FOR TEMPTATION My comments on this from last October: *...a good CREEPSHOW-like twist. Those girl scouts, or boy scouts, can indeed project a particular type of quasi-malicious guilt onto adults during those cookie sales or various fund raising drives. / Overall, I think T IS FOR TEMPTATION is a strong submission for the *T* contest, and I especially liked the mental state P.O.V. shot of the girl scout extending the tray of cookies.* PLOT DEVICE Well made and technically adept, but needs some trimming as it's more genre switching than plot device — and gets empty fast. THE ACTION HERO'S GUIDE (above) did this much better with just the one genre. Could have worked better with a flurry of cliches flying through, *saving the pet*, *officer appears barking orders at the policeman*, "floozy with a heart of gold*, Maltese Falcons or other McGuffins dropping out of the sky and popping up for no reason - since those are plot devices. Promoting Magic Bullet/Red Giant/Digital Juice/Vid Atlantic tech *with a short film*, and the behind the scenes coverage of that, seems to have been the *raison d'être* here. This week = pretty great!

  • April 21, 2012, 4:13 p.m. CST

    The Action Hero's Guide to Saving Lives

    by Tigger Tales

    Reminded me a little bit of the Community ep where Abed explores that rolling the dice actually gives them seven parallel storylines / fates. On top of that, the X-Files episode with the bank robbery and the Groundhog Day theme going. I like Warburton's presence, and the whole tough guy with catch phrases shtick wasn't too overdone.

  • April 21, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    The Action Hero's... (another thought)

    by Tigger Tales

    the siren after Ace kicks the door... too funny.

  • April 21, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    The HOBO MENACE

    by Tigger Tales

    Ho-Bo, now in two flavors - Pork & Beans, and Grain Alcohol

  • April 21, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    No sale, just replay 'Garbage day..hahaha..' fucking genius! :O

    by cameron

  • April 21, 2012, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Rod Stewart and the Mummy

    by Tigger Tales

    commas omitted because I like Rod Stewart! Very bizarre short... I like the video game music though... makes me want to fire up the keyboard and hammer out some MIDIs.

  • April 21, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I like comedy

    by Industrious Angel

    So this was my favourite Saturday Shorts column to date. My favourite among them: The Action Hero's Guide. Not only good image, but PERFECT timing - no scene a frame too long. Hobo Menace was good too, I'm a big Monty Python's fan and this would fit right into the Flying Circus. Rod, Steward and the Mummy was charming, as was Truth Be Told (even if I waited for her to look into a mirror as soon as she put on those glasses). T for Temptation was very good too, especially how that girl nailed her part! How long did it take to get this performance out of her? Plot Device was maybe the weakest entry as it has no story and litte jokes, even if the last take was really funny :)

  • April 21, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Truth Be Told

    by Tigger Tales

    Glad they kept an element of mystery at the end. I could see this being fleshed out into a feature film, with the wearer of the glasses coming to realize they have a big responsibility to use them for the benefit of mankind.

  • April 21, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    This is awesome

    by Muldoon

    This week's talkback feels like walking out of a theater and asking what your friends thought. JustMyLuck - again another well constructed breakdown! On a side note - Does anyone here have any suggestions for the column? I'm thinking of perhaps doing very brief interviews or perhaps doing contests.

  • April 21, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    The ABC's of Death - T is For Temptation

    by Tigger Tales

    They cast the perfect actor to play the man. I sure wish our girl scouts sold homemade cookies... the overpriced boxed ones are a scam.

  • April 21, 2012, 7:43 p.m. CST

    PLOT DEVICE

    by Tigger Tales

    hahahaha that's all.

  • April 21, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Thanks everyone! @Tigger & industriousangel

    by Michael Foulke

    Thanks everyone for the great comments! I really appreciate it! Our actors all did a great job in the movie and we were shooting really quickly. I had mentioned in the E-Mail to Muldoon that our actor Daniel Roebuck was double booked that day, but that's not quite doing him justice. In reality, he agreed to help me out on this film as a favor and then later, he got a paying gig for the same day. Rather than cancel on us, which I'm sure most people would have done, he had to drive around the city like a mad man and ended up doing both jobs in the same day. He is not only a super talented actor, but he really is also one of the nicest guys in LA! The little girl is Ashley Lynn Switzer, who auditioned with about 25 other girls for the part and she was great. It didn't take long at all to get her performance, she's an absolute natural. As I mentioned, we shot the whole movie in about half a normal production day. We started shooting at 10am and were done shooting by 4pm, including a lunch break, so our cast and crew really worked their butts off to get it done quickly! Not to mention that we shot it in August in LA at my mother-in-law's house and she doesn't have air conditioning, so it had to have been 120 degrees in the house with the equipment and everything. The poor girls who played the dead girls had to stand completely still for hours and they were sweating from the heat. It was brutal! Thanks again everyone and I hope you enjoyed the film! Great group of films again Muldoon! I really liked them! They are all funny, but in very different ways. Nicely done to all the filmmakers!

  • April 21, 2012, 9:11 p.m. CST

    @ Muldoon

    by Michael Foulke

    I think interviews would be a cool idea. It seems like a lot of the short films have interesting stories behind the making of the film because often for shorts, filmmakers have to get more creative to get good results because they don't have the money of the big studios, but still want to make good films. I would love to hear about how some of these films got off the ground. As always, great column and thanks for creating this venue to get your work out there for people to see!

  • I haven't seen it since, but I remember thinking it was a very high budget short with a great idea and was very funny. I remember thinking it may have gone on just a tad too long, but its very entertaining.

  • April 21, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    While out innocently shooting birds...LMAO!!

    by adeceasedfan

    An excellent selection this week. The Hobo Menace being my favorite, I've replayed it three times already. Kudos to all though, really good stuff.

  • April 21, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    what is going on with the street sign in "Hobo Menace"?

    by ufoclub1977

    at the beginning...?

  • April 21, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST

    @ufoclub1977: the angle and the reflection made it seem transparent.

    by justmyluck

  • April 21, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    "Hobo Menace" is great!

    by ufoclub1977

    It's actually written well (which many of the shorts on here don't seem to go for), and it, interestingly enough considering where "Plot Device" comes from, beats "Plot Device" in terms of visual style by looking organic and colorful in a rich and authentic way. "Plot Device" goes through so many looks, but they all seem generic and artificial. I haven't seen all the shorts posted here, but of all the ones I've seen, this my favorite so far. It's original and conceptually adept and funny.

  • April 22, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Muldoon's Monthly short contest!

    by LandWaster

    Great idea... have a different theme or something each month, and post the top 5 or so shorts that get submitted.

  • April 22, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Hobo Menace does indeed look fantastic

    by Tigger Tales

    Tried to say that in my earlier post but the quotation marks F'd everything up

  • April 22, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Rod Stewart and the Hummer

    by Edibowl

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad you guys liked it. Anytime we get to shoot fake blood on ditzy women at a bar its a good day. the story behind that particular beer called is "This sweet yet dry beer is made with ingredients found in 2,700-year-old drinking vessels from in the tomb of King Midas." So they brewed it and called it Midas Touch. pretty interesting. So thats why we included the mummy and such. Hope we get to feature more of our shorts on here. Farts Ahoy! Mitch www.DirtProductions.com

  • April 22, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    by Darnell Brown

    Hobo Menace was great! Saw "Plot Device" awhile ago when I was looking for tuts on Red Giant. And I'm all for a "Saturday Shorts Contest"!!!

  • April 22, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    @Muldoon Column Ideas

    by Darnell Brown

    I think interviews would be great! Hearing what the filmmakers went through during the process of creating their films and where they are sounds like it would be a great addition! Like reading one of you Saturday posts about a film I think was called, "Unchained" about the "Boy Gets Girl" horror story -- it was great to read that the director is making a feature. Now I'll be on the look out for it. I'm new to AICN, Muldoon but thanks for this forum. I've already seen some great films! Keep it up man!

  • April 22, 2012, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Hobo Menace f*ckin' RULES!

    by James Stevenson

    It has magical elixir powers, the like of which I've never witnessed! In the past 36 hours, I've invited 4 hobos into my domicile (well, some might term it a "shanty", although technically it's a cardboard box. I pay rent on it, so I suppose that's all beside the point). Anyway... I have now effectively ELIMINATED the local competition by 80%. As soon as those 4 unfortunates watched this short, they staggered away from my domicile and promptly dropped dead. Methinks the shame factor alone got the job done. I now stand, alone & triumphant, with free reign over every local dumpster. Life is good. Thanks, Muldoon. You da man.

  • April 22, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    @ not_quite_right

    by Savage Henry

    You sir have embraced the way of the hobo...but never forget for every hobo you squash under your boot heel 1,000 more will take his place! Just say No-Bo!

  • April 23, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    @robmneilson

    by James Stevenson

    I belatedly apologize for not giving you due diligence as the budding Scorcese of Hobo Cinematic Excursions. My inital nod was to Muldoon, but YOU sir have knocked the directorial dumpster lid open wide, well, and with considerable style. And yes, I shall endeavor to cut off every head of the Hobo Hydra which continues to infect us. I'll decap any mofo who asks me for even so much a nickel. No-Bo!... now, and 'til the end of time.