Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with another block of awesome shorts created by you, the lovely Ain't It Cool Readers. More and more I'm finding that having programming blocks of films that are all in the same ballpark (like "All horror" or "All comedy") is kind of fun. So this week we have a beautiful chunk of animated awesomeness. Animation, to me, is one step closer into the mind of the filmmaker as there are practically limitless camera setups, angles, characters, and things you just can't pull off with the limitations of shooting due to reality intervening. Because of that, I'm always especially curious to see some new animated shorts (or features for that matter) - where you can pretty much get away with whatever your imagination allows.
That's enough cartoonified-movie love gushing from me, let's hop on to a teeny bit of business fun: I've still got about a hundred shorts to watch. Shorts are consistently rolling in, so it's not like there's an end point, and since I really can't email everyone back with a head's up (Though I really do try to hit you up if your link didn't work or there's any issue like that) I'm still chugging away, so don't despair if you're a filmmaker who's sent one in and hasn't seen it yet. There was a little bit of negativeness in the TB's a few weeks back that I feel wouldn't have been there had a few people realized I just hadn't gotten to their shorts yet. So to wrap it up, if you've sent your short in in the month of April, I've yet to see it. I will absolutely see it, but I just want to be open and clear with you folks, just to... I don't know, keep you in the loop. That AND I'm moving more to block programming (like I mentioned above) with the "mixed bag" assortment happening very rarely, so say I get a kickass werewolf short (Which I actually do have) - I'm going to hold off on screening that until we have another horror block.
This AICN screening room has one purpose: Show kickass shorts made by AICN readers to the folks at AICN. I have no doubt that a lot of the filmmakers I've been lucky enough to screen their work will go on to bigger and more elaborate projects. That said, if I have ever screened your short and you have any news - feel free to keep in touch with any updates - I'm a fan of your stuff and want to know what's up with your future projects.
Okay, too much jibber jabber, let's watch some badass animated shorts. 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:
MOON UNIT: ZAPPA
Filmmaker Trevor Corrigan's MOON UNIT: ZAPPA is a fun little short that blends the worlds of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, WALL-E, with a dash of FORREST GUMP. That might my oversimplifying on my end, but judge for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the TB's below.
A stranded moon unit pines to go back home.
Using characters reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and integrating footage of various NASA moon landings.
Directed & Animated by Trevor Corrigan
Character Modeling by Al Dinelt
Animated in Cinema4D
Composited in Nuke and After Effects
Tracked in Syntheyes Tracker
Calcutta by Lawrence Welk
Moon River by Henry Mancini
There's A Moon Out Tonite by Capris
Non-commercial short film.
No copyright infringement intended.
CORPUS DELICTI: THE TALE OF JOE BALL, THE ALLIGATOR MAN OF SOUTH TEXAS
Here we have an oddity of a short from director Teppei Ando that tells the story of a strange man who's love of alligators might just have you steering clear of South Texas. (Though really, Texas is awesome.)
Written and Animated by Teppei Ando with music by Evan Kertman
Corpus Delicti tells the true story of Joe Ball, known legendarily as the Alligator Man of South Texas. In the 1930s numerous town folks were reported missing. Many attributed their disappearances to Joe's hungry gators, though he promised that they were professional entertainers only. The truth threatens to unravel when Deputy Sheriff Gray and his partner Deputy Klevenhagan begin their investigation of this strange case.
The Darkly Comic short film, Corpus Delicti, is the first collaboration by writer/animator Teppei Ando and composer Evan Kertman.
FAT ACTION HERO: THE WORST ENEMY
Here we are with Janne Widmark's (@JanneFantastic) interesting answer to the age old question "Why are their no fat action heroes?" It's more a visual experience than a structured story to invest in and while it may lack the level of story that most shorts I've screened had, it's kind of damn awesome and just fun to watch.
And after I checked out FAT ACTION HERO, I found myself checking out what else Janne had up on his YouTube account and found this bonus video, THE HANGING TREES. It's incredibly short and I might be reading a tab into it, but it feels like there's a much larger story here than we're privy too and I'm a sucker for films like that, one where it hints at something much bigger and asks you to use your imagination to build part of that story.
BUM, starring in GHOST KILLERS
It might be that rich Republican blood pumping through my veins (and... just kidding), but bums seem to get a bad rap and here we find ourselves with Phill Campey's lovable rapscallion of a bum and his cat getting into some fun ghostly trouble to provide us with a different look at the hobo world - one where ghosts exist...
I have been a lover of animation since my mum borrowed the Art of walt Disney book from my local Library in Leeds and I had always wanted to be an animator but instead I became a Creative Director, working for a large number of Ad agencies in the north of England.
I started animating my cartoon as a hand drawn project but it was a slow process and I never finished it, years later a friend introduced me to 3D software which over the years I taught myself to use.
Although my cartoon is not up to Pixar Standards I am proud of the fact the I have created everything on my own from the character rigging to the animation, lighting to texturing. I have even built a website which you can view at http://www.bummovie.co.uk
My main character is a tramp named Bum, I chose a tramp because he lends himself to a vast number of story situations as he is always on the move, his nemesis is a policeman named Inspector Busters and his dog Boot.
So Phil's been at it for 5 years building this short and I can't help but think "How cool is that?" Sure we've had some big budget stuff here with big crews and some big dog actors, but here we have a mountain of a beast that's taken the guy years to finish - I love that. At any point the guy could throw his hands up in the air and say "Screw it," but he kept with it and probably learned a ton in the process.
INTO THE HEART
Here we are with the last short of the day with a gorgeous short written & directed by Nicholas Hansen & Phillip MacDonald. I'm a sucker for steam punk and awesome visuals (hold it against me), and INTO THE HEART's got it all.
Darwin in the future. A border patrol squad answers a distress call from a remote outpost and heads up river...
made by swingtime
written & directed by Nicholas Hansen & Phillip MacDonald
Liam Nesbitt as The Trooper
sound design by Dave Robertson & Andrew Stevenson
score by Phillip MacDonald
That's it for this week's batch of interesting shorts. I've got a backlog of quite a few horror films that I'm dying to show you guys and a scifi/fantasy(?) steam punk short that totally blew me away. Next week will either be a horror fest or a scifi/fantasy fest of awesome. What would you guys rather have for next week? Anyways, the theater's closing, so see you folks next week.
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 "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 - This is a "No Troll Zone") 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