Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

This Week's SATURDAY SHORTS Brings The Drama!

Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with your weekly fix of kickass shorts. Now it's no secret that horror and action seem to make up the bulk of my short watching diet and if you've been following SATURDAY SHORTS at all - I assume you might fall into that category as well (I could be wrong, so don't troll me bro), but every now and then you've got to remember to have some drama - some real passionate healthy morsels of intensity to balance your movie watching out. That leads us to this week, a solid chunk of drama, a first for SATURDAY SHORTS and while Ain't It Cool isn't really known for it's love of drama and I'm sure a handful of you fine folk might not be in the mood today, I strongly urge you to give these shorts a shot - doesn't have to be today (we catologue, so no biggy if you come back later) - but as always these are my picks for the week and I think they're all great.

I get all sorts of interesting shorts sent in and cannot express enough how lucky I am to get to see so many fresh visions/different takes, but honestly drama gets sent in possibly 5% and a good drama in my mind is a tricky beast. Horror/Action/SciFi/Comedy, you can always fall back on genre staples to keep your audience hooked, but a drama really has to suck you in and make you give a crap without adding a few extra gallons of blood or a few composited explosions from Andrew Kramer's Action Movie Essentials 2 (Bam! Not a plug - but if you get that reference, know this - I've seen my fair share of canned booms - though I've seriously got nothing at all against using them if it makes the film better.)

Okay, let's do it to it. Time to relax and prep yourself for a slew of great dramas. 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:

 

THE HARD WAY

TRT: 6:54

Up first is Travis Thompson's meaty short where "Clay, a troubled high school senior, grapples with addiction following his father's death. His grades have plummeted, his relationship with his mother has become strained, and he now finds himself in the hospital following a life-threatening accident."

 

STRANDED

TRT: 22:03

Here we have director Luther Bhogal-Jones's day at the beach, a film packed to the brim with great preformances in a relatively tricky arena. Luther shot this thing over the span of two years and clearly stuck to the same vision throughout such a long and difficult time frame. Bravo for sticking with it, man.

"A violent man, his disabled brother, an estranged middle aged mother, her teenage daughter, a troubled man in his late 50s and a flamboyant pensioner sunning herself alone on the beach. All 6 people will find themselves - emotionally or physically - stranded."

Check out the making of blog HERE or follow the film on facebook, HERE.

 

HELP WANTED

TRT: 12:28

This next film was submitted by the film's editor: Ira Flowers and was directed by Teo Guardino. It was shot in a week for the Elevate Film Festival where it took home a bevy of awards. "HELP WANTED is an uplifting story about a down and out auto mechanic who finds inspiration in a new employee." Check out the film's IMDB page HERE.

 

THE TOUGH ONES

TRT: 16:20

Director Konish Dutta gives us his own take on bullying, a topic I think everyone in the universe, especially folk here on AICN can empathize with. (Yes, I realize how dickish you might interpret that, but seriously who here hasn't been bullied for something or other at some point in their childhood? I sure as hell was, it's not easy being the most attractive and awesome person in your high school, where everyone's jealous of you and all... I kid, I kidd.) THE TOUGH ONES = "When Gary gets bullied at school, his oldest brother Adam teaches him to stand up for himself. Despite their middle brother Vince's pleas, the three brothers follow the bullies into a forest where they try to deliver an act of revenge." Great film.

 

So there we have it, this week's SATURDAY SHORTS. But hold the phone, you want more? Four just wasn't enough? Even with the amazing speed of a faster load time? It's cool man, I've got you covered. Check out some of the past SATURDAY SHORTS in the list below. There's a bountiful supply of some really great stuff in them, so if you're new to SATURDAY SHORTS and have some time, check it out. - Who knows? Maybe you'll finnd something that blows you away - there's no shortage of unique and talented visions:

First

Second

Third

Fourth

Fifth

Sixth

Seventh

Eighth

Ninth

Tenth

Eleventh

Twelfth

Thirteenth

Fourteenth

Fifteenth

Sixteenth

Seventeenth

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 AN ASSHOLE). I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? How'd you like 'em?

 

- Mike McCutchen

"Muldoon"

Mike@aintitcool.com

  

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • May 26, 2012, 7:43 p.m. CST

    The Hard Way

    by Tigger Tales

    ... put the Copyrights song "Learn the Hard Way" in my head once the title screen splashed. A decent short, but would have liked to see the relationship between Clay and his mom fleshed out a bit more. I liked the rage scenes, though, and the emphasis on the sketch book.

  • May 26, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    THE TOUGH ONES

    by rakesh patel

    really enjoyed that one. great job guys

  • May 26, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    STRANDED

    by Tigger Tales

    I was turned off a little bit that I couldn't tell what on earth they were saying during the first bit. That seemed to get better as it went on. I thought, there's no way I could care about any of these characters. And yet, when the old lady talked about her son's wife wanting to put her in a home, I realized that I started to care. And then the mom at the car spoke of Amelia's father doing well for himself -- I found myself caring even more! I was hoping the characters would cross paths... so I'm glad the tall guy connected them. The scene with Amelia's mom getting real with her broke my heart. I hate how kids can be so snotty! Fin

  • May 26, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Help Wanted

    by Tigger Tales

    LOVE the prominent flamenco guitar in this one. I really like this short. Very cool that ONE of the hundred thousand auto shops in LA has its own story to tell. Good casting... I like watching the shop owner and how he relates with everyone. The young man is cool... I think everyone knows at least one person in their life who is like him, always sunny and never hesitating to share the cheer.

  • May 26, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    The Tough Ones

    by Tigger Tales

    Cool short. I like the actors that play the three brothers. I thought it was cool when the kid first got into the car, and he and the older brother communicated through the rear view mirror, constantly keeping eye contact with it and through it. Not sure why I like that so much.

  • May 26, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    "Ain't It Cool isn't really known for it's love of drama"...

    by SeanFlanagan

    I DISAGREE!

  • May 26, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    But Great Shorts.

    by SeanFlanagan

    Thanks Muldoon, Keep 'em coming. Love this stuff!

  • May 26, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    SATURDAY SHORTS — aka — a strong sense of character!

    by justmyluck

    THE HARD WAY As a morality tale on booze and respecting your parent(s), this uses too much dramatic shorthand glued together by narration. Strength here in the sound montage, overall editorial pace and some underlit scenes by the DP. College productions can sometimes end up feeling like they're trying too hard not to ruffle any feathers. STRANDED Interesting lateral narrative of family divisions, personal barriers, ultimatums, assumptions and such. A few location sound issues could have been addressed in post. This had a pleasant sense of drift from M/M, F/F, M/F, old/young, brother, daughter, mother and son, like its ambient ocean breeze. Props to costumes & makeup for creating the striking pairings. HELP WANTED The American dream: live at home, die at work — BUT — life is where you make it, home is where you hang your hat, etc. Very good looking/sounding film, though half the budget must have went to music clearances. Except for the melting pot bigot scene (stereotypes go both ways), acting was solid. THE TOUGH ONES College project again — after school special vibe, again. Seems like bullying is the topic here, and the moral is that's it's B-A-D no matter who does it to whom. Widescreen lensing here is very strong on a low budget. The character dynamic between the three brothers is overplayed a few too many times, indicating events are in need of a trimming. Picking up the editing a few clicks might have smoothed over some creaky acting moments. Overall this week = went down easy!

  • May 26, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    justmyluck

    by Muldoon

    Hey man, sincerely - thanks for jotting your thoughts down. Every week I look forward to a handful of TBer's thoughts and while they might not always align with mine, I do try to read all comments. It's too easy to type "this sucks," but you, tigger, and a few others take the time and it shows. Anyways, see you guys next week - I'm thinking something back to genre with big scifi effects/scope or horror or maybe even comedy... so I guess something a little more "fantastic."

  • May 27, 2012, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Are there links to previous Saturday Shorts columns?

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    The search on this site is a disorganized mess, and Google et al are useless now.

  • May 27, 2012, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Nice selection!

    by Industrious Angel

    Thanks again for the work Muldoon. I liked "Help Wanted" most, it had the best picture and also made best use of music, and likable characters. "Stranded" was ok; I would have thought the cotumes were a bit over-the-top if I hadn't spent some months in Britain myself. Stranded had a nice, relaxed pace leading nowhere, just like waves licking the coast. "The Hard Way" was,apart from the doodle-book, more like a public anti-abuse-spot, as Tigger observed we would have liked a bit more on the mother-son relationship. "The Tough Ones" - didn't do much for me. The eye-contact-via-rear-mirror stood out to me too, maybe because it looks wrong; as long as the car is standing most of us would turn around in our seats. It was a good idea though, this way you could cover both their faces in one shot during the conversation which otherwise is mostly done in profile.

  • May 27, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Muldoon

    by Tigger Tales

    Your week-after-week presentation of user-submitted shorts is definitely appreciated. I like that they're not selected by me, so pretty much every short expands my 'palette' in one way or another.

  • May 27, 2012, 8:01 p.m. CST

    YAY!!!! My best friend of 17years Ira Flowers

    by brattyben

    is amazing and I'm so super stoked that more people get to see this film. It's a really well done little short that packs more punch than most things three times its size. Honestly, I shed a tear everytime I watch it it's so endearing and displays a testament to the human spirit and what we can do with optimism and empathy. So happy for Ira that all you on here are seeing it.

  • May 29, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Stranded - thanks!

    by Luther Bhogal-Jones

    Hi All, Thanks for the feedback and thoughts on my short film. Should you ever find yourselves with a spare millennium, the over exhaustive making of over at my blog should probably fill in some of the issues I had. We did have sound issues on the opening shoot (which was the opening scene) - some of that dialogue was in fact ADR'd afterwards, but my lead actor was...hard to pin down, shall we say...at the best of times. I know John the sound designer did have some issues but I think he did manage a great job despite the problems we had. I like the coastal/ wave comparisons that people have given it - never thought of that myself, but I did always intend the film to be more of a mood piece, so I can understand if some people find it lacking and unsatisfying at times. In fact my friend/ co-producer declared his feelings after it was finished, saying he'd always been worried it was one big depressathon and that afterwards you would wonder "What was the point of watching that?" so it's gratifying to read that some people did feel connected to the characters and their predicaments. I've had some criticisms for the look of the film - a best friend who is also a film maker felt the colour scheme etc was like being shook around in a bag of Skittles, which I always thought was a funny view of it. Much that the tone of the film would seem to obviously lend itself to something more sombre and black and white I was determined to go the opposite/ less obvious way and have something which hopefully looked bold and striking and was in complete contrast to the high contrast black and white noir look of my previous short, The Crunch. After we had issues with the colour matching as a result of some insane change of weather during the shoot it was suggested that I turn the whole film into black and white, but I really didn't want to lose the colour scheme, I love the red and I love that Sega style blue sky that I was so determined to capture (and feel we did.) Thanks again for viewing and the feedback - the lack of interest on the film festival circuit with Stranded has been a bit demoralising, especially as the feedback I got from the premiere was this was "the one" which would take me somewhere and none of that interest has ever materialized, so it's great to see it being seen and talked about after all the time and hard work I put in to making the film. Thanks again everyone and thanks to Mike for putting it up here for you all to see. Ta Luth