Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this weeks batch of amazing shorts. Based on the incredibly cheesy, but oh so on the nose title - this week we're screening some really cool animated films. We've got shorts made in Flash, shorts made of puppets with gorgeous stop motion fun, shorts that will creep you out a bit, and shorts that will have you busting a gut. Hopefully this catches some of you relatively early in the day, so you can go grab a bowl of cereal and tap into a little bit of magic that kiddos get to have every saturday morning (if that's still a thing - or do they just wake up and start playing Xbox?). Just think, all of the filmmakers below probably had relavitely similar tools in their kit, yet each one created something totally different... To put it a better way, I absolutely love how it's all about expression and no one person's going to make the same film, and with animation you're kind of only limited by your imagination (with non-animation I mean you have logisital issues with camera placements, time restraints, and not nearly as much control). An old professor back in college, Dr. Charles Ramirez-Berg, used to say "Give the same script to a hundred different filmmakers and you will have a hundred different movies." I think each of these shorts below are indicative of each filmmaker's influences and what they take out of the world visually - they've each made something I really dig, hope you dig too, and I hope to see future projects from them all.
Go grab yourself some popcorn/cereal, lock your kids in a closet, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here:
I'm a little late to the game with this one, but once I got a chance to check it out - I was hooked. It's fun, silly, awesome, and hell - it's even got an intro from Stan Lee himself. Junaid Chundrigar did an amazing job. Check out his vimeo stuff HERE.
DOG WITH ELECTRIC COLLAR
Wow, this next one up, from writer-director-animator Steve Baker, is sure to please. It's got everything you could ask for in a film: it's funny, sad, creepy, and insanely well sculpted. The level of detail with the textures and the shot selection is absosutely in a league of its own. Seriously, it's that damn good. I can't fathom a reason why people aren't throwing massive amounts of money at the guy to keep making this kind of stuff. Get on it rich people.
The dog lives in the basement apartment on a busy city street, incessantly barking at anything that passes by the window. That is, until its owner decides to strap on an unforgiving electric collar... As the dog sits alone and confused, unable to bark, all hell suddenly breaks loose outside the window. And if that wasn’t bad enough, an evil fly buzzing above is ruthlessly scheming against the dog.
THE ADVENTURES OF JANE
This next one feels the most "saturday" out of this week's selection as it pretty much forces you to be a kid again and I mean that in the best possible way. It's fun and colorful - Allan Dye did a bangup with it.
Meet Jane, she's a small girl with an even smaller attention span. When she is tasked with cleaning her room, her unusual approach takes her on an amazing adventure. Too bad she's barely paying attention!
"This is a short I completed a while back. It was a finalist in Flash Forward Boston and 2008 Nicktoons Animation Festival, a Channel Frederator cartoon of the month and the grand prize winner of the Mytoons Get With The Times contest where a 30 second trailer of it was played on the jumbotron in Times Square.
The credits song was provided by Dan Bern, who wrote the music for Walk Hard. Was just given permission, it wasn't written specifically for my short.
My flash animation career has since been derailed by the fact that I co-created a popular iOS game called "Pocket God" but still hope to create my own animated TV show one day.
My own personal A.D.D (and a dash of O.C.D.) pretty much has me checking aintitcoolnews twice a day. Thanks for keeping me from my work guys!"
Allan, as your pal Muldoon here - you need to get "un-derailed." This is awesome. Keep 'em coming.
Time to shift gears with this next film. From Teppei Ando, the creators of CORPUS DELCITI comes this piece. I'm slightly drawing a blank on how to describe it, so I'll leave that to the filmmakers:
Based on actual court hearings, Baggage Claim is a perspective bending tale of one woman's fight for her life. Winnie Ruth Judd is a convicted "murderess" on death row. With all the odds against her, she has but one final chance to clear her name. The evidence against her, astounding in hits brutal nature, has been engraved in the mind of the justice craving public. But will Winnie's new testimony reveal her to be an innocent victim of circumstance or will they propel her soul even further into the realms of the damned?
The Darkly Comic short film, BAGGAGE CLAIM, is written and animated by Teppei Ando with music by John Arana www.murderdollhouse.com.
M'AIDEZ (HELP ME)
Lastly we have ourselves a film that is slightly horrifying in my mind. This film is relatively chilling in that it's beautifully crafted and the shots are composed in a way that helps to highlight the incredible feeling of "I'm so fucked right now..." It's a gorgeous stop motion film that doesn't necessarily have a beginning, middle, and end - but neither does the main character in it - we are left with him in a most bizarre circumstance that can't help but put thoughts in our head, like "what if that was me?" Jesse Turnbull really hit the mark here. Check it out.
I know this has been all over the internet, including here a few times like when Harry sat down with Phil Tippett for AICwHK (which, because of a certain knife weilding badass, I wasn't able to sneak out for), but here it is again - because I find myself watching and rewatching it over and over. Here's the trailer for MAD GOD - no new trailer/new shots/sneak screening/etc... it's just a visual heroin and I can't help but come back for more. The level of detail and the general mood of whatever MAD GOD ends up being is something I'm dying to check out. It's like the stuff Adam Jones did for a number of Tool videos - that similar style of stop motion (same universe as some of the more gnarly Kyoto Brothers stuff). Anyways, if you haven't seen the trailer below, cool. If you have, check it out again my friend.
And that's a wrap. I hope you guys and gals enjoyed these shorts as much as I did. Now it's back to the jungles for Muldoon! I'll see you fine folks next week with some. comedic gold. If you're new to SATURDAY SHORTS and want to check out some other really cool shorts that have screened here, here's an evergrowing list of filmic fun:
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