This week's SATURDAY SHORTS are packed to the brim with SCI-FI goodness!
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's round up of kickass shorts sent in from readers. Every week we get a little slice of fun and this week is no exception, with 5 science fiction shorts that I think you're sure to get a kick out of. I've been sick in bed all day and if you've ever found yourself in that spot, which I'm certain 99.99% of you fine folks have, you know your mind starts to drift and you think of places you'd rather be. From where I'm sitting, outer-space seems like it'd be a nice getaway or hell even traveling back in time somewhere would be kind of cool - fortunately the filmmakers I'm getting to feature today have built some rather far out worlds and situations we can all live vicariously through here at the SATURDAY SHORTS screening room.
While the following shorts are sort of all over the place (though still in the sci-fi realm), one thing can safely be said for all of them - there's no shortage of talent. There's a level of scope, as well as intimacy that makes each of this week's shorts just feel right. I say this every week, but it still holds true - I'm a fan of each and every one of the shorts I've been able to screen for you fine folks and it's safe to say we can expect some big things from the filmmakers below (and every week), so now's the time to pick their brains. Ask a question, toss a critique at them, share your thoughts down there in Talkbacks - just don't be a dick.
So 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:
WE ARE ONE
Up first is Andrew David Clark's rather epic and beautifully designed film that follows Rosie Jones "in this short drama about some of the potential problems of a human settlement on Mars and the possible consequences. A mixture of fact and fiction. Dedicated to Mars visionary Dr Robert Zubrin." Check out Andrew's website HERE.
And turning 180 degrees to a much, much more intimate film, comes ECHO from Jim Stevens. "A young, brilliant boy fails to invent a time machine but quickly discovers that his invention is more than what it seems." ECHO is a rather simple story, though I can't help but get a real Amblin-esque feel from. Might just be me, but there's definitely a Spielbergian influence going on here and I dig it.
ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
(No, this is not a condensed version of SPY KIDS 4 - jokes) While we're on the subject of time - here's Richard Johnson's spin on time travel (though not sure if "time travel" is the correct phrase...) Directed by Gavin and Jason Fox, ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD plays very much like a love letter to the TWILIGHT ZONE and while I tend to say that a lot when describing science fiction shorts - it's because there's a sense of wonder, a "what if" where you have something rather melancholy, then add just a hair of out of this world "that could never happen" and you're left with a rich question of "that could actually happen and I'd be none the wiser."
"Bill likes it in his shed. It's his little sanctuary, the place where he goes to escape his wife, the world and hard work. But one lazy Sunday whilst fixing an old VCR, he chances upon a discovery that could change the course of history, not to mention his entire afternoon."
This next short comes to us from filmmaker Michael Altino and Silver Style Pictures. "An anguished young woman discovers a jar with cosmic powers while caring for her ill sister." The film plays gorgeously and while it's not as heavy "sci-fi" as some of the other shorts today, it's a damn nice quality short.
SIT IN SILENCE
Wow, I'm shocked at the amount of great shorts I've gotten from Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge films. Seriously, I feel like I've screened every one that must have played there, but quite honestly there's a lot of quality flicks coming out of it. I'll admit I don't know much about it, but I like the works its paricipants seem to be putting out. SIT IN SILENCE is the product of this challenge from producer Nathan Craig and director Rob Savage.
"A man waits in a train station ticket-booth for his shift to end whilst around him, London appears to be under attack by an unknown enemy. He attempts to shut himself away from the situation - until it comes screaming at his door."
And that's all folks - the lights are coming up. I'll see you all next week with a fresh crop of great shorts. I'm really, really hoping to have a few creature features - But we'll see. It could very well be a weekend of drama or comedy or possibly action, but that's part of the fun. Seriously, I hope you enjoyed this week's selection. But what's up, you want more? Cool, click on any of the links below to be transported to an equally amazing world of cinematic 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
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Aug. 4, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST
by future help
Aug. 4, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST
Aug. 4, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST
I have the pilot episodes of "Star Trek Next Generation" on (which I have never watched because I thought the it and the first season were unbearable back in 1987). But it's fun to have on all these years later as background... The conclusion of "Encounter at Farpoint" would seem to have certainly (maybe subconsciously) influenced "Monsters". Check it out! Just the endings. Of both.
Aug. 5, 2012, 12:35 a.m. CST
These all handled their larger topics in an intimate, scaled-down manner with good performances — strengths of the short subject. Technically, these were of proficient HD video quality, with skilled photography and sound design, leaving this a quick round-up! WE ARE ONE While not quite BARBARELLA, this beat Michael Bay at putting a fashion model in space. Art direction, sets, costumes and VFX fine, besides lens flare overuse. On its own, this piece felt an awkward balance of science fact theory and media play-by-play. It works better in the context of its dedicated web site, which absorbs and repurposes the media coverage on the sexy lead, and the making of the short. It didn't help that I think manned Mars missions are ridiculous — better handled by probes, rovers and telepresence — so the theorizing here, that a newborn would somehow own a planet, never achieved liftoff. ECHO Cute enough time travel conundrum tale. Child was well-directed and appealing, and the split screen shots perfectly choreographed. I liked that the prop time device didn't try to be convincing, and that so much was handled with POV and reaction shots. Nods to 80s sci-fantasy with Goldsmith-y score, and BTTF with Einstein. Felt effortless, which takes skill and pre-planning — well done. ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD More time-skipping. Interesting statement on procrastination, seclusion and being stuck in your ways, while certainly not the best statement on husband-wide relations! Set dressing and props tell the bigger story, here. Both actors well cast. Great. SOLAR Repeatedly questioned the motivations of the lead: why she would leave the glowing mason jar alone in the kitchen after curiously going down the empty alley to find it; why she would leave the sick child and return to the alleyway instead of calling a doctor, etc. Imagery throughout is suggestive and never on the nose, to its benefit, but project as a whole feels unsettled. SIT IN SILENCE Interesting tone with subjective camerawork, claustrophobic environment and back-lit photography. The subject matter needed reconciliation between the random explosions on the news, and the impregnated woman, which left a feeling that a mid-story was removed or just missing. That the emergency at hand resulted in the unflattering birth of a salamander didn't help resolve this prologue for another, bigger, story. Overall this week = Beam me outta here!
Aug. 5, 2012, 2:30 a.m. CST
...Fred Savage when you need him? Echo looks like it could be an awesome movie where the kids end up getting into Hi-Jinx and the kid gets his own back on some bullies (I.e. Typical 80s kids adventure movie. The kid actor however is far too expressive in his face (as he's not talking). I could imagine that had this been made in the 80s, it would have starred either Fred Savage (in a role not dissimilar to his role in the Wonder Years or the Boy Who could Fly), or Barrett Oliver (similar to his role in Daryl or The Never Ending Story). Are there any actors like that now?
Aug. 5, 2012, 4:06 a.m. CST
by Bradley porter
Hey Muldoon! Amazing, once again. Quick thing, sorry to be a pain, but Sit in Silence was directed by Rob Savage and Produced by Nathan Craig, not directed by both. In fact, Rob was only 18 when he directed it!
Aug. 5, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST
Sorry about that, fixed - all better.
Aug. 5, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST
I don't have time to go through all of these - I dug your critical breakdown.
Aug. 5, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST
by gavin fox
Hi all, I'm Gavin Fox, one of the directors of All The Time in The World. Just want to say thanks for featuring our film - and special thanks to justmyluck for the great review.
Aug. 5, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST
During "All the Time In the World," check the calculator at 4:14, reading it upside-down. Ahh, reminds me of the old days in Junior High School.
Aug. 5, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST
Valentine Michael Smith? I mean if your going to rip off an idea ,sci-fi movies are still only catching up with ideas from sci-fi books of the 60s and smugly thinking they have thought up some original ide.....whats that?..... whats a book? Its words printed on pape... oh never mind
Aug. 5, 2012, 7:28 p.m. CST
As a huge science fiction fan with high standards, I really enjoyed all of these films. What a trippy idea "We Are One" embraces. Never thought about Mars being a stage for manifest destiny, but bravo to the filmmakers for giving the idea teeth on a cosmic scale. "Echo" I enjoyed for the young inventor's acting as well as its "Primer"-ish premise. Hardcore time-fracture issues are addressed with a hopeful smile. It was great to see a child's resourcefulness in such a situation. I tip my cap to the Fox brothers for "All The Time In The World," with its funny but large-scale take on accidentally discovered time travel. Good acting and a very thought-provoking ending. "Solar" I give kudos to the filmmaker for cobbling together. Kind of an out-there, head-scratching scenario the first time seeing it, yet it makes sense the second time through. Well-acted and directed. And even though it was low-budget, "Sit In Silence" had me wincing. I liked the shots of the ticket booth man doing random things like flipping rubber bands before... well, what happens next. Creepy. Nicely done, filmmakers!
Aug. 5, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST
by Balkin Flabgurter
Aug. 6, 2012, 4:20 a.m. CST
by Richard Johnson
Well spotted, that man :)
Aug. 6, 2012, 4:23 a.m. CST
by Richard Johnson
for including our film All The Time In The World. And a shout out to the guys responsible for Sit In Silence. Great stuff. Rich J
Aug. 8, 2012, 3:17 a.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
A bit late this week but here are my thoughts: "We Are One" had ambitions and a nice shift between satire and hard-sf. However, if you do hard sf and beautiful sets and shots, it would pay off to get the science stuff right. If you can't afford effects for long hair in zero-g then take an actress with short hair, and the radio com between Mars and Earth is ridiculous. "Echo" was my favourite, the boys distress was too cute. wackyal123 is right, I see a feature here with a gang of those baby geniuses :) - btw, the picture quality reminds me of Star Trek the original tv show; maybe it's something about the colours. "All the Time in the World" was sweet too, great actors (honorable mention goes to the otter) and wit; the gag lasted too long and was only half-thought-through (there should be lots of dust everywhere and where did he get that many plates and food?!) "Solar" had potential but I didn't really "get" it ... the sun is a very strong symbol and could be put to better use. "Sit in Silence" was ok, maybe there was a story to be told here but frankly it didn't get me that interested. Good work for 48h nontheless.
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