Things get dramatic with this week's SATURDAY SHORTS!
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's set of stellar shorts sent in by readers like you and me. While I've found SATURDAY SHORTS typically end up being horror or comedy (I really do get sent way more of those than any other genres), it pleases me more than you know to shine some light on today's drama filled block of shorts. Today we've got four dramatic shorts that I think really bring it, they don't hold back while knocking you in the chest with raw emotion and quality. If you don't typically go for dramas, still give these guys a shot - I'm fairly certain you'll really dig them, hell - there might be a bit of the supernatural in a few of them. As always, if a short is on SATURDAY SHORTS, you know I'm a fan, but how about you? Shoot off your thoughts in the TalkBacks after the screening. There's always a filmmaker in the audience who might be interested in your thoughts on their short or perhaps some filmmaker about to set off to make a dramatic short of their own who might be curious. Either way, I hope you really enjoy the 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:
Let's kick this week off with a period film from filmmaker Robert Gajic.It's a beautifully written, shot, and scored film that I've watched multiple times now. "WWII finds its way to the backyard of a young Serbian boy when he discovers a downed American pilot. The boy’s life takes a dangerous turn as he’s drawn into a desperate chase, and the Pilot is drawn into to the boy’s life, much more than he anticipated." I'm definitely going to want to check out what Gajic's got next. Quality stuff.
Up next is a relatively raw film, a slightly straightforward conversation piece that's incredibly well crafted. I image the script was quite the page turner as the film effortlessly leads to its final destination. David Karlak has made quite the short. Check out his website for more info on the guy.
"Burton Grunzer – a hyper-aggressive and conﬁdent dealmaker – lives in the pressure cooker of a Fortune 500 company. His hard work and tenacity guarantee him a place at the top, but one man threatens everything that heʼs built. Co-worker Whitman Hayes is protected by someone high up and his blunders in the board room are damaging Burtonʼs reputation. Burton is repeatedly contacted by a secret organization called the Society for United Action. Mystiﬁed, he agrees to meet with a representative from the society, sealing his entry into a world where wishful thinking is used as a tool for murder.Burton Grunzer – a hyper-aggressive and conﬁdent dealmaker – lives in the pressure cooker of a Fortune 500 company. His hard work and tenacity guarantee him a place at the top, but one man threatens everything that heʼs built. Co-worker Whitman Hayes is protected by someone high up and his blunders in the board room are damaging Burtonʼs reputation. Burton is repeatedly contacted by a secret organization called the Society for United Action. Mystiﬁed, he agrees to meet with a representative from the society, sealing his entry into a world where wishful thinking is used as a tool for murder."
THE TRUTH ABOUT STANLEY
Here we have director Lucy Tcherniak's touching piece on the strong bonds people can build even while living on the streets and how everyone needs to know that they somehow matter. You can check out the film's website HERE or go HERE to possibly donate to a fund for the homeless if you feel inclined.
"The Truth About Stanley tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an old Congolese man and a young runaway, living rough on the streets. It is about friendship, loss, and the way in which we choose to deal with personal trauma. For Stanley, what he lacks in material possessions, he makes up for with his vivid imagination and an insatiable desire to tell stories."
Here's a first, an uncompleted short that still manages to hold my interest and has me guessing at what's going to happen next. Sean Cruser's film is and will be left uncompleted due to somehow losing files or corrupted files or... I'm not sure, but I've been there myself. There's nothing like tripping over an external hardrive, watching it hit the ground in slow motion, and only then realizing you didn't back up the stuff... It's a sticky situation. At any rate, we're left with an export Sean had sent the composer, so hopefully you can look past the color grading, sound mix, etc... and just enjoy the thing.
"Abbie, a desperate, young woman hoping to save someone she loves by sundown; reluctantly enters a high stakes gambling operation run by a mysterious cipher."
And there we have it ladies and gents, this week's set of drama films that rocked Muldoon's world. I hope you dug them all, but even if you just dug one that you wouldn't have seen otherwise - I'm okay with that. I'll see you all next saturday with possibly a return to horror or comedy or who really knows? Feel free to toss out a suggestion in the TalkBacks.
Thanks for reading/watching. If you feel like checking out more SATURDAY SHORTS, click any of the links below:
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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Oct. 13, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST
Oct. 13, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST
Oct. 13, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST
by brad negrotto
The Alley is a well done short. Beautifully photographed and directed. The only negative comes down to taste: I just didn't find it interesting. But kudos to the team that put that together. The same praise can be reaped upon The Candidate. Except this time, I enjoyed The Twilight Zone like story. Top that off with a great performance from Innerspace, Gremlins 2, and Total Recall actor Robert Picardo and we have ourselves one fine short.
Oct. 14, 2012, 1:02 a.m. CST
THE ALLY Excels as a commercial director's reel. Well-cast child with age in his eyes, period costumes and hair, dignified compositions, unobtrusive editing, pro VFX, smoked location and overall gloomy digital grade establish required mood. However, those elegant visuals and the lilting music undo any hopes for the required tension. Project seems more interested in mythologizing *the good war* with elegiac visual poetry and silent grace, but the aftertaste is that every war was/is believed to be good by its champions. @Muldoon: Headlined as THE *ALLEY*, not THE *ALLY*. THE CANDIDATE When someone in the office mysteriously ascends the corporate ladder despite no distinguishing talents, it might seem like black magic, but is usually a result of being adequately average enough to not instill job security fears in the higher ups. Visual influence of Fincher all over this, though polished negative transfer shows some distracting dust specks. Picardo remains a pro — just watch his hands and side glances for the expository dialog; near-subliminal underscore for his exposition also a nice touch. Adapted dialog a tad pulpy even for Slesar (*Alfred Hitchcock Presents*), but directed and delivered with focus. Tight. THE TRUTH ABOUT STANLEY Inverse approach to above. Modernist camerawork & editing too interested in ambient goings on, trying to stretch things out as it were. That, combined with frequent use of slo-mo run dry of sound effects, keeps flashback piece stuck in retrospect. Casting and performances ring true, making this observation on the melancholy of social castaways worth the effort. Still, this might have been better trimmed by a third and cut chronologically for more tension, urgency and less lament, considering the social outreach message in the credits. BLIND BET Arch dialog feels contrived and unnatural; try discarding medium and wide coverage for that and using opposing close-ups, if available. Some issues with softness and drifting focus, which may be artifacts of the workprint, but could also be low light focusing issues. That out of the way, 10 little Indians concept seems to have a female empowerment undercurrent, which could be addressed with additional material and/or re-shoots. Using reverb for a cavernous sound to the dice throwing proceedings, or SFX implying it is a private broadcast being bet upon, could also boost the game’s scope. Good luck. Overall this week = Talent rising!
Oct. 14, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST
Well shot and edited. Bit too long, but Picardo (doc from voyager) really kicked ass. Power of good acting. Ally ddnt get the appeal of Ally. Well shot but thin on story.
Oct. 14, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST
"The Candidate" made the Viewfinder list last year (the blacklist for directors). It was good to see something more performance driven make the list, thats-fer-sure.
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