This Week's SATURDAY SHORTS: Drama, Horror, Comedy, SciFi, and a whole lot of awesome.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's serving of excellent shorts and today I present you with films from all genres (or at least a lovely dose of the biggies). I thought felt pretty good about last week's selections and I quite honestly feel the same about this one's. Whether you're looking for something creepy, something to laugh with, or just want to see a well-made good story, look no further. Each of the shorts below had something special, something unique that seemed to grab me and while I know my tastes might not fall in line with yours, if you see one single short below that you dig and would not have seen otherwise, I'm okay with that. Be sure to give your thoughts in the TalkBacks below!
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:
"Definitely Dead" is a short western telling the tale of Lex, a young woman making her weary way through life as a saloon whore in the small town of Dead's End. One morning though, she wakes up next to an elderly costumer who has passed away during the night leaving her a heap of trouble.
Thanks to the film's cinematographer, Nicolas Russell Bennetzen for shooting in this English language, Danish produced film.
"Rebels lay siege to the tyrannical city of H'ta, home to the Risto people and their engineered slaves known as Copia. Despite the rebels' onslaught, the walls of the city stand firm. In a desperate move, a spy is sent into the city on a mission that will bring an end to the conflict. But the spy is discovered and hunted by the Risto forces. Alone and afraid in a city he does not understand, the spy turns to a Copian woman no one would trust ... Rahab.' "
Here we find director Rob McLellan's incredibly imaginative reinterpretaion of the Battle of Jericho, which is nothing short of impressive. If you dig the short, be sure to hit up his website HERE or his blog HERE.
"Prep Rules tells the story of bullying in an Australian all boys private boarding school."
Here's yet another short from Saturday Shorts veteran Luke Mayze. It's incredibly well put together and worth a viewing.
"A young couple's date to the beach takes a strange turn when they visit an abandoned lifeguard shack."
This next one comes to us from Andrew Schwarz, and will be screening month as part of the Another Hole in the Head horror/sci-fi festival in San Francisco. If you like what you see, then be sure to hit up Andrew's website HERE.
"A Victorian man composes a letter to the woman he loves. But as he unburdens his heart, darker secrets spill out."
Elvis Deane has built quite a creepy solid story that keeps you watching just to see what's next, his film manages to, in one setting, keep you on the edge of your seat. If you did the film, go check out his site HERE.
"Set in the year 2071, where technology has brought mankind to the brink of colonization on a planet named Gaia, one astronaut takes on an isolated mission and discovers unearthly horrors that could bring an end to human life on this planet."
Up next we have a rather impressive film from director and vfx wizard Tyson Wade Johnston. Be sure to check out Johnston's website HERE for a few other incredibly well put together films. Special thanks to Paul R. for shooting this in.
That wraps out this week's SATURDAY SHORTS. I'll be back same time, same place next week with more films to blow your mind. If you're new to SATURDAY SHORTS or just feel like revisiting past posts, hit any link below to be transported back in time:
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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Nov. 10, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST
by Chadley BeBay
Love it. Also check out Argonfritztv at youtube.
Nov. 10, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST
..this is another SW ep 7 talkback in disguise isn't it!
Nov. 10, 2012, 6:45 p.m. CST
None at all.
Nov. 10, 2012, 7:28 p.m. CST
rather enjoyed 'Rahab' I'm wondering what the budget was? I noticed the director has shot a few commercials so he's not really an amateur.
Well done and the acting wasn't hokey like others.
Nov. 10, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST
The budget was 20k (uk pounds), but it was really stretched for production!
Nov. 10, 2012, 8:49 p.m. CST
But I wish my damn movie would play on here already. I submitted when the announcement was first made! Great stuff, though. Great platform for stuff to be seen.
Nov. 10, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST
Please email me your link again. I'm not at all saying it'll play, but it'd be pretty lame if it was great and somehow fell through the cracks.
Nov. 10, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST
Nov. 11, 2012, 2:39 a.m. CST
DEFINITELY DEAD Visual flair kicks off tale of cutthroats with vulture symbolism. Editing tempo needed a pick-me-up, as this seemed at its core to be an origin story. Synthetic western environment colorfully-rendered, but fogged interior needed air dissipation to stamp out *room on fire* look. Leads looked properly tussled-over, suiting this brothel-bound chamber piece, and earthy script enlivens an otherwise straightforward *take the money and run* plot. Camerawork tops. RAHAB While sci-fantasy revolutionary tale jumps headfirst into its own mythos, ultra-detailed visual effects and art direction are the real feature. Fluttery posturing of heroine, and apparent sophistication, belies her social status; the back story of concubine relationship with dictator noticeably lacking. Spy's agenda to reach *the pillar* likewise of a ruse, followed by unexplained super-powers of crystal and slave's knowledge of control room escape pod. Nonetheless, across-the-board technical assurance and broad, romantic background scoring holds things together for moments of grand visual scale. PREP RULES Story ambivalent towards the thuggery and tribalism of the boys' private school, permitting one to escape it and another to rise within. Focus seems more on the institutionalization of preying on the weak being a pressure-cooker for producing alpha dog leaders. Quality level of cinematography, film transfer and sound mix off-and-on, though sympathetic piano score felt right, complementing subtext of rugged Australian macho and generational humiliation. Crowd sequences handled deftly. THE SHACK Suspense piece seems framed by persons resisting garbage, then picking through garbage; persons *living on refuse* and *living refuse*, clever juxtapositions — however, whether the young man was hallucinating about the latter is never addressed. Brooding monochrome skies effective; harshly-lit insert shots make viewer again think certain events may not be real. Blocking/timing of opening Steadicam shot quite good, pervasive ocean sounds keep things moody, and imagery of coastal wildlife reinforces undercurrent of (any) environmental message. VICTORIA Ghostly revenge tale of restless conscience strives for Poe, and mostly succeeds. Direction of lead a bit hammed-up at points, but narration-synced performance remains interesting. Pulsing candlelit interior, dolly shots and plays of light and shadow help move along what is mostly narrative exposition. Overcooked, but not offensively so. SEED Interplanetary psychological time-trap cryptic regarding *the void*, *a nest* and *missing/malfunctioned drones*, with character goals jettisoned for GROUNDHOG-DAY-like visual structure. Plotting did remind me a bit of MOON, with disposable clones perceiving the same experiences at different time junctures. CG imagery of gas giant and thunderheads well-integrated with desert landscape using sepia tone, and *director-as-VFX artist* sci-fi project consistently pro-looking and sounding. Overall this week = It's not noodling...it's Jazz!
Nov. 11, 2012, 6:49 a.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
Thanks as always. "Definitely Dead" was slow, but fun, a kind of female italo-western (not that that hasn't been done before but still fun). "Rahab" was excellent from the technical POV, CGI seamlessly integrated. Reminds me a bit of SuckerPunch in that the story and acting don't quite live up to the visuals, still: well worth seeing. "Prep Rules": Don't like those stories but well done, editing is excellent. On comment not exactly aimed at this specific short: What's up with those ominous piano chords in all kinds of drama films lately? I swear there's a similar portentous soundtrack in at least one short every week (or so it seems). "Victoria" has excellent visuals; it's questionable if the thin "gag" deserves such a treatment but pretty nontheless. "Seed" was a bit slow-paced and ultimately pointless. Also, light was much to "earthly" and the shadows were wrong in many instances (hint: people, planets and moons get their light from the same source, and if the giant planet itself reflects there should be multiple and very soft-edged shadows). Maybe shoot landscape with fixed cam at different times of the day to achieve unearthly shadows? "The Shack" doesn't play for me atm, will try later. (Vimeo gives me trouble sometimes)
Nov. 11, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST
Absolutely stoked that this column exists. Thank you Muldoon. What a way to give back to the fans a chance to showcase their work.
Nov. 11, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST
The planet seems to exist in a time loop, so he's circling back on himself at the end. The body he finds is himself... and whatever is stalking him eventually kills him. Some kind of quantum physics stuff.
Nov. 12, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST
Story was a huge let down. I see so many of these well made CGI accomplished shorts these days, but for the most part they all lack a strong story. I don't expect them to reinvent the wheel story wise. But give me a cohesive beginning middle and end. Rahab also suffered from this. And the bloated length. Music was good. The Shack - dug the B/W look.
Nov. 12, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST
Ultimately confusing, but mostly terribly boring. Decent SFX, but that's never a good idea to build any movie around, particularly an amateur film. Most pro films always have good FX so unless you simply want to show off a technical FX skill then it's always better to focus on good story, character and a strong storytelling technique. I'm noticing this to be a weakness with many short films where the filmmaker is trying to be imitative of films he/she likes.
Nov. 13, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST
by Elvis Deane
I'm the writer/director of Victoria, and it's nice to get good, honest feedback on it from someone who isn't a friend or family member. I heartily accept the crit on the hammy direction- Sean is a great actor, but I chose his bigger performances in the edit over the more subtle takes. It's all part of the learning curve. And my director of photography will be happy to hear the visuals were the best part ;) But most of all, thanks Muldoon! I've been coming to AICN since Harry first launched it, it's pretty thrilling to see something that came out of my head on the site.
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