Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with this week's edition of SATURDAY SHORTS - short films submitted by fellow AICN readers. While I typically get sent horror (my favorite) or comedies, I've been getting quite a few drama in the last few months, so I've got quite a few excellent drama pieces to share with you today that cover all points of a the drama spectrum. One thing they all have in common however is they each have something unique that helped them stand out, something you can't quite put your finger on, but it's there. I hope you guys and gals dig them as much as I do, and feel free to share your thoughts/questions 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:
Up first is a short film from Rajneel Singh. "A young hiker decides to stake his own claim on the last blank space in the map." Check out Rajneel's website, here.
"Blank Spaces" is a 3-minute short film produced under the "Your Big Break" Filmmaking Competition run by Tourism New Zealand in 2010.
It was one of 5 scripts selected out of over a thousand entries and then produced at the price of $100,000NZ per film. The rules were that the films had to be shootable in Queenstown, New Zealand with 5 days of preproduction, 2 days filming and 7 days of post-production at Peter Jackson's Park Road Post facility in Miramar, Wellington.
The scripts were supposed to reflect, embody or celebrate Tourism New Zealand's then current campaign: 100% Pure New Zealand - The Youngest Country On Earth. The scripts were selected by a panel made up of Academy-Award winning producer Barrie Osborne, Academy Award winning visual effects director Christian Rivers, notable film editor David Coulson and New Zealand film producer Philippa Campbell.
"BLANK SPACES" was also recently awarded "Best Short Film" at the 2011 MBF INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL.
PRAISE FOR "BLANK SPACES"
"This was a beautifully told short film with an understated and delightfully wry sense of humour. It was very assured piece of storytelling. I enjoyed watching it immensely." - Sir Peter Jackson (director of "The Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy, "King Kong", "The Lovely Bones" and "Heavenly Creatures").
Next up is an amazing direcotorial debut from Brad Galyard that picked up a Rising Star Award at the Canada Film Festival and a Silver Lei award at the Honolulu Film Awards. "While helping his uncle cut timber, a young colonial boy discovers an escaped convict hiding in the bush. When the Convict claims to be his long lost father, the boy must make a choice between the surrogate father who raised him and the paternal one who abandoned him all those years ago."
Here we have a special mixture rolled into one, a period drama with a twist. From director Daniel R. Lahr we have FORTUNE'S FAVORED. "On his way home from work in 1937, Charles, a worker on the Golden Gate Bridge, is robbed and thrown from a train. Lost and searching for his way home to his family, he finds himself among a remote convenience store and makes new friends, but one is more than what he seems."
MR. PEABODY'S THREE RING SPECTACLE
Here's a bizarre film that has me head over heels visually. Zach Olivares gives us a relatively interesting take on the world of circus memories.
OFF DUTY 15 0
"Paul, an undercover NYPD officer, finds returning to normal life more difficult than he imagined" From director Patrick Ryan Morris of Dedalus Moving Pictures comes a relatively dark, yet beautifully put together piece about contemplation.
To wrap up this week, we have a short that leaves me scratching my head in a good way. "So is this person okay in my book or a total nutjob with a sick interest?" I don't know. From SATURDAY SHORTS alum Andy Dodd (Lulluby) we get a slice of life from someone we never really think to look at, the cleaning lady.
BAM! That's it for these weeks ladies and gents. I'll see you all next week with something a little more in your face. But hey, check out some past SATURDAY SHORTS:
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. The more info you send my way, the more info there is to put with your short.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.
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