Before we get on with today's show, I'd like to use my tiny piece of the internet to send positive thoughts and vibes to actor Ben Woolf of AMERICAN HORROR STORY fame. As some of you may have heard, Ben was struck by a car on Thursday night and is currently in critical condition. I don't know him at all, but am a fan of his work and genuinely hope him a speedy recovery.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's selection of incredible films submitted by AICN readers like you and me. While I genuinely enjoy each film I'm fortunate enough to screen here, this week for sure is an absolute treat. We've got a lovely range of horror tales, some comedy, and two stories of love. I know what some of you might be thinking: "Muldoon, love stories? What site do you think you're on? This is AICN." Welp, to me SATURDAY SHORTS (and AICN as well) is all about seeking out interesting films that we might not typically check out... Genres... Actors... Filmmakers... this whole column is sincerely here to showcase talent of all types and this week certainly is full of just that. Each film below hooked me in and had me watching until the last second, sometimes with me going further and checking out what else that filmmaker(s) has online. At any rate, let's get this show on the road - enough jibber jabber from me - let's watch some 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:
With our first film of the day, Jordan Blum (writer/producer of AMERICAN DAD) brings us an exclusive unveiling of his new film - a cute story about a young kiddo and her first pet, a piranha. It's twisted and has a pretty kickass style a la PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE. According to Blum, FISH FRIEND is inspired by 1950s Americana, Tim Burton, and the shorts of Pixar - and it shows. "You never forget your first pet: this is the lesson ten-year-old Sally learns when she discovers, the hard way, that her new goldfish is actually a bloodthirsty piranha. As Sally and her fish friend forge a lasting relationship, the carnivorous pet wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting neighborhood."
BONUS: Behind The Scenes of FISH FRIEND
While I'd typically link to the behind the scenes video in my little intro, after watching this - I simply thought it was too cool not to share with you folks. It's actually a pretty cool breakdown with the visual effects/composites of the film.
THE OUTER DARKNESS
Next up is a creepy tale of terror from SATURDAY SHORTS alumni Ben Franklin and Anthony Meltin of BLOODY CUTS. They and the rest of the gang at BC are starting a new webseries called THE OUTER DARKNESS. “On Friday evenings in Lynnsmouth Community Centre, meets a group led by Father Jonathan Crowe. Together they share their stories – tales of strange occurrences, horrific events and bizarre encounters that have scarred their lives. Tonight, a young tormented woman called Jenny will share a story of her experience with a game of chance that sealed the fate of her family…” It's a great premise for a webseries and I'm a fan of their previous work, so this is actually pretty cool news indeed in my book. (I don't typically care for web series myself, but this is one I'll be keeping an eye on.) If you enjoy this short, then be sure to visit their website or "like" them on Facebook to keep up with newer episodes. Also, be sure to take a peak behind the scenes at how they pulled this episode off.
Jamie Sims brings us our next film, which just premiered online this past Thursday. There's something incredibly charming about it that I can't quite put my finger on. It feels real in a way that I think we can all relate to. It's well shot, well acted, and well... is pretty damn impressive. "He just lost his job. She just got dumped. These two strangers meet at a bus stop right when they needed each other the most. In an impromptu attempt to cheer each other up they go on an tour of his home town however before the tour is over reality bumps into them." Be sure to check out Jamie's website for more info on the guy!
NO MIRES AHI (DON'T LOOK THERE)
Ready for a gear shift back to horror? Either way, BOOM - Daniel Romero brings us a solid scare of a film that's all about eerie atmosphere and creepy kids. The film has done quite well, winning 15 awards and screening at some of the coolest film fests around the globe, so it's definitely worth checking out. "Marta goes back to her mother’s house to stay a few days with her little sister. The girl’s weird behavior and the latent memory of a sad event will lead Marta to suspect that the house is being haunted by an uncanny presence." If you feel inclined, then hit up the film's Facebook page or follow the Daniel on twitter (@srdanielromero) to keep up with future projects!
To wrap up this week's selection of shorts, we have writer-director Kate Herron bringing us her lovely tale of love and trust me, it's a great film to end on. "Muldoon, why didn't you screen this last week?" Gah, I know and send my apologies towards Kate, but who needs to be topical when the film is quality and is still completely meaningful upon any viewing? "VALENTINE follows two best friends stuck together on Valentines Day. The lead girl is struggling with her telling her best friend how she really feels about her and the other is having a selfish crisis over her current relationship." If you like what you see, then Tweet at Kate (@iamkateherron), visit her website, and be sure to check out a trailer for her next film, REST STOP.
That's it for this week, ladies and gents. I'll catch you all in a week with more shorts I think you might dig. Until then, travel back in time with SATURDAY SHORTS by clicking on any of the links below for some pastl articles. Enjoy the films and my numerous typos! I've also got a new column here on AICN called MEET THE CREW. It's my excuse to pick the brains of people who help make my favorite movies and TV shows and there's been some damn cool insight that I don't think you'll find many other places. At any rate, have a great week and go make something awesome!
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?
BY THE WAY: If you've had a short featured here, that means that I personally am a fan of your work, so feel free to shoot me any kind of news on new projects/films/whatever. I can't say I'll be able to help or in what capacity, but I'm interested in your work and am always down to see more! (Keep making cool stuff, everyone!)
- Mike McCutchen