Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with this week's selection of kickass shorts to blow your mind. This week is a treasure trove of genre fun, filled with some shorts that blew me away, some that made me chuckle, and all in all - just a damn good time. So while the weather outside might be a touch chilly (or in the case of Austin, TX - damn right freezing), you've got a nice set of films to keep you company in the safe warm confines of your home. Chances are, if you're here reading this, you've been here before and you know you're in for something special. This little column of mine's been running for roughly three years now here in the heart of AICN and with the quality of films coming my way, I'm truly blown away. The filmmakers out in the audience have consistently sent in some great stories, so if you're reading this and thinking to yourself "I've got a fun idea for a short film" - go out and make it! Whatever your excuse is not to tell your story, just remember every one of your favorite directors at one point in their life thought the same thing and had their own set of reasons why they shouldn't have gone further. They pushed through that block and have proven it's absolutely possible. I'd like to think we have some real talent out there in AICN land that might not even know it yet. Or if you have no desire to make a film, that's totally cool too! Let's take a jump into five films below that you might not have seen otherwise. Enough jibber jabber - let's get this show on the road.
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:
THE GOLD SPARROW
Our first film is insanely gorgeous and has a solid story to back up its strong visuals. While this film's been out there for quite some time winning awards and even getting Vimeo's Staff Pick stamped on it - it only reacently hit my desk as I was chatting with the artist of the piece. I've worked off and on a few larger projects with artist/animator Mike Garza and he only recently mentioned he had created a rotoscoped short with director Daniel Stesson about a week back. When I checked out the film, I knew I had to bring it here to screen for you folks. It's simply incredible. "In a black-and-white world, artists fight to defend their color from THE GOLD SPARROW." If you like what you see, then be sure to hit up Daniel's Vimeo page or go check out more of Mike Garza's work - you will not be disappointed.
THE BRAIN HACK
Next up is a rarity, a film that was not submitted by the film's creators, but by multiple people in the AICN audience that thought it would be right up my alley. It is. Director Joe White visually grabs your hand and forces you to pull a string you might not want to. "Two students create a short-cut to induce hallucinogenic visions of God, and find themselves hunted by a deadly religious sect." If you like the film as much as I do, then head on over to its website and dig a little deeper.
Our next film comes to us from SATURDAY SHORTS alum Joe Estas. "It features Mikey, an unlikely hero, who dropped out of college to win the heart of the woman of his dreams. We shot it in a few hours in Nottingham, England on a disused canal that is coated with algae. It features our family dog that we’ve had since we were young and he’s now so old that he barely moves. It made him easy to direct."
MEET YOUR MAKER
Justin Francart has our next short, a fun retro vibed sc-fi flick that touches on some similar themes as THE BRAIN HACK. "Meet Your Maker is a sci-fi short concerning a physicist (Martin and Day of the Dead's John Amplas) whose experiments with a particle collider make him the unwitting arbiter of cosmic creation and destruction." And as always, if you found the film enjoyable, be sure to swing over to its website for more info on the project!
AL PACINO AS HAN SOLO
To close out this week we've got a funny animation from Paul Cope of CopeAndDalton.com fame, along with artist Lee Daniels. It's pure fun. This is hopefully the first of many as Paul's scratched upon a pretty funny idea of showing what could have been had specific actors actually taken the roles they were offered in some of our favorite movies. It's always cool to hear stories of "so and so was offered the part to play ______, but couldn't - so they cast ____ instead." Here's hoping to see many more of these! Here's the first toe dipped into the pool of "What Almost Was."
BAM! That's it for me with this week's picks, ladies and gents. I'll catch you all next week with another handful of fun films I can really get behind. If you're itching for more shorts, then check out some previous columns 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. 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