Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with a selection of twistedly imaginative shorts from all over the world. While your Facebook feed is no doubt being lit up with all things STAR WARS related, it's important to take a step back and think for just a moment about all the incredible stories out there that you've not yet seen, not yet heard of, not yet fallen in love with, and not yet been sold. I'm not anti-STAR WARS at all, just seeing the love folks have for the franchise (even after the toy driven spectacle of the prequels) is incredible and while I'm no different than the next movie lover, I'm forever eager to find "the next STAR WARS" or "the next ____." It's a great universe to play in, but the true beauty of film is that there seems to be a limitless number of interesting universes, each with their own rules and style. Hopefully you get a taste of that with the films below.
While I specifically didn't do any sort of post-BNAT write up (provided there are better writers here who would probably do a better job than I could), I will say last weekend's soufflé of cinema was a sobering one. I'll be transparent, there were new films I was hoping to see, instead I was pleasently surprised to see films I'd never heard of, even a "new movie" with EDDIE THE EAGLE, a story which was nowhere on my radar - in terms of real life or the fact that it was being turned into a film. The restored PHANTASM print did something to me - it transported me back in time. "Whoa, easy Muldoon. Clearly you're full of it with words like that! You must be lying or saying nice things for ____." Nope, genuine sincerity here folks. In regards to PHANTASM, I'd seen it on DVD, VHS, and once on the big screen at South Lamar and considering it came out before I was born, it's always felt like an "old movie" as if those film scratches were there from the beginning. Seeing it cleaned up with details I'd never seen before transported me to what it must've felt like to see it in theaters for the first time back in 1979. I say sobering, because it feels like the films of today have that need to roll into merchandising with franchises in mind (yes, PHANTASM is indeed a franchise too - the irony isn't lost on me). The current landscape feels very much like a "Verizon Wireless Presents: Indominous Rex" world, so we can't really look to the studios for originality, something that's not a calculated rehash of proven formulas - there's just too much money on the line for them to risk massive losses. The problem is "we need more teeth, more light saber battles, bigger explosions with Mark Wahlberg and Tom Cruise saving the latest beauty who will be replaced the second she hits 30." (Ever so often a movie holds a mirror up - SCREAM, JURASSIC WORLD, CABIN IN THE WOODS, etc...)
The real future of new and exciting storytelling falls to the rebellious, to the whippersnappers who say "I don't have a million bucks, but I've got a camera and something to say." Those are the pioneers I have each week here on SATURDAY SHORTS. You never know who the next JJ Abrams could be, but I hope it's someone whose work I've been able to feature here at some point, some filmmaker out there who's currently working on something that's going to change the world. If you've got an idea for a short (or feature), there's nothing stopping you - go make something amazing, just be sure to send it my way when you're done! Enough preaching, let's check out some fun films.
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:
TIN & TINA
Our first film of the week is a slightly disturbing tale from Rubin Stein and Nirvein Films. "Tin and Tina are not eating the puree tonight." If you like what you see, then possibly check out the Indiegogo campaign for Stein's next film, NERO.
THE EMPIRE FALLS
Next up is a non-for-profit STAR WARS film from SATURDAY SHORTS alumn Mike Hurst. I'll occasionally get fan films submitted and to be honest, despite their love of the original source material, they rarely hit that sweet spot that the original films/shows did, in terms of lighting, skilled acting, artistry in each shot... Mike's STAR WARS film stands out amongst the rest (at least in my eyes). Mike presents the Battle of Endor from the perspective of a Storm Trooper who realizes he's fighting on the wrong side.
Those talented beasts at Bloody Cuts have done it again, this time with Writer/Director/Editors Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton taking a jab at the Christmas season. "It’s Christmas eve, and a family discovers a strange present under their tree… But who sent it, and more importantly… what’s inside?" Clearly I'm a fan of their work, but if you find the short entertaining even in the least - then do yourself a solid and head over to the Bloody Cuts site for more twisted tales of terror.
Timothy Plain has our next film, a CG short created by a team of artists at Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. The team worked on this incredible project for two years in between commercials. To put it simply, LONE is the story of an astronaut that goes on "a deep-space mission to find alien life on a distant planet." Be sure to check out Spindry Productions's website as it's full of incredible visuals that'll have you wanting to learn Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema 4D, etc... I'm in aw of the CG work these folks put out, true digital artistry worth checking out if you have a little bit of time to take a peek.
To wrap us out for this week we've got the directorial debut of the incredibly talented Jill Gevargizian featuring Laurence R. Harvey of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II and III along with Tristan Risk of AMERICAN MARY. It's simple, well done, and leaves you wanting more. If you like what you seed (you crazy sickos!) then head over to Jill's Sixx Tape website and see what else she's got up her sleave!
That's it for this week, ladies and gents. I'll catch you all a week from now with more fun films I think you might want to check out. Happy holidays (whatever they may be), enjoy THE FORCE AWAKENS (it's great), and be sure to swing by next Saturday to see what's on the menu! In the mean time, click on any of the links below for great films and typos galore!
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