Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with this week's wild mix of fun films from across the globe. While last week I was locked away in the magical confines of the Alamo Drafthouse for Harry's birthday extravaganza, I'm back this week with a display of shorts that is here for one simple reason - to transport you into a handful of interesting tales with films you've likely not yet seen. I literally just walked in from a screening of ROGUE ONE and chances are high if your here at AICN that you've either already seen the film or are planning on watching it soon. It's fun. It's safe. It plays to the fans of STAR WARS just as you'd expect. SATURDAY SHORTS is here almost as an alternative to such blockbusters. Yes, I've absolutely showcased STAR WARS fan films here and have no ambition to stop (if they're truly something I think is awesome), but remember that seed of inspiration, the thing that kicked this entire mega franchise off so many years ago - that's something that lives inside every single filmmaker. Each week (save for a handful of exceptions) is filled with imaginations from folks who have one goal - to tell a story they care about. Some times those stories catch on and inspire others. I've seen a few shorts here, low to no budget projects, that have caught on and provided a foot in the door to studios/financiers. The folks who are getting the deals to direct big films are provided to those who make their own opportunities. I know I sound preachy, but each week we get to watch films from talented folks with many, many stories to tell and occasionally they catch a break and are handed the reigns to projects like STAR WARS or NINJA TURTLES or badass projects without an established franchise fan base. I love that. Personally speaking, as of yesterday I'm totally unemployed for the duration of a film's hiatus, so what do I plan on doing with that time off? Easy, working on my own passion project, knocking out the last 50 VFX shots of roughly 500 while leaning on myself to roto and comp like a madman. To the filmmakers and potential filmmakers in the audience - keep at it. Keep doing what you do. You're all magicians and storytellers that push us all forward with you imagination and storytelling. If you feel "every story has already been told," just stop and think "That might be true, but my version of it hasn't." Whether you're a kid in Bristol, Santa Fe, Morocco, or where ever - there exists people out there who will love what you create (and don't even know it yet!), so if you've got a film you're working on (short or feature), do yourself the solid of seeing it through. The films below only exist because a person wouldn't give up. I think they each showcase something wonderful and am insanely excited I get the privilege to share them with you. Okay, let's get this show on the road!
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER'S REAL FATHER
Our first short of the week is a solid poke at nostalgia. Filmmaker Sam Martin and his crew over at XVP have brought us the ultimate holiday gift, a funny answer to the question of how our most prominent reindeer was born with such a nose. The animation here is simple fun, with a lovely twist I can say I never before thought of. Sam is a unique nut of a filmmaker, a guy who thinks just right outside of the box and always delivers laughs. I very much look forward to his projects and can't wait to see what he does next. "Rudolph's mother struggles when the real father of the red-nosed reindeer stops by to say hi to the family." Check out more of Sam's work and enjoy the insanity of his imagination!
Next up is a reminder to never trust your children after dark. I kid, but what follows is a truly creepy short from Jon Kovel. The film has been featured on Crypt TV and no doubt has already popped up on your Facebook Feed. I found the short unnerving and ultimately enjoyable (in a freaky way). Given the short is just a little over two minutes long, I don't want to give you any more of a clue as to what you're in for. Check it out, and then head over to Kovel's Vimeo Page to see what else the guy's got going on!
MIRACLE ON CANARY WHARF
Back to the Holidays! Talented Filmmaker Bradley Porter brings us a lovely Christmas miracle of sorts. "Chloe is having a bad year, and dancing with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve may be all she needs to set things right. That is, if he actually IS Santa Claus." I dare you not to crack a smile when this short hits the end credits. With solid performances from Denis Menochet and Sarah Winter, this film is one for the (holiday) books. Check out Porter's website or follow him on Twitter (@mrbonturcode)!
We now have a solid animation from Luke Saunders, with a short that premiered over on the DUST Channel. Admittedly this is the singular film not submitted via the short's creator, it's a short that I found utterly incredible. "In a diverse eco-system of mollusc like creatures, a late devoted scientist of these life forms has passed his life’s work on to his daughter, along with his most prized discovery." It's rather trippy and experimental, in the most perfect way. Check out more of Saunders' work!
Ever gone in for dental surgery? Good, then you know what you're in for - with the added bonus of a psycho killer, Filmmaker Katie Moeller has a fun film in store for us. "Impactus depicts a girl's disturbing experience following dental surgery. Fiona comes to in a car, woozy from anesthesia, strangely concerned about a woman standing on the side of the road. The car's driver, Jeremy, reassures Fiona until she falls back to sleep. Later, Fiona wakes on her couch with a mouth full of blood and rushes to the kitchen sink to get cleaned up. She discovers a disturbing metal object in her mouth that triggers an encounter with the woman she saw on the street. Fiona jolts seemingly awake, still in the car, but the nightmare continues - a woman stands on the street in the same spot as before, staring." After first seeing Katie's BECOMING and now this... I'm very much curious to see what she does next! I'm a fan.
Filmmaker, and AICN friend, Brain McQuery is back with another film! With Jackson White in the lead, the film feels real. Despite being wildly handsome myself, I too was slightly bullied in school. Of course I kid, but the reality of little jerks pushing their hatefulness on others isn't new or unique to any group of people. Brian's created a pretty solid look into the concept of bullies and I really do stand in aw of what he's built here. Kudos and then some, sir. "A troubled teenager is haunted by a recent school shooting and commits an act of extreme violence to defend his sister, but before he turns himself into the police, there is one important thing that he must do." Check out the film's IMDB page for more info!
Bam! So there we are, ladies and gents. I simply hope you've been able to catch each film, giving each and every one your attention and imagination. Clearly I enjoyed them all (in different ways), but ultimately just want to be able to share these things with fellow movie lovers like myself. Whatever your thought are on them, I hope you have a second to jot your thoughts down in the Talkbacks below. Whatever the case, feel free to click through past articles!
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