Short Film Wednesday 009 – Surveyor (2012)

I really hadn’t planned to do a Short Film Wednesday this week, but I happened to run across this one earlier today, and thought I’d share it with you all.

Director Scott Blake calls his short film Surveyor an “anti-western”, and it’s easy to see why. Filmmaker Magazine describes the short this way:

Set in the mid-1800s, Blake’s film follows a surveyor as he pushes West, forging a path for settlers and the American government. Amidst stunning widescreen visuals there’s a terse shoot-out with a villainous stranger, a hallucinatory, tragic finale, and an overall air of mystery and introspection.

Director Blake is largely self-taught, and despite some initial success with the film, has found himself kind of stranded as he has tried to shop it around to different festivals. He does however, seem to be a name to watch in the future, and I really wouldn’t be surprised to see more from him and to see him get more acclaim as he moves on to other projects and larger works. There’s really quite a bit to like here, and I  think he shows a lot of promise with many of the choices that he makes in the shooting of this film.

Here, take a look for yourself:

For more in formation on Blake, the history of Surveyor, and his plans for the future, check out this article on the Filmmaker website.

Short Film Wednesday 007 – Progressbar (2013)

If you’ve ever wondered just what’s going on behind the scenes when you’re watching an online video and see that little bar scrolling across the bottom of it and wondered why – after moving along so smoothly for so long – it seems sometimes as it gets towards the end, it needs a bit of time to catch up with itself, this short animated film called Progressbar made by Vincent Broquaire may just provide the answer.

Short Film Wednesday 007 – The Old Chair (2012)

If it seems too good to be true…

The Old Chair was directed by Drew Daywalt and stars AJ Bowen, Kaylee Score, Maria Olsen, and Jonica Patella It also features some pretty effective creature FX by Melissa Anchondo and Jeff Farley.

Short Film Wednesday 005 – That Fatal Sneeze (1907)

I suppose you could say that back in the day when one-reelers were the standard, most films were “short films”. After all, when you’re limited to around eight minutes per reel, you really have to make all of them count. So I thought that today we’d take a look at one of those. This silent is entitled “That Fatal Sneeze” and was directed by Lewin Fitzhamon. It’s the story of what happens when a boy decides to get revenge on an older man who pranks him with sneezing powder. This particular version comes with a live soundtrack preformed by Simon Jones on piano, Phil Morton on can and guitar, and Adam Webster on cello as part of BBC Radio Merseyside’s Unsilent Night.

Short Film Wednesday 004 – Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB

fURvSZ5EQ8bYZqmGmEjsCL1nNXzI’ve written before about how hard it can be to make a proper short film. You really have to be skilled to get in, establish your characters, setting, and plot, then carry things out and bring everything to a (hopefully, anyway) satisfying conclusion. Also, most often, these films are working not only under a constraint of time, but also budget and location. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. What I’m hoping to do here with this new weekly feature is to showcase the efforts of those who have taken on this challenge. Fair warning up front, though, not all of these are going to be winners. Nor are they going to appeal to everyone. I find that especially when it comes to short films like these, it’s especially true that what appeals to some people doesn’t to others. Nonetheless, I do think that often movies like these get very little attention, especially at a time when it seems that every film has to be a $200 million blockbuster, and that’s the real purpose here: to try to provide a larger audience for these films and help them get more notice.

In keeping with the “keep it short” theme of these posts, I’m not planning to provide a lot of commentary on these films, or go into a lot of background on them. instead for the most part I’m going to let them stand on their own.

Most Star Wars and Sci-Fi fans know George Lucas’s first film was TNX 1138. But how many have seen the original short film that Lucas made while he was still a student in film school? Well, here’s your chance:

Short Film Wednesday 003 – The Cat Piano (2009)

the-cat-piano-posterI’ve written before about how hard it can be to make a proper short film. You really have to be skilled to get in, establish your characters, setting, and plot, then carry things out and bring everything to a (hopefully, anyway) satisfying conclusion. Also, most often, these films are working not only under a constraint of time, but also budget and location. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. What I’m hoping to do here with this new weekly feature is to showcase the efforts of those who have taken on this challenge. Fair warning up front, though, not all of these are going to be winners. Nor are they going to appeal to everyone. I find that especially when it comes to short films like these, it’s especially true that what appeals to some people doesn’t to others. Nonetheless, I do think that often movies like these get very little attention, especially at a time when it seems that every film has to be a $200 million blockbuster, and that’s the real purpose here: to try to provide a larger audience for these films and help them get more notice.

In keeping with the “keep it short” theme of these posts, I’m not planning to provide a lot of commentary on these films, or go into a lot of background on them. instead for the most part I’m going to let them stand on their own.

Animation seems uniquely suited for short films, especially since it takes away a lot of the limitations that are often associated with them. Plus, it allows for a type of expressionism that is simply impossible with live-action films. Today’s short definitely takes advantage of those pluses, and provides  wonderful interpretation of the material.  It’s entitled The Cat Piano and features the beautifully smooth voice of Australian artist Nick Cave narrating a poem written by Eddie White.  It’s directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson.

Short Film Wednesday 002 – Death Scenes (2012)

DEATH-SCENES2I’ve written before about how hard it can be to make a proper short film. You really have to be skilled to get in, establish your characters, setting, and plot, then carry things out and bring everything to a (hopefully, anyway) satisfying conclusion. Also, most often, these films are working not only under a constraint of time, but also budget and location. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. What I’m hoping to do here with this new weekly feature is to showcase the efforts of those who have taken on this challenge. Fair warning up front, though, not all of these are going to be winners. Nor are they going to appeal to everyone. I find that especially when it comes to short films like these, it’s especially true that what appeals to some people doesn’t to others. Nonetheless, I do think that often movies like these get very little attention, especially at a time when it seems that every film has to be a $200 million blockbuster, and that’s the real purpose here: to try to provide a larger audience for these films and help them get more notice.

In keeping with the “keep it short” theme of these posts, I’m not planning to provide a lot of commentary on these films, or go into a lot of background on them. instead for the most part I’m going to let them stand on their own.

Today’s short is entitled Death Scenes and is part of Bloody Cuts’ anthology of short horror films.. Written and directed by Joel Morgan it stars Robin Berry and Ayden Callaghan alongside Charlie Bond, Paul Jibson and Carol Storey. For more info, click here.