WORTH WATCHING

Watch: Jonathan & Josh Baker's Outstanding 'Bag Man' Short Film

by
October 8, 2014
Source: Vimeo

Bag Man Short Film

Wow. Every once in a while a film comes along that stops you in your tracks, reminds you why you love great films, and shows us that there's still real talent out there. This short film, titled Bag Man, came across my desk this week and it's actually a must watch. From filmmakers Jonathan & Josh Baker, the film tells the story of a young boy who leaves New York City to venture upstate with a mysterious dufflebag in hand. What is he hiding? You'll have to watch and find out. I love everything about this - the setup and payoff is perfect, the short flows smoothly and never drags, it's gorgeously shot and looks great, the VFX are fantastic. Along with Envoy, this is genuinely one of the best shorts I've seen in a while, and I will be following these guys.

Full synopsis for Bag Man: The understated story of a 12 year old African American boy (played by Judah Bellamy), who takes us on an introspective journey out of the city and into the remote countryside of upstate New York. With a mysterious duffle bag in hand, its contents unknown to us, we journey from the urban hustle of Harlem, into the winter-ravaged woodlands a world away. On the road, we slowly discover his real intentions, and the startling significance of what is hidden inside a young boy's bag. Directors Jonathan & Josh Baker thrive on combining hauntingly beautiful imagery with quiet layered emotional experiences. With cinematography by Nicolas Karakatsanis, music by Bird Courage. For more, visit the short's website.

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  • Gabriel Cox
    Unfortunately you guys spoiled the big reveal with the still you chose. An amazing short either way. I'll be watching these filmmakers too.
    • I don't know, knowing what comes after that, and all there is in this, I don't think it shows too much. Did it get you to watch the short and want to know more? I chose it because I think it's more intriguing than it is revealing, and if I hadn't used it, trying to get people to watch a short called "Bag Man" might've been a bit more challenging. It's an amazing short, I just want to bring as much attention to it as possible.
      • Gabriel Cox
        I can understand that. I know it's difficult to catch people's interest especially online. On their Vimeo, personal website and within the film itself, the filmmakers intentionally don't reveal the contents of the bag (until, of course, they do) and I think that is a great storytelling device that they used to add another layer of mystery surrounding the the boys journey. I know the experience would have been more engaging for me had I not known that a futuristic weapon was inside the bag, especially since the film itself doesn't hint at any kind of sci-fi(ish) experience up until that point. I think there are engaging visuals throughout the story that could lend themselves to luring in an audience. As a filmmaker though, I tend to be a snob about reveals of any kind, so please take my opinion with a grain of salt.
        • I'm a snob too, but it's a give and take here. Promotion versus story. Do I want more people to see this film and take a liking to it? Or do I want to keep it secret and keep the experience pure? I'm usually for the latter, but considering this is a 15 minute short I wanted to help these guys. They're career is going to blow up after this and when they release their first film, I won't spoil that. But even hiding the fact that it's sci-fi almost made me skip the email entirely, and if that would've happened... No one would be watching this and talking about it right now.
          • Gabriel Cox
            That makes total sense. I guess, especially in the world of short films, it's more of a grey area. Either way, thanks for putting a spotlight on the film! I now have new filmmakers to keep track of thanks to your post. No doubt it'll be a quickly advancing career for them.
    • Zen
      I was going to say the same thing. A bit irksome, but I see Alex's intention.
  • TheOct8pus
    Beautifully shot. Really captures the mood of a chilly dreary upstate NY day, and the reveal is totally out of left field, but amazing. The bursting into ashes effect is awesome.
  • DAVIDPD
    Man AB! THIS WAS FANTASTIC. Thank you for giving us these kind of experiences here on FirstShowing.
  • Armitall
    Made no sense. Too bad because it was shot brilliantly.
  • Jonathan
    It was good but... is it to be continued? Also, the comment about the fantastic VFX was a bit of a spoiler (along with the headline pic). But I need a prequel and a sequel...which, I guess, would warrant a feature length film. So nice work!
  • I like that that there were 2 bag men.
  • Nicolas Karakatsanis is a master of cinematography. Totally makes sense that he DP'd this as all his movies look incredible. (Bullhead and Cub being two damn good examples.)
  • TravisaurusRex
    Why the hell does every director now have to use such shaky camera shots? I don't expect or want every shot to be a steady cam shot but damn, hand held does NOT need to look like it was shot by an epileptic!.
  • ff
    I made it through I guess thats saying something. FX good but thats just money.
  • Payne by name
    Very enjoyable and impressive work by the makers. Thanks for posting.

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