"You might say Baltimore is the best known Snowy yet." Time for something a bit different, but lots of fun. Secrets Of The Snowy Owl is a short documentary made by NPR's Skunk Bear team, featuring "owl sleuth" Adam Cole revealing the secrets of the Snowy Owl. The Snowy Owl is a certain species of owl that is well known, but not too much is known about them. The filmmaking in this doc is creative and engaging, with amusing animation and great footage of Cole's adventure to find a particular owl named Baltimore. It reminds me of another short we posted this year - The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere. Watch below.
Time to get in the holiday spirit! While this is more of an advertisement than a short, it's worth watching anyway because it's directed by Wes Anderson (and this kind of work is becoming increasingly common these days with filmmakers). Come Together is a short film holiday ad directed by Wes Anderson, starring Adrien Brody. As others have pointed out, it's kind of a nice The Darjeeling Limited reunion given that it takes place on a train. Brody plays a conductor who has to figure out some makeshift plans when he learns the train is going to be very late. It's charming, and has all the usual Wes Anderson quirks & accoutrements.
Another wicked cool cyber punk short film to watch. Lost Boy is the latest project from PostPanic Pictures, an Amsterdam-based production company (also behind the sci-fi short film Sundays). The film is a pitch for a feature sci-fi project from directors Anthony Scott Burns and Ash Thorp, and introduces us to a dark, gritty, barren world. Inspired by American action classics and Japanese samurai films, this has a true cyber punk design aesthetic, and looks damn good for a short film made on a limited budget. I really dig the world design and the costumes, though there's not much of a story here but hopefully that is something they're working on for the feature. The vehicle that shows up at the end is probably the coolest part. Check this out.
Nothing ever happens on Sunday… Hopefully everyone went to see Arrival this weekend. If you're still in the mood for some beautiful first contact sci-fi, this short is for you. It's a very lovely companion to Arrival, but that's all I'll say. On Sunday is a short directed by David Lea, who made this on his own time without any money. Via email, he explains his inspiration: "Way back in 1984 [my dad] hand built a cabin bed for my bedroom and underneath this, made from wood, flashing lights and copper piping, he'd constructed a spaceship cockpit… 31 years later I thought it was past time to repay the favour." Check out the film below.
Another impressive animated short film to feature today. Witness is a CGI animated short made by three filmmakers from the L'école Georges Méliès art school in France - Alexandre Berger, Christ Ibovy and Hugo Rizzon. The film tells another dialogue-free story of a man trying to track down the murderer of his wife. I like the twist in this, and I like the visuals - it's a dark and unsettling story that's told with clear and concise storytelling techniques. This film follows the outstanding short Borrowed Time, as another example of animation being used to tell a much darker and more emotional story than typically expected. See below.
Another wicked cool short film discovery - another one you must watch. Echo Torch is a sci-fi short about an inventor who builds an "electrical torch that reveals a hidden world layered upon our own." The concept itself is quite unique, and I love the visuals - you can see the cool blue torch on the poster, but to actually see it work so flawlessly in this short is wonderful. Echo Torch is directed by Chris Preksta, starring James Fitzgerald as the torchbearer. This has an awesome old school vibe to it, almost like Ghostbusters, and the VFX work is magnificent - making it that much more believable. I also appreciate how the film doesn't rely on dialogue, only just silence and great sound design. There's also a beautiful story bringing it all together.
"Is that how you usually pick up women? By offering them a free makeover?" I really enjoyed this unique sci-fi short film. Augmented is a new short directed by Ross Peacock, produced by Ben Mortimer, telling a story set in the near future about augmented reality technology. This is one of those shorts that is best to watch without knowing much about it going in. The way it plays out and the tricks it plays are part of the experience. You may see what's coming at some point during this, but it is still an impressive short. It's simple, but works well, and it definitely got my attention due to the simplicity. Good performances from the cast. Better than most shorts that I come across, to be honest. It's worth a quick watch - check it out below.
"Milton Mulberry Jr. was going to die. Now, you're probably thinking: 'what a morbid way to start a story…'" Looking for something fun to watch this Halloween? Check out this amusing new short film Dead Hearts, a "gothic bedtime story" about two young lovers that is filled with "taxidermy, Kung Fu, and biker werewolves". Valin Shinyei stars as a young unfazed-by-death mortician along with Dalila Bela as the taxidermy-loving blind girl he falls for, and they make for an adorable couple. I shouldn't make the obvious comparison but this definitely has the "if Wes Anderson made a horror movie" vibe, though it's really quite charming and enjoyable. I appreciate the way the story shifts in the second half, bringing the film full-circle.
It's just a drawing, it can't harm anyone, right? One more horror short film to feature before the end of the month. This one is titled The Drawing, made by a handful of horror fans on their own time and with their own money. The Drawing stars Clarke Wolfe (host of Collider Nightmares) as a woman who comes across a random monster drawing while out jogging. It's directed by Jason Brown of 1A Plate Productions, with a script written by Micah Roland. It's just a simple, fun, entertaining little horror short to get you in the mood for Halloween. I also dig the poster they made for it, seen below, created by artist Ted Bracewell. Watch out.
Spooky Club rules!! This is one of my favorite shorts we've discovered this month. Spooky Club is a horror comedy short film made by filmmaker brothers Joe and Lloyd Stas, about a "Spooky Club" group of friends. The short was released today in memory of horror icon Vincent Price, who died 23 years ago today. The Spooky Club recruits a new member and decides to go retrieve Price's stolen skull to cremate it just like he wanted. This is really just a totally awesome short - from the way it starts out, to the goofiness of it and the wacky mission to steal Price's skull, to the rock 'n roll vibe of the whole thing. I love the performances from the actors; it's funny, it's witty, and it's a perfect horror short film to put you in the Halloween mood. Enjoy.
Many filmmakers have hidden metaphors about the challenges and struggles as a filmmaker in their work. Loop is a clever little horror short film made by Mali Elfman, daughter of composer Danny Elfman, who has been making movies for the past few years - primarily for the site Fun Size Horror. Her latest film is a metaphorical tale about her own experiences trying to become a filmmaker. It will all make sense when you watch it. Nothing groundbreaking, but it is a intriguing short that does say more when you understand the metaphorical angst being expressed. This also features some great music composed by Matt Glass. Enjoy.
Time to drive. The newest full-length BMW Film has been released online. Titled The Escape, this one is directed by filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9, Elysium, Chappie), and stars Clive Owen as "The Driver" along with Jon Bernthal and Dakota Fanning. This marks the return of the acclaimed action series launched by BMW in 2001, a short film series featuring BMW cars made by talented directors. The Escape features the All-New 2017 BMW 5 Series - as well as some kick ass action. In the behind-the-scenes they talk about how it was important for "realism, above all else." I like the way they work in extra mystery with the characters this time, especially with Fanning's background. Hopefully this series will continue with more films from more filmmakers, because I really don't want this to be the end. For now, fire it up & enjoy.