"Remember kid: this is the only law left in this town." Damn this is cool. A couple of friends, who grew up with Batman as their childhood hero, have decided to make a short film inspired by the classic 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series, 'Beware The Gray Ghost'. Titled The Gray Ghost, this short film chronicles the live-action adventures of "The Gray Ghost" aka Simon Trent. In the original animated series, Trent (voiced by Adam West) is depicted as a down-on-his-luck actor who was typecast for life playing a masked avenger on a black-and-white serialized TV show. This short film plays like a "lost reel" from the old serialized show, and it's very well done for something some friends made in their spare time. Check this out!
What would you wish for if you suddenly held in your hands a laptop that granted wishes? How far would you take it, and what would happen next? For those looking for a bit of Sunday fun to cheer them up, look no further than Eugene, a sponsored short film directed by Spencer Susser, the Aussie filmmaker who brought us that short I Love Sarah Jane years ago as well as the feature Hesher. Created for (and chosen as one of the winners of) a filmmaking competition held by Intel and W Hotels, Eugene is a humorous story of what happens when you give a lonely, bearded man too much power. It's fun and will leave you with a smile.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing, which seems pretty appropriate considering all the craziness that's happening down in Ferguson, Missouri right now. Well, director Spike Lee decided to team up with Beats Music (the headphones company) for a 22-minute documentary short looking back at the influential, racially charged film from 1989. It's both sad and amazing that Lee's film still holds cultural relevance in 2014, but rather than getting too serious, the documentary tours the locations with Lee himself, joined by Danny Aiello, the man who played Sal, who's pizzeria is now gone in real-life too. Watch below!
For the past few years we've been highlighting an annual filmmaking contest called Jameson First Shot, which has allowed budding filmmakers to get their chance to break into Hollywood working with the likes of actor Kevin Spacey and producer Dana Brunetti. The contest from late last year have completed production on their films and all three are now available for viewing. Each one stars Uma Thurman in a new role, and they're each quite fun. The Mundane Goddess follows the story of Hera, queen of the Greek Gods, who seeks answers from a therapist about her boring home life. The Gift follows the character Miss Anderson, who works at a city department store wrapping gifts. Jump! is set during 48 hours at a psychiatric facility, where Jack meets Wendy, a young woman with a unique obsession. If you're interested, watch them below.
What if Bonnie and Clyde was re-envisioned as a sci-fi? That's sort of the idea behind this mesmerizing new short film uploaded to Vimeo titled The Trail's End, from up-and-coming director David Rosenbaum. The short presents a sort of sci-fi prequel to Bonnie and Clyde, with androids going on the run from the law. It premiered at the LA Shorts Fest, has some solid VFX work and sleek cinematography, not to mention an interesting premise playing on a classic story we all know. Rosenbaum is a commercials director and worked on VFX at Digital Domain. He'll definitely be getting jobs after debuting this. Take a look at The Trail's End.
Change the way you remember. If you're looking for something a bit different than all those Hollywood movies in theaters right now, then spend 12 minutes watching this short film titled Streamline. Directed by FS contributor Dan Marcus, the sci-fi thriller is about a man haunted by traumatic memories who's also being pursued by guys in grey outfits. It borrows a bit from Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind, and has some Chris Nolan/Inception vibe going on, but it's a solid thriller with some sleek camerawork. It moves swiftly, and while the VFX aren't perfect, it's an intriguing indie sci-fi short to make you think. In full below.
"I need your help finding my dad." Here's something cool to add some oomph to your day - a short proof-of-concept video for a futuristic, sci-fi, robot action project called BotWars, from Alex & Steffen. The title at the end says "J.V. Kade's" BotWars referencing the novel it's based on, but this is actually a production by Alex Kiesl and Steffen Hacker, two German guys, with a number of talented VFX artists out of Germany making this look great. I was sent the video by another guy in VFX, who said he's "amazed at what these guys have achieved. Lovely use of new tech too with the flying cam," too. Check this out - I'd see the movie.
"A soldier without a war is just a man." We're always on the hunt for unique short films that might have something new to offer, and this may be one to take a closer look at. One of the many shorts premiereing at the Film4 FrightFest in London is The Last Man, from up-and-coming filmmaker Gavin Rothery who is making his directing debut after working as visual effects supervisor / concept artist / graphic designer on Duncan Jones' stellar sci-fi Moon. The teaser trailer doesn't reveal that much at all, but does hint at a bleak rain-soaked futuristic world where only one man remains to fight some kind of other-worldly force. Enjoy.
"What Gordon did is create a negative that no one could mess with." In 2008, Paramount restored and re-released Francis Ford Coppola's original The Godfather trilogy in full high definition, and the result was a glorious must-have box set featuring all three movies. The restoration was supervised by Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis (who just passed away a few months ago) as well as Steven Spielberg, and this 19-minute short explores the process they went through to bring these classics back to life. Featuring interviews with Coppola, Willis, archivist Robert A. Harris, and others, it's a fun and fascinating featurette.
More than meets the eye! Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons! The Transformers! Robots in disguise! In theaters now is Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction, and while it features the Dinobots and Mark Wahlberg, it also kind of sucks. Instead of wasting your money, we present this amateur fan-made short film for your viewing pleasure, featuring various action figures/toys used in a five minute stop-motion short called - Battle Tanker VS Giant. It's essentially an action-filled Transformers video in the style of the original, old school Transformers cartoons from the 80's, but made by one guy on his own from 2013 to 2014. It's quite impressive. Something fun to watch this long weekend.
"The weary gunfighter walked slowly through the saloon..." Something fun to start the day - another short film, this one a "period western meta comedy short film" titled The Gunfighter. It's smart, it's funny, its got foul language, and it actually looks good. The Gunfighter, starring Nick Offerman as the narrator and Shawn Parsons as The Gunfighter, just won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the LA Film Fest and was also a Best of the Fest Selection at the Palm Springs Short Fest. You'll see why once you watch this. With all the language it may by NSFW, but it is certainly worth watching whenever you get a chance. Enjoy!
Yay! The next short film attached to the start of the next Pixar movie has been announced. Showing in front of Pixar's Inside Out directed by Pete Docter, due in theaters June 19th, 2015, is a short titled Lava. The official synopsis from Pixar announcing the short in promotion of Inside Out, with a poster seen below, states: "Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, Lava is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years." Charming. There are some whales, birds, turtles, and dolphins on the poster, but this sounds like another wonderful creation from Pixar. Can't wait.
By now the names Tim Burton and Lars von Trier are two of the more recognizable filmmakers in the business today, but each for very different kind of films. Tim Burton has been churning out gothic inspired fairytales and fantasy films for years now, sadly with deteriorating quality over the past decade or so. Meanwhile, Lars von Trier is one of the most controversial directors working right now, with sexually charged, violent and risque subject matter and visuals. But before their careers, they were aspiring filmmakers, making precursors to their later work, and we have two of those projects to watch right now.
"Once you start, there's no going back." Awesome. Fire up this short film from filmmaker Patrick Kalyn, debuting a dark and exciting new sci-fi short titled Mech: Human Trials. Good news, it has already been optioned for a Hollywood feature, with Black List writer Mike Le adapting the script for Patrick Kalyn to direct, reports The Wrap. The short, running only 5 minutes, has just debuted online in full and it's a must watch - for only five minutes, this packs a punch, and I really want to see more from it already. As always, I love featuring great short films like this, especially when they're original sci-fi. This is also a great primer for William Eubank's The Signal, if I might say, which Focus is putting out in theaters in June. Check this out!