"What I do know is that: I love more than a compass loves north." What in the funk is this? "Think Blue Valentine meets Jurassic Park." That's the opening pitch for this short film, but it's something else entirely unique and fun in its own way. The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger is a wacky, romantic adventure short from filmmaker Michael Lukk Litwak (@MLLitwak). It has a very hipster vibe to it, I must admit, but it's fun and the score is great (from the same guy who did the Beasts of the Southern Wild score). If you want to see a short film with dinosaurs, spaceships, romance and more, then fire this up.
"We thought of it as: man the tool-maker vs man the artist." If you're looking for a short film that makes you think, don't miss this one. Nate Silver's blog FiveThirtyEight has premiered the full short film The Man vs. The Machine, directed by legendary producer & filmmaker Frank Marshall of Kennedy/Marshall, telling the story of chess champion Garry Kasparov battling IBM's computer Deep Blue. The short explores the setup behind why this challenge was presented to begin with and the implications of the outcome, which most thought might go the other direction. Knowing that machines are more powerful than humans, does it really make a difference? Maybe not. Find out more in the fascinating short doc The Man vs. The Machine.
"I don't see why there shouldn't be this kind of brain computer interface that may well have the effect of extending ourselves." Ready for more wacky horror as we continue further into October? Today's short won Best Special Effects at the Indie Horror Festival and also played at Fantasia, Sci-Fi London, Dallas and the LA Shorts Fest before premiering online in full. It's called Flesh Computer, from writer/director Ethan Shaftel (@eshaftel), and follows a man with a "cybernetic pet" that causes some problems in the apartment building he lives in. Some of the FX aren't that great (mainly the fly), but other shots look better. While there is certainly a Cronenberg feeling, this short also mixes in sci-fi, tech, gore, social horror and lots more.
"When I first saw you, I could not believe my eyes." It's October which means it's the month of horror, with scary films premiering all over. This short, titled Liebe or Love in German, is a quick watch and a fun way to mix up all those scares with something that will make you laugh. The 3-minute short has played at film festivals all over, including at Fantasia and Toronto After Dark throughout the year, and is now online for viewing. As always, we feature shorts to show people how much great filmmaking there is out there even in short form and made on a shoestring budget. Have fun with this one - the perfect short for October. Enjoy!
Whoa. This is awesome. You have to watch this! That's the reaction I had, and I expect most people will have, after watching this. It's a short film titled Fortress, or Крепость in Russian, made by a guy named Dima Fedotof who posted this to his own Vimeo a year ago. Yes it's a bit old, but it's still worth seeing because, as our friend Jonnie tweeted about it: "love that it has minimal setup, and that it's actually short." Dima explains that the short is just a "cartoon parable" and he's only a "CG enthusiast from Russia", but it's impressive work. The setting is in the far future, where wars have been raging for so long that the robots continue to fight each other even though all humanity is gone. Just another cool short to enjoy - take a look.
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.
Who are you, if you're not the only you? This peculiar little short film is worth watching for the interesting twists and turns found within. Titled Mouse-X (which may hint at more of the plot than expected), written & directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Justin Tagg (@mouseXshortfilm), this "sci-fi mind trip" follows a man who wakes up in a room and has to figure out where he is and what's going on. He's trapped inside of one giant experiment involving a thousand clones of himself, so who is he if he's not the only one? It runs a bit long, but otherwise it's a well-made short that proves even old ideas can be rehashed and still be unique.
"Magic is such a universal thing." Who doesn't love a little bit of magic? If you're in the mood for something inspiring, and fun at the same time, check out this short documentary from The Verge about a small town in Michigan called Colon (Google Maps). Dubbed the "Magic Capital of the World", the doc takes a light-hearted look at a lovable town that contains three fabulous home-brewed magic shops/manufacturers, and hosts the annual "Abbott's Magic Get Together", a convention (that reminds me of Fantastic Fest) for magicians, illusionists and entertainers. Never heard of this place? Neither have I, but that's why it's such a memorable introduction. A nice little slice of Americana packed into an entertaining short doc. Have a look.
"You don't even know what it's capable of! Or what it's doing." Wow - this is one of the best shorts I've seen in a while - David Weinstein's Envoy, uploaded to his Vimeo recently. Stellar VFX combined with an emotional, compelling story - a kid and his robot, think Transformers with a little The Iron Giant. And I love that it goes all out, never shying away from showing the robot and some awesome action scenes, and it follows through until the very end. Envoy is under 10 minutes and is worth a quick watch, it's refreshing to see something so good for a short film like this. Someone let this guy make a movie, I don't want this to end.
"You are lucky I found you first, child." Catch this dark, impressive fan film from Michael Paris. While there has been some talk of another Spawn movie in development, we haven't seen anything actually come together in years. There hasn't been anything since the Spawn movie from 1997 with Michael Jai White that most people despise. Paris decided to make his own Spawn film and the result is "The Recall", set mostly inside of a grocery story with some really cool scenes. It's impressive work for a fan film and shows just how much potential there is in great characters. Spawn fans will enjoy this the most, but it's entertaining for all.
"I remember you." This may be worth your time, even though it's 21 minutes long, it's a good one. There's a short that has been in the works for at least seven years, filming back in 2007 through 2009. And it's finally done and ready for public consumption. The short is titled Similo from Spanish filmmakers Zacarias & Macgregor, set in the distant future about a man and a woman and what each one desires. Explained on their website: "Similo started as a simple yet ambitious idea: to make a realistic science fiction love story. The combination of these two aspects,' science fiction' and 'realism', was quite an exciting challenge for us." The results are something to behold, and it looks gorgeous on top of everything, so fire this up and dive in.
From Pixar to Studio Ghibli to Laika, we love all kinds of animation. And because we also like showcasing short films from time to time, calling attention to this fantastic animated short called It's Payback Time seemed right up our alley. These little gray creatures find their world in upheaval when a mysterious blue substance is leading to catastrophic destruction. Where is this coming from? What's going on? Will they ever survive? While normally you might find yourself rooting for the little guys to overcome this disastrous development, the twist ending will actually have you glad to see this world destroyed. Watch the short now!
Who doesn't love Alan Rickman? You may change your mind after this short, though not likely. Rickman played Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series, but is also an accomplished stage and TV actor and has appeared in films like Dogma, Galaxy Quest, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense & Sensibility, Love Actually, Alice in Wonderland as the Blue Caterpillar, Bottle Shock, Lee Daniels' The Butler and CBGB. He stars in this short titled Dust, from co-writers/directors Ben Ockrent & Jake Russell, that will freak you out at first. Once you get it, and once you figure out what's going on, you'll either be smiling or going nuts. I believe it's a odd kind of dark comedy, so laugh it up. Or report the authorities. Either way, enjoy this short.
"What - you need an invitation?" As always, we're happy to feature short films that catch our attention so as to inspire, and to provide a quick look at the variety of great filmmakers (and stories to tell) out there. This latest one is titled Now We Are Not, written and directed by Amanda Mae Meyncke (aka @amae and writer for other film websites), and as much as I could start explaining the concept you'll figure out as soon as you start watching. It's almost sort of a reverse Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, without the sci-fi, but with all the emotions. I enjoyed it and hope to see more from Amanda soon. It's only a quick 6 minutes.