"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!
Sacrificed by the system, they will adapt. Time for something a bit subversive, a short from France about of three former employees who seek revenge on their ex-CEO. The film is titled At All Costs, or originally A Tout Prix in French, and it actually won awards at Liege International Film Festival (Audience Award) and Pentedattilo Film Festival (Best Thriller). While it does have a political story, it's still a solid thriller, made for only $10K. The short stars Franck Sarrabas, Pascal Henault, Simon Frenay, Marc Duret, Bruno Henry, Fatima Adoum and Onna Clairin. Danh is now developing his first feature film, Implacable, with Metaluna Productions. In the meantime, if you're interested in see what this is all about, fire up the 15-minute short.
Tonight you can catch some early screenings of Godzilla at pretty much every theater playing the monstrous remake from director Gareth Edwards this weekend. But before you check out his first blockbuster, secured after people saw his impressive sci-fi indie Monsters, go back two years before his indie debut to check out this short film created for the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge. The film is titled Factory Farmed, and in addition to being developed, shot and edited in 48 hours, it had to include a clear bottle with red or green liquid and the line of dialogue, “I am required to carry out this task until completion: your orders do not override anything.” How did Edwards do it? See for yourself below!
"Tetsuooo!!" There's a very impressive live-action Akira fan-film going around the web we must share. While we wait for Hollywood to figure out what the heck to do with their own Akira movie, still stalled somewhere in development, we at least have this to keep us anxiously awaiting a feature adaptation that turns out awesome. Nguyen-Anh Nguyen directs this crowd-funded live-action take on the manga titled The Akira Project, which is finally ready to be shown off in trailer form. The cast includes Osric Chau as Kaneda and Xavier Yuvens as Tetsuo, with Simon Li as Yamagata and Judy Wong as Kei. There's some great work in here for a fan-film, showing Hollywood how it should be done before they even had a chance.
Something fun to brighten up your Friday - an animated short film about a lazy and careless delivery man. The short is titled JohnnyExpress from animator Kyungmin Woo, about Johnny, a "Space Delivery Man who travels to different planets to deliver packages" but is lazy, prefers to sleep and just use autopilot. The animation is great, but of course there's a poignant message behind this which, even though it's set 136 years in the future, still applies to today. The animation house behind this is Alfred Imageworks, a motion graphic studio based in Korea - see more of their videos. Need a laugh? This short will do the trick. Enjoy!
"They are going to bring everything into focus." The perfect short to start your week, take a look at Foureyes, written and directed by Conor Byrne. This hilarious and charming independent comedy short stars young actor Jake Ryan, seen in Inside Llewyn Davis and Moonrise Kingdom, as Bobby Bowersox - a 10-year-old boy who learns it's time for him to get glasses. The story turns into a zany, sexual coming-of-age from there and it's quite fun, with a cast that gives excellent performances in just 12 minutes. This might not be totally safe for work, but oh well, it's harmless fun and worth watching. This is how to make a great short.
Just under a couple weeks ago, we highlighted a cool new animated short from Bruce Timm, the man behind the spectacular "Batman: The Animated Series." The short is just one of many special things happening this year in order to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Batman. And now a second animated short from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment has popped up online, this one using the world of the animated series "Batman Beyond" to pay tribute to The Dark Knight. Fans will hear the return of Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne and Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis, and it's a cool short to celebrate Batman turning 75. Watch!