"Our objective is to win the war." Yet another short film to feature, but this doesn't have any sci-fi or robots or CGI or anything like that. Call of Duty: Finest Hour, debuted in the Machinima Interactive Film Festival, is indeed inspired by the video game Call of Duty: Finest Hour (released in 2004) set during WWII. What makes this stand out is just how well-made it is, from the acting to the cinematography to the score to the overall direction and tone, this is an impressive short. For many very obvious reasons, it reminds me of Saving Private Ryan and how visceral and intense the action is in that. Check out the 4-minute film below.
What if your only hope, was your own demise? Batten down the hatches before watching this. There's a sci-fi short film called Keloid (or K3loid) from JJ Palomo that is making its way around Hollywood. THR reports that Roy Lee has already partnered with IAM Entertainment to develop this into a feature, with an "expansive" take on the story we get in this 3-minute short. Set in Russia in the future, it's basically robots against robots and men in mech suits. The effects are by "Big Lazy Robot" VFX and its six-man crew, who worked on Carl Rinsch's short The Gift. This took two years to finish "with the purpose of giving free reign to the creative aspects of production that many times are so much missed." From now on, you are set free.
"We can start from scratch." Damn, there are so many outstanding sci-fi shorts out there. Here's another one that we're anxiously awaiting as this is only a teaser trailer, but it looks stunning. The short is called Similo and is directed by Spanish filmmaking duo Zacarias & Macgregor, starring Aloma de Balma and Javier Rios. Set in 2065 on Antarctica, Similo is about a couple that gets together again. "She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." There's some sexuality/nudity in this which makes it a bit NSFW, but otherwise it's a captivating trailer featuring the mesmerizing music from Take Shelter. Check this out.
At the Venice International Film Festival this year, they commissioned a series of 70 short films called Venezia 70 - Future Reloaded, in honor of the festival's 70th anniversary. The shorts range from one to three minutes, and each acts as a unique tribute to the film festival, with complete creative freedom and no input from the festival itself. Entries came from filmmakers like James Franco (As I Lay Dying), Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris), Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), Atom Egoyan (The Devil's Knot) and dozens more, and now pretty much all of them are available online for you to watch right now.
"As men tied to the Earth, we dream of visiting the stars... As men tied to the stars, we will dream of returning home..." Wow. This looks really cool. We're excited to be the first to debut this new teaser trailer for an upcoming sci-fi short called Telescope, featuring some rad visuals. Directed by Collin Davis & Matt Litwiller, the short is a visually stunning story set 170 years in the future about a cosmic archaeologist who journeys through space and time to capture evidence of a forgotten Earth. Fellow filmmaker Wes Ball of Ruin, currently directing Maze Runner, is lead VFX artist on the film, helping it get that sleek sci-fi polish. For only a 40-second trailer, this looks great, can't wait to see the full short - debuting here on FS.net soon.
Start your week with a fun animated short film that will make you smile! It's always a good time to enjoy a short, especially a good one like this. Danish animation studio Tumblehead has released a short called Rob 'n' Ron, a spaghetti western heist featuring the enjoyable characters Rob and Ron. The animation in this is gorgeous, and luckily it comes with a behind-the-scenes video to show you how it was made, because you'll definitely want to know by the end of this 3-minute flick. This is good enough to win some awards, and only uses sounds, no voices, similar to Pixar's shorts. Take a moment and give it a watch, you will be entertained.
"Oh my God! It's Mad Dog!" He's back! Any big fans of Tony Jaa, or anyone else looking for some respite from the Emmys and all the TV shows this weekend should fire up this short film. The parody short is called Ong Bark: The Beginning starring and made by martial arts superstar Tony Jaa featuring the same "Mad Dog" from the original Ong Bak movie. This is pretty much as amateur/low budget as anyone can get making a short, with cheap sound effects and slow motion galore, but it does have some cool fights plus a badass dog (named Fantom von der Goldenen Bernsteinsonne) and, of course, a chicken. Have fun with this.
They say that right before you die, your entire life flashes before your eyes. It's a harrowing thought and one that many people consider as we live our lives day to day. There's a mesmerizing short film floating around the web called The Death and Life of Desmond Wolfe (note: it's not the Life and Death but rather the Death and Life of) that will throw off your perception of life flashing before your eyes. If you're a filmmaker looking for inspiration, or if you're interested in seeing something that will make you stop and think for just a moment, this won't take more than 60 seconds of your own life to watch and it's worth a view. Take a look.
As the 2013 Toronto Film Festival comes to close, it's one of your last chances to catch some of the short films playing at the fest. As part of a deal with TIFF, YouTube has been hosting 22 shorts online for free viewing. One of them has already been making the rounds, a short called Noah about a teenage kid's failing relationship told entirely through video of his computer screen - it just won the festival's big shorts award. There's also the short titled Method, directed by "Rookie Blue" star Gregory Smith about an actor playing a police officer, and a short called Young Wonder, a fun outdoor fantasy action-adventure film. These will only be online for a limited amount of time, and they're all worth watching, so hurry up and check them out.
"I may be alone. But I'm still searching for the answers beyond that door." Save 10 minutes of your day to take a look at this. Another impressive sci-fi short film has arrived online - Beyond, directed by Raphael Rogers, starring Bianca Malinowski as the last remaining member of a family with the ability to "survive the fracturing of space & time". The concept and story in this one are the most intriguing, but there's also some great VFX work for a film made by two people using After Effects. Rogers says this was made without a crew, "just myself and Bianca." For an indie short this was a fascinating watch and I hope it inspires others.
This. This looks amazing. This looks heart-wrenching. This looks chilling. And it's barely a 60 second tease. This is how you tease an original science fiction story. An early teaser for a new sci-fi short film has arrived from up-and-coming Israeli filmmaker Dan Sachar. We featured some of Dan's work earlier this year, the short film Overture, and this is his next follow-up. This new short is titled Last of You and is about a man abusing a memory recording device, obsessively replaying the last day he shared with his late wife. That's all we know about it so far, but between that description and the footage, I'm totally sold. Can't wait to see this.
Plenty of feature films from the festival circuit come across our table, but as you're aware, there are plenty of short films that we try to spotlight as well. They come from amateur filmmakers, while others come from rising directors in the industry. It's Not Me, It's You comes from Matt Spicer, who co-wrote Max Winkler's forthcoming film The Coward starring Adam Driver and Chris O'Dowd. Spicer writes and directs the film starring "Community" regular Gillian Jacobs as a young woman who finds her relationship taking a dark turn when every sound her boyfriend (Fran Kranz from Cabin in the Woods) makes, annoys her.
While we normally don't pay too much attention to the short films at the Sundance Film Festival, some of the selected films end up playing before our feature film presentations, and a gem or two really sticks with us through the rest of the festival. In 2012, I found Meaning of Robots to be truly fascinating and weird, and this past year, it was writer/director Riley Stearns (@RileyStearns) who delivered the simple, but memorable and unique, short film The Cub. When the film was presented in Park City, it played with the comedy Hell Baby, and it certainly has a similarly twisted sense of humor, but with subtle style. The logline simply says, "Wolves make the best parents." And we'll let the short film take care of the rest. Enjoy.
"Curse you, Agent Fox!" Perfect Sunday afternoon entertainment. Many know I'm a huge James Bond fan, so when I came across this short I couldn't pass it up. Even better, it's actually an impressive animated short with a fun story and sleek animation. It's called SpyFox and is a James Bond inspired adventure about an "Agent Fox" who has to confront the evil "Dr. Hammer", a hammerhead shark villain bent on destroying the world by melting the ice caps with a satellite laser. There's a bit of romance, plenty of G-rated action, and some adorable sardine sidekicks which must be inspired by Gru's Minions. Great work, Ringling. Have fun!