"Once I started meddling around I found a ghost." Who said YouTube comments weren't worth anything? Player Two is a new short film (running under 2 minutes, impressive!) from filmmaker John Wikstrom that's based entirely on a comment from YouTube. The story is about a boy, Zac Pullam (seen on "Finding Carter"), who used to play video games with his dad on one of those old clunky Xbox consoles, and discovers a way to reconnect with him years later. Wikstrom is the talented filmmaker behind two other shorts we've featured - The Hatchling and Chloe - and should be making features in Hollywood by now. Give this a look.
"Our biologically engineered hosts are created from the ground up…" If you're looking for something to make you think, stop and watch this. There's an impressive new sci-fi short film out called Trial made by The Brothers Lynch, the same guys behind Dual and Old Habits. Starring Tom Cullen, Ana Ularu and Joseph Mawle, the short takes place from the perspective of a quadriplegic soldier who gets a nifty new mind transfer procedure that helps him rehabilitate. The short is a teaser for a full feature called Residual that will be the Brothers Lynchs' directorial debut, and it's currently securing financing. Take a look below.
Time to finally see an impressive short film I've been waiting years to feature here on FS. This short is called EVE and is made by a French concept artist turned filmmaker named Eric Gandois, making a strong first impression with this work. I originally got see the short in full two years ago, but it has been kept off the internet until now. The film stars Delphine Chaneac, seen in Vincenzo Natali's Splice, as a woman living in a future where there's barely any oxygen left and most of life on our planet has died off. It's entirely dialogue free and uses visuals and her performance to tell the story. I love discovering great work like this and featuring it, as this could be the beginning of an exciting filmmaking career for Gandois. Watch below.
"I hav lady. U no were find me." Time for something a bit different. This short film (thanks to SlashFilm for the tip), made by an indie filmmaker known only as "Banks", is a direct adaptation of the classic Donkey Kong arcade game. Titled simply Donkey Kong Classic, it's a short live-action take on the art of climbing ladders and busting barrels to rescue a damsel in distress. It's super low budget, the VFX are okay but not great, though most importantly it's a very fun take on a classic game everyone is familiar with. This is the kind of short that up-and-coming filmmakers should go out and make just for fun, to do something unique.
"Just one week ago, everything was so different." This looks a bit crazy. I'm not usually fond of posting trailers for short films, but I couldn't help it with this one - it has Poe Dameron in it! An official trailer has debuted for a short film called Lightningface, starring actor Oscar Isaac as Basil Stitt. The description says that "in the aftermath of an inexplicable incident", he locks himself in his apartment goes through one helluva transformation. This trailer has definitely piqued my interest, I'm just curious when we'll be able to actually see the full short film and how long it will be. Hoping this film has quite a bit to say. Watch below.
"You lost the war before it was even declared, Colonel." This is awesome. While this is a fantastic 5-minute sci-fi short film, it's also an impressive proof-of-concept created by filmmaker David Karlak called Rise made to get his project into development. David sent an email out informing me that he has been working on developing Rise at Warner Bros since 2012 and they just now allowed him to debut this short to the world. The story is about sentient robotic beings created that become more advanced than the human race and end up fighting against human beings. This has outstanding VFX and will definitely get your attention.
If only this were real. During one of this week's episodes of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, one of his guests was filmmaker Spike Jonze. The show opened with a special opening short film, which starts with a title card saying Jonze had an "idea" for the opening and this is the result. I know I'm not the only one anxiously awaiting the next feature film from Spike Jonze. While we wait for something to happen, he went on Colbert's show to promote the launch of a new TV channel called Viceland, opening this week - see here. In the meantime, this amusing short featuring Colbert and an old friend is worth a quick watch. Enjoy.
"It's toxic… like human begins. I don't know what's going to kill to me - this filthy air? Or those fires that's eating me from the inside." Today's must watch short film is a martial arts sci-fi short called Temple, from director Nguyen-Anh Nguyen, the same guy behind The Akira Project previously. Set in the future where cybernetic enhancement as common, one desperate man fights another to take his bionic arm in order to help someone else who needs it to survive. There are some sleek visuals, and at least one okay fight scene in this. It's all designed to sell a full feature, so of course by the time it's over you still want to see more. Enjoy.
With the Academy Awards just a few days away, there's no better time to watch one of the five nominated Best Animated Short Films. In addition to our top recommendation - Don Hertzfeldt's World of Tomorrow (which you can watch here) - one of the other shorts available online is We Can't Live Without Cosmos from Russian filmmaker/animator Konstantin Bronzit. The short follows two cosmonaut friends training for a mission in space. As Wired points out, this is "for every kid who went to Space Camp (or wanted to) and dreamed of one day doing real astronaut training with their best friend." The short is entirely dialogue free and yet still conveys plenty of emotion. It's now available to watch in full for free below - take a look.
"I don't understand what drives you. I would love so much to be able to live your life." It's rare we ever see a sequel to a short film, but this is one worth watching. Back in 2011 we featured a thought-provoking short called Lost Memories that addressed how this world is progressing into the digital realm. This sequel from filmmaker Francois Ferracci titled simply Lost Memories 2.0 follows up and takes place in an augmented-reality-filled digital world after the collapse of the cloud, now known as AC - "After Cloud". This sequel is much longer than the original (which was 2 minutes), running a full 15 minutes with some very sleek VFX work (see the breakdown). Rewatch the first short again and then give this sequel a watch below.
"Pick on someone your own size!" Everyone is talking about the insane success of Deadpool last weekend - breaking box office records and earning the appreciate of audiences. The movie is directed by a first-time filmmaker named Tim Miller, who co-founded a VFX house called Blur Studios in 1995, and has often worked with David Fincher (e.g. on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opening titles). Miller got the offer to direct Deadpool thanks to a cinematic short made for the DC Universe Online game that impressed an exec at 20th Century Fox. The short features various DC superheroes/supervillains like Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Joker fighting it out. The film is viewable below to see what it was that got him the job.
"On the day they were going to kill him, Jun Seo did not arrive at his liquor store until 5PM." It's always hard to introduce short films without giving away too much about them. I prefer to say the least possible before simply encouraging watching the short in full. This one is titled Los Angeles 1991 and is set in Los Angeles in 1991 and is a real-life story about a shooting at a local liquor store. It's a very powerful drama that makes you think about how different lives intersect and interact in a tragedy like this. The short is made by "Zac&Mac", directed by a filmmaker known as "Macgregor", also known in real life as Miguel de Olaso. He's definitely proving that he can handle real-life drama and emotions with this short. Watch below in full.
"They destroyed our home!" Now this is must watch short film. There's a new unofficial Star Wars fan film available to watch online made by a filmmaker named Joe Sill that is about a father and daughter. It's one of the first fan films inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens (so far) that really captures the spirit of that movie, specifically how amazing Daisy Ridley's character Rey is. In this film, Andra Nechita stars as Kara, and there's a really big reveal with her near the end that makes this even more exciting. To top it off, this has impressive technical aspects including outstanding VFX work (X-Wings, Tie Fighters galore!) and tons of futuristic action that actually feels real. I'm so impressed I had to watch it twice. Give it a look.
"So much space, so little time." As always, it's nice to come across a short film that puts you in a good mood by the end. Boldly Gone is a short written & directed by Mark Buchanan that has been playing on the film festival circuit most of last year. It's finally online in full (running time of 12 minutes) for free and it's worth watching if you've ever built your own rocket from scratch (I remember building one in middle school and at Cub Scouts back when). The film is about two estranged brothers who try to figure out how to launch a rocket with their father's ashes into space. It reminds me of October Sky, with Jake Gyllenhaal as Homer Hickam, who builds his own model rockets while Wernher von Braun is working on the Apollo program.