Seagulls gotta eat, too! I'm sure we've all seen that infamous viral video of a seagull scarfing down an entire hot dog in one gulp. Disgusting, but also kind of ingenious? This fun 2-minute animated short film called Dead Meat is inspired by that remarkable feat of consumption. Dead Meat is made by a filmmaker named Adnan Peer Mohamed, who is currently studying at the Vancouver Film School and created this project during his time there. Adnan explains that he "wanted to go for something short and silly with this and I'm hoping that you get a little 'heh heh' out of it!" This definitely should make you laugh! I'm impressed at how much of a story he tells within only 2 minutes of time with just a seagull, but that's the magic of filmmaking, especially with animation. And as with any good film, I already want to hang out more with these characters.
"What happened down there?!" Okay this short rules. Two Puddles is a very clever dark comedy / horror short made by filmmaker Tim Keeling. This originally premiered back in 2018, but we're catching up with it now and it's still definitely a good recommendation. It also goes through a lot in only six minutes, which is an impressive feat in and of itself anyway. In Two Puddles, a family's peaceful day of picnics and hiking in the woods is interrupted when they stumble upon two puddles that will test the strength of their bond. It stars Luke McGibney as Evan, Amy Keen as Jamie, Julia Florimo as Alice. Filmed on location in The Chilterns, UK. I always love a good short that makes you think about the concept and what it's going for. I won't say anything else, as this is best experienced going in fresh. It's worth a few minutes of time to watch.
"They knew the nipples were to blame…" Why do men have nipples, what are they used for? It is a question that has plagued mankind for centuries. The History of Nipples is a strange, awkward dark comedy short made by filmmaker Bailey Tom Bailey. It premiered at festivals in 2019 and hit the web last year, but we're only catching up with it now. A perfect intro from Short of the Week: "At some point in our life, we've probably all looked in the mirror and thought 'why?'. For Ron, the perplexed lead in Bailey Tom Bailey's truly distinct short The History of Nipples, it isn't so much 'why do they look like that', but more 'why are they even there?'. He's become obsessed with his nipples and this new fascination is going to lead him on a dark journey of self-reflection and existentialism." The short stars Joseph Macnab and Lily Wood, with Ronan Cullen, Vile Loikkanen, and Travis Booth-Millard. If you need a good laugh, give this a look.
"I will seize your truck in a minute." This is an excellent 11-min short film from India, made by a talented filmmaker named Varun Chopra. He's already made a few other shorts, in addition to working in the film industry as a titles editor, but I hope he makes a feature sooner than later. Lyrically Bleating Horns is about the trials and tribulations of a long haul truck driver in India, who is battling a slow decay of life on a fast moving highway. Starring Tapesh Sharma and Rudrani Chhetri Chauhan. This provides a very distinct look at the life of truck drivers in India. They decorate their trucks to make them look vibrant and unique, but they also encounter numerous challenges on the road, from corruption of all kinds to a lack of service facilities. There's so much depth to this film, not only with the story but all the details in each frame.
"You hide, I seek." This is creepyy!! A new horror short film made by filmmakers Aaron Morgan and Eric Vespe (formerly known as "Quint" from his AICN days) is now online. Seek was supposed to premiere last year at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, eventually playing at this year's Fantastic Fest. After driving all night, two sisters come across a dilapidated roadside park. It reveals itself to be more than meets the eye when one sister stumbles upon a mischievous resident inhabiting the bathroom that wants to play a sinister game… Who's hiding out in there? The film stars Allisyn Snyder, Clare Grant, and Steve Agee; with practical effects by two-time Academy Award-nominee Arjen Tuiten, based on concept designs by WETA Workshop. And there's a poster by artist JC Richard as well. Nothing like a good horror short to make your heart rate go up. This makes me never want to stop at any roadside toilet ever again, you never know what you'll find.
"A slug doesn't move any faster than a peeing scout." How's that for an opener? Here's another gorgeous looking hand-made short film to enjoy. Ten, Twenty, Thirty, Forty, Fifty Miles a Day is an animated short made by Belgian animation filmmaker Mathieu Georis. It won the the Vimeo Staff Pick Award at the 2021 Ottawa International Animation Festival just recently, and is being featured on Vimeo's site. The short is about the time when Mathieu was in the Boy Scouts and couldn't pee in front of the other boys. It's a tale about a slug and a scout. "Using an arduous, but gorgeous glass painting technique, Georis juxtaposes a personal story of his time in the Boy Scouts against evocative monochrome colors to build place, time, and subtext." The original French title is Un Kilomètre à Pied, which translates directly to One Kilometer on Foot. Ha. The colors in this are stunning, and the animation makes it more than worth 10 mins of your time.
Humanity. What have we become? What is real anymore? This mesmerizing short film explores this idea in only three minutes. Pile is an experimental animated short film created by an animation filmmaker named Toby Auberg, also known as "Toberg", who finished this project last year after two years of work putting it together on his own. "Simple to complex. Concrete to abstract. Dirt to clouds. Real to unreal." The short follows a diorama from the bottom all the way up, showing humanity's progress - both good and bad. Over the course of making it, the project "shifted into a piece more about abstraction and a map of overlapping contrasts in the human condition, such as the directions of history, economic stratification, the hierarchy of needs, infrastructure, etc." I'm in awe of how much is going on - layer upon layer upon later. Worth a watch.
"A lot of things go through your head when you're sitting here going through stuff." Would you go hunting for diamonds in the dirt if you knew you could actually find one worth some good money? The Diamond is a clever, fascinating short documentary film made by filmmaker Caitlyn Greene. The film is about a place in Arkansas called the Crater of Diamonds State Park (find it on Google Maps) where anyone can freely search for and/or mine diamonds, as well as other rocks and minerals located in an ancient volcanic crater. Greene set out to make a film about people who go there and try to dig for them. She explains: "Some people find substantial diamonds, some don't, and either way, it takes a lot of digging in the dirt. I was immediately hooked." Adding that, "I was interested in the hope of treasure, the grittiness of searching, and what people there were actually looking for in their lives." Deep. This is such a mesmerizing doc to watch, so damn good.
"Inspired by an epic true love story." Apple has revealed an official trailer for an animated short film titled Blush, from an animation filmmaker named Joe Mateo directing his first film after years of work in the animation industry as a story artist. Created by Skydance Animation (currently working on Spellbound and Luck) for Apple TV. A stranded horticulturist-astronaut meets an ethereal visitor on a desolate dwarf planet. His chance encounter with an ethereal being leads to an astonishing adventure about life and love. This reminds me of Disney's Paperman and so many other animated short films about love and romance. I hope there's something unique about this but it just seems like another love story, which is sweet of course, but not particularly original anymore. I do like the look of this, the characters are cute and the planet looks nice.
"I saw it and felt something I'd never felt before." The easiest way to introduce this: what if someone made Ghostbusters gritty & real, like how Christopher Nolan made his Batman movies gritty & real? Deadlock is a sci-fi short proof-of-concept created, produced, written & directed by filmmaking team John X. Carey + Aqsa Altaf. In a world where the living have the imprisoned the spirits of the dead in a server facility called "Deadlock" - an officer there is having a day from hell. The film tells a few stories about people involved in running the facility, mainly the crew who round up the ghosts. The short stars Joey Auzenne, Langston Fishburne, Jenna Qureshi, Brandon Scales, and Christopher Newman. This features an impressive amount of world-building and style, one hell of a proof-of-concept for sure. A refreshing take on ghosts, too.
"What can I say, to you, good people? It's right here in black & white…" An intriguing tale of revenge in this excellent short film The Sermon, from UK filmmaker Dean Puckett. This premiered a few years back and was reposted by our friends at Short of the Week. To go along with Mike Flanagan's new series "Midnight Mass" - why not? In an isolated church community in the English countryside, a powerful hate preacher prepares to deliver a sermon to his flock, but his daughter has a secret that could destroy them all. Starring Molly Casey & Denise Stephenson as Ella & Ava, plus Grant Gillespie as The Pastor. This was shot on 35mm film has a nice grainy look and feel to it. I am always down for a good revenge story, especially one that follows through. That's all I will say before anyone watches it as I don't want to give away anything else.
"Pull over, Jake." It's not often we ever see any films made in Cincinnati, Ohio, so why not give this a look. License to Steal an action short film that's barely 4 minutes long, just the right length to call it a "micro film". Directed by and shot by filmmaker Mat Grimes, who lives and works in Cincinnati, the film just won an award at the Nevada Short Film Festival Fall 2021. The short follows a thief on the run after a robbery, who encounters two characters on his getaway that make him question what his next move should be. The film stars Jake Kopronica, with John Mark James and Dylan DeSantos. There's not a lot of action in this short, but it's all about how much storytelling they can pull off in just a few minutes of time. Fire it up.