Hello all, Tom Joad here with a report on what some consider to be the best example of talent: the short film. Now whether it may actually be a ‘film’ short per se, is irrelevant, be it VHS, Hi-8, digital or some type of film format - the bottom line is the same. A less expensive, more cost-effective route to showcase one’s unseen, unknown talent - or lack thereof. It can be amazing to go back and watch the early works of some mainstream or big name director - amazingly both good and bad. So keep your ears to the ground and eyes on the screen for any unheralded gems out there - and definitely let us know when you do! And now to the lovely Annette, who recently discovered a gem herself...
Hey everyone! Annette Kellerman here with a sort of rant/review. Now, I know that many of you won't give a rat's ass about what I have to say here, but I feel compelled to speak my mind about a genre of cinema that is most overlooked and under-utilized---the short film.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why more short film programs are not released theatrically. Especially when you consider the miniscule attention span of today's audience. At every festival I attend, I am overjoyed with the opportunity to experience totally kick-ass cinematic events in satisfying five and ten minute doses. And if something completely blows - I've only lost minutes of my life instead of an agonizing two, sometimes three hours! While short film programs offer the audience a variety of entertainment within the usual length of a feature, the shortened format also enables new filmmakers to get their feet wet without taking the high dive. I mean, there are plenty of fledgling directors out there in some serious debt simply because they needed to create a product that could ultimately be marketable-i.e. a full-length feature film. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later, the director is left standing with (in a best case scenario) some decent connections, buzz... and the remaining debt only a big break could dent. I think mainstream moviegoers would eat up a short film program if marketed correctly. Take commercials, for instance. Created effectively, two or three minute commercials can make you laugh, cry, get mad- or even start mini-pop culture phenomena. I mean, WHASSUUPP?! It's not like the format hasn't ever succeeded either. CREEPSHOW, TWILIGHT ZONE, FOUR ROOMS...some well received efforts off the top of my head. Sure, sure short films are popping up more in mainstream entertainment thanks to the Sundance Channel, IFC, and lets not forget the burgeoning short film web sites currently picking up the slack. HOWEVER, as wonderful as those outlets are, they are lacking a few vital elements a cool, dark room with a gigantic screen and my ass in a theater seat on the front row.
Which brings me to the review part of this little entry. I was lucky enough recently to view a fantastic six-minute short called BAPTIZED AT LUCKY LUBE.
Now, this short happens to be a perfect example of my last point because although it was shot on 35mm, I saw it crunched down on my TV. Unfortunately I'll probably never have an opportunity to see it any other way. And what a shame! Because first time director Hammad H. Zaidi really deserves for this gem to be seen as it should be: on the big screen. Zaidi's autobiographical story revolves around a disabled main character and his run in with a bible toting, scripture spewing vagrant who insists on baptizing (thus healing him) in the water cooler of the Lucky Lube. Paul Griffin gives a concisely laid-back performance as the disabled protagonist, while actress Greta Rose Bart charmed me with her aptly cheerful portrayal of the misguided do-gooder. The gospel inspired original score fits perfectly and performances by the supporting players are spotless. A wonderful way to spend six minutes! BAPTIZED AT LUCKY LUBE will leave you nodding in approval. If you're interested in finding out more about it, check out http://www.luckylube.com
If any part of my rant made sense to you, please support short filmmaking at your local art house or film festival. Simply put: it is fantastic entertainment that should be 100 times more accessible!
Until next time,