Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with a fun selection of shorts that collectively will blow your face off (in the best way possible, whatever that means.) I've not been around these parts in a few weeks and so for those out there wondering, "Where'd that JURASSIC PARK loving, short film featuring, badass run off to?" Well, for the three folks out there who thought that - I've been art coordinating a show, product placement coordinating another, and doing vfx shots on my own wild feature on nights and weekends, even batch processing a ton of frames in the background as I type this (code for "I've been slammed.") There are only so many hours in the day as I'm sure everyone out there can relate to. I'm unsure how often I'll be able to pop up for the next few months (a guy's "gotta eat"), but am glad I'm here today to share this line up of films from a handful of filmmakers. Each and every short today was emailed over from the film's creator, and that right there is one of the primary reasons I keep coming back - to showcase works that passionate people are simply hoping to get eyes on.
In case anyone out there is wondering, if you're promoting a short film you've created - don't hire a PR company to send your emails out for you - take that step of personally saying "Hey, Person I don't know, here's a thing I created that I put a lot of time and energy into - please give it a watch!" Clearly I'm just some guy on AICN (not even a "full time blogger") and I'm sure others will disagree... but passion is far more badass to read in an email than a general announcement that's sent to every website out there. Filmmaking on any level is difficult. Either you have a lot of money and everyone you know comes out of the woodwork to get their slice, or you've got no money and no one will take you seriously... Grass is always greener thoughts, but whatever type of yard you've got... if you're willing to work with it (mow/weed/edge yourself), then you can come out with something special that money can't buy. I'm definitely dancing on metaphors and pulling a string of tangents, but my ultimate thing I'm getting at is - if this column has showcased something that's inspired another person to go create something (like a short...), then that's it - game over - that's why I'm here. Not sure if I'll be here next week, but for now on this Holiday weekend - let's just kick our collective feet up and watch a few films that I think are pretty cool. Beyond feel free to shoot your thoughts off in the Talkbacks below. Hell, I've included a short today that is wildly divisive and almost welcomes a select group of folks to get their underoos in a knot. As always though, just "don't be a dick." That's my singular request for Talkbacks here. Thoughtful insight and criticism are welcome, just keep the dumbass comments off the page - there's just too much talent circling around for folks to put up with that crap. Gearshift back to fun - let's do this!
Go grab yourself some popcorn, lock your kids in a closet, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here!
Director: Ian Schiller
To kick this week's doors off - Director Ian Schiller is here with something rather special. The film centers around "Kong's," a convenience store that's about to get its world rocked. This short features nice camera work, great acting, and... (Not just clichés, it really is well made). This short is like an onion, though it won't you in tears with each layer. There's more substance that you might expect about a short with a robbery in it. I know Ian has a history of doing a lot of UFC shows, but I hope to see more of his work outside that realm if this is the kind of stuff he whips up. The man is talented and I want to see what he does next! Check out his website if you like what you see!
Director: Simon Berry
Next up is an explosive predicament wrapped around a lovely love story(ish). You might have seen Simon Berry's trailer for this film a while back, and after a kickbutt festival run - I'm happy to get to showcase it here in it's full version. "When Walter steps on a live land mine in a remote field in England, he finds himself at the mercy of his wife Diane, who has recently unearthed a deadly secret buried in their past. As the tension mounts and truths are unraveled, Walter and Diane's relationship speeds towards an explosive climax." The film's accumulated awards and you'll see why. Simon took a simple situation and extracted eight solid minutes of drama. Super effective. Super cool. Check out Simon's Vimeo Page and do yourself the favor of watching his film WHISTLE, another example of how talented this guy is... I'm a fan, and just as I always seem to say - I truly am curious to see what he does next.
"THE TIME I MET THE DEVIL"
Director: Fergal Costello
Fergal Costello has our next piece, a music video starring Joe Rooney. So let's strap on in for a "Bad Lieutenant inspired short film/music video about a priest with an enormous hangover and fleeting memories of the night before, trying to get to the church on time." It's dark and headache inducing (which helps throw you into the shoes of the Rooney's character beautifully). Check out Costello's website to see what else he's got up his sleeve, as well as Brave Giant's if you're curious about the musicians!
Director: James Chappell
If you've clicked on a SATURDAY SHORTS column even super passively over the past few years, you'll know I'm a James Chappell fan. I think I've featured pretty much everything he's sent my way and with good reason - he's a quality filmmaker who keeps delivering badass videos. This week we've got a music video for Broadhurst. It's a ballad (if I'm using that term correctly, which is possible I'm not). The combination of Broadhurst's music and Chappell's imagery is a match made in heaven. The two just blend together like melted butter... Horrible similies aside, there's something really cool here, and I implore you to check out even if the music isn't your typical cup of tea. James - dude - I am DYING to see you do a feature and hope to keep seeing what all you're up to. If you want to see what the man's up to, then head over to his website and poke around. Also, be sure to hit up Broadhurst's page as well!
THE WOLF AND THE WAYFARER
Director: Maazin Kamal
Maazin Kamal has our next short, a biblical drama. In full disclosure, I'm about as religious as a tree - so I've only heard the more famous religious stories that we've all heard (assumptions! Yes!). What that means though is I can simply enjoy a story as just that, a story. Kamal's film contains wildly gorgeous views from mountain tops and locations that demand your attention, as well as a small group of actors that force you to hear them out. "A wandering pilgrim encounters a stranger while searching for a fabled monastery." I'd happily watch more from Kamal and hope he shoots me emails in the future with more of his work. I know the folks at Film Shortage feel the same, as they did a kickass write up on the film. If you want to see more from Maazin, then head over to his webpage and click around!
EDUCATION FOR A SUCKER
Director: Eric Koenig
Our last short of the day is sure to rock the boat. It's an unapologetic piece directed towards Trump and those who elected him into office. This right here is what happens when a wildly talented artist creates something he/she feels strongly about. No doubt will this one invite hostility from Trump supporters, but hot damn is the animation slick and with a message that cuts through dancing around a point. While you may or may not agree with the content, you'll be hard pressed to find any faults in the animation style and structure of the short. Koenig has been in the animation industry for years, creating content that most all of us have seen - yes, even folks who get upset with this video. In truth, I'm not sure I've ever featured anything this political in the past and have no doubt folks will get a little pissy about that - but do I really care? No, not really. With a guy like Eric Koenig, I don't need to seek out what he does next - as I will no doubt catch it on television or in theaters. Search his name and you'll get what I'm saying...
SMACK! That's it for this week, ladies and gents. I just hope you were able to catch a short film or music video above that you enjoyed and just would not have seen otherwise. I can't say without the shadow of a doubt that I'll be here next week - but we shall see. I do very much appreciate the filmmakers int he audience who send their work in! Whatever your thoughts on this week's lineup - I'm curious to hear them, so sound off in the Talkbacks. Also, feel free to check out any past articles and just enjoy what a ton of talented folks have done:
If you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in, please do send it in - I'd love to see what you've put together. I've already seen hundreds of fresh new filmmakers' shorts and like any good addict, I need more!
Shoot me an email at "Mike@aintitcool.com"
In the subject line include:
“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”
Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need or would want published. The more info you send my way, the more info there is to put with your short.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.
Remember, the filmmakers might still be in the audience, so feel free to share your thoughts in Talkbacks below. (JUST DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE). I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? How'd you like 'em?
BY THE WAY: If you've had a short featured here, that means that I personally am a fan of your work, so feel free to shoot me any kind of news on new projects/films/whatever. I can't say I'll be able to help or in what capacity, but I'm interested in your work and am always down to see more! (Keep making cool stuff, everyone!)
- Mike McCutchen