Short Films

One of Those Days

This is the completed version of our short film, One of Those Days as shown at the screening. Enjoy!

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The Flying Man

This is a really impressive short film that clearly is provided with a budget but it shows how effective the medium of the short film really is. The tension is built up really well thanks to the handheld, “found footage” feel of the film in the new report segments at the beginning grounding it in reality with shaky camera shots proving that sometimes unconventional methods can work well. The effects are great but clearly created by someone in the field or with exceptional know how. It all comes together really neatly and the actors are good, the chemistry between the two men in the car is great and really progresses an already accomplished short

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Aningaaq

Aningaaq is a short film companion piece to the critically acclaimed film, Gravity (which at the time of speaking is still in cinemas).
It ties in with a small part of the Gravity story in which Dr Ryan Stone communicates to the titular Aningaaq via radio, however with Aningaaq not speaking English and Stone not speaking Greenlandic he the two can not easily communicate and he cannot understand her cries for helping assuming her name is “Mayday” as she cries out “Mayday! Mayday!” for help.
Although with a bigger budget than ours the short seems fairly simple, there are very few props used and the location is bare. It’s focused on characters and the conversation between them, this is where a really strong script comes into play as vital to a short film.
It’s also important to note how the excellent use of sound (taking it’s lead from the sound design in Gravity works) as it occasionally mutes everything else out so only a solitary voice is audible. It’s an excellent short that comes together to be more than the sum of it’s parts.
However, it does to a degree rely on the audience, if you haven’t seen Gravity this will seem to be boring or unnecessary but it’s interesting how stories can be carried on through the medium of short films, enhancing the experience for the audience.

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Some Static Started

This is a great short film that’s a brilliant showcase of visual style. The aesthetic of the short is really good, it feels close and sweaty like it looks in the film. It’s also an impressive example of what can be done in the spaces you have, the short is only shot in a few locations, for an 8 minute short that’s quite impressive especially considering the size of the rooms, they seem like quite small, cramped rooms but that adds to the overall feel of the film.

The film itself is an excellent example of a short building tension and atmosphere, it’s a creepy, slightly torturous film at times in how it doesn’t spoon feed you everything. The acting is some of the best I’ve seen in the short films I’ve looked at and as some of the other were, this as much as any was an example of how actors can double the effect your film has on an audience, without the actors in this film I feel you have a lack of tension and atmosphere that other actors would’ve been able to create but the chances of finding those actors would most likely not be particularly high.

The props used are perfect for the film and the blood effects look really great. One of the most impressive, ambitious short films I’ve seen that is as chilling as any I’ve seen.

The actor sat in the white shirt talking was excellent, the pick of a really good group but the moment that sticks in my mind is when she peeks round the door frame and starts to scream with the audio being cut completely, this was a really good technical device to use. I thought that was really stunning in way that fits the film, shockingly stunning.

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Maybe One Day

This is a really nice short film about a man who escapes his boring life in the real world and goes on an adventure all in the space of one day. It’s similar to our short film idea as the events of the short all happen in the space of a day. The short film could provide a good point for us to use to improve and mould our short film. Although we intend for our short to have a very different feel, tone and plot it’s a great way for us to make a good short film by looking at mildly and extremely similar and dissimilar shorts.

I think this short shows the importance of a good actor. The voice and expressions are great and with so little he does so much. Seeing only his front and back from just below the shoulders and still keeping the audience gripped is no mean feat. I think the relatability of the protagonist makes him so watchable and the fact he is so normal. He could be you, me, the guy sat to your right, that’s what I think makes this short so watchable. I think it’s also important to mention the music, a really nice use which we would do well to get such a successful accompaniment to our film.

Last year we tried to use the equipment similar to this, it allows for some great shots and suits this short exceptionally well, it’s inspiration for me and Chris to experiment and try new equipment instead of just using a standard tripod etc.

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Job Street

Job Street is a short focused on the idea of immigrants and the struggle to live and work in England.

Although the film is nicely shot I felt the end product to be a little bit preachy. It was too much for me and I got bored quickly. I feel the message it spreads is of great importance but I’m not quite sure you can properly convey all of what’s going on in 10 minutes, it’s a far bigger, more important issue than that.

The acting was very good and the short does well to represent a range of immigrants and to show what each one if going through but to really have an emotional bond and to feel for these characters I feel we need to establish more of a relationship. I believe the short was intended to make you feel sad but I didn’t particularly. It was just too in your face for my liking.

Visually, a good short and the split narrative design works well however I don’t believe this is the right format to show such a huge issue.

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Goodbye Mr Snuggles

Goodbye Mr Snuggles is a short film starring James Fox and Robert Hardy. It’s a quirky tale that totally juxtapositions two types of people, the crazy clown and the old gentleman out for a lesisurely afternoon. We aim to jextapose at some point in our short as we believe it can be a great narrative technique to surprise the audience.

The film has some nice shots and looks great, the locations are superb as are the props used. The story, although paper thin, isn’t that interesting but it keeps the audience hooked, the characters do enough to keep hold of our attention here and the slightly surprising ending was a nice surprise. This shows that paying as much attention to the characters as we do to the story is vitally important.

A very good short in my opinion.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is a really good short story about a man who’s going through his daily life and the events that are happening are imagined in his head differently such as when his wife is talking to him, it’s sometime and Army Commander instead. I think this has great cinematic value and we could look to use some of the ideas in this short story and adapt them to our story.

The short story is soon to be released as an adaptation written, starring and directed by Ben Stiller. I think this is a really good example of how to write a short story and we can use it to guide us when we are writing ours and the use of dialogue is great! I highly enjoyed this short story and would love to read a novel, watch a short film or a feature length film based on this as is the magnitude of it’s appeal. As a film this would take a far bigger budget than we could even dream of but some of the ideas are priceless and inexpensive such as the juxtaposition of characters from wife to army commander.

I already posted about the film trailer but I felt the short story was so good, almost special in comparison to lot of short stories I’ve read that I felt I needed to post about it separately.

To see read the short story please click either the title of the post or use the link here: http://bnrg.eecs.berkeley.edu/~randy/mitty.html

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Trailer

Although only a trailer I felt this was the best place to put it as the feature length film is an adaptation of a short story, we focused of short stories when writing the plots of our short film and this allowed us to script with an already vivid idea of the story in our heads.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a feature length film directed by and starring Ben Stiller which is due for release in late December 2013. The short is based on a short story by James Thurber in 1939 (here is the full short story http://bnrg.eecs.berkeley.edu/~randy/mitty.html) and although neither are in the format we’re researching the trailer seems to have the same feel as what we want to evoke but with a slight increase in comedic appeal. I feel when writing our script and story the short story could be useful.

Obviously the film has a far higher budget than we could ever dream of but some of the ideas are interesting and similar to ours such as the almost lonely looking protagonist, a love interest and different genres pressing on throughout. The visual style is excellent and the quirky feel would probably benefit our short story. I believe we can look to this for inspiration.

I think the use of music is very nice however it’s not quite what we want but it’s good to see if that doesn’t work we could just use a single track or have multiple songs that aren’t entirely genre specific.

The trailer also looks to show how key actors are, of course we couldn’t dream of getting Ben Stiller in our short but it’s important to note how important they are.

I also need to point out that obviously this is totally different to what we have to make and we won’t be making a trailer or full length feature but a short film.

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Tom Atos’ Dinner Date (He Said, She Said)

This is a Prezi presentation focusing on Tom Atos and his short film Dinner Date. Tom Atos is an experienced short film maker with many credits to his name and over 12 years in the business he has made music videos and a feature length film, he also helps other budding filmmakers with his online tutorials.

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The Punisher: Dirty Laundry

During my research I found this short film, I really liked this short film as the action was really neat and I felt it was a nice play on the character, “The Punisher”. The narrative is basic and the characters are simple but it’s very effective and popular with fans of the character. It was held in a far higher regard than the feature length films. This, like Right Place, is essentially a story about a loner and in the character of Frank Castle we have a hero to get behind and to side with even though The Punisher is more of an anti-hero! This is a very explicit example of the action genre of short films, the violence and gore is excessive and the swearing is frequent however as this may work for some people it can also alienate some audiences who may be unable to enjoy the film because of it. There are flashes of other genres in this as there is some comedy for example after he beats up the gang he just goes and sits down by his laundry again.

It’s neatly shot and the use of close ups is great allowing all the emotion to be registered by the audience and taken in. The use of location and props also adds to the feel and atmosphere of the short, this clearly had a sizeable budget due to the actors featured (Thomas Jane as the titular Punisher and Ron Perlman as the shop owner adding extra dramatic weight to the film. The effects are also done quite professionally which would be difficult for us on such a small budget. Still a great example of a short film that’s a little longer than most and it’s interesting to see how different genres deal with story and how the genres crossover as they very briefly do.

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RIGHT PLACE

Right Place is a Japanese short film from 2005 that was written and directed by Kosai Sekine.
This is the short film I chose to present to the group and I will later post some conventions of the short films and us examples of the other short films I’ve seen.

The story focuses on a lonely soul seemingly unable to find his way in life until the end of the video. The character suffers from OCD and ends up working in a bonesetter after being fired from his job. The filming uses mostly close ups to show emotion and this allows us to see how the protagonist is feeling with minimal dialogue. The first piece of dialogue occurs just after he is fired, about 4/5 through the short.

It’s an interesting short with the message of “everyone has a right place”, it’s just about finding it.

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Here’s a page for all of my posts about the short films I’ve found during my research.

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