Short Films

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Melvin Butterworth
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Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:41 pm

The short form offers avenues for up and comers, avenues for experimentation, and economic story-telling. From the flash-fiction of a TV ad to the shorty story style of a twenty-minute segment, these are worthy literary artifacts that range from the rough to the polished, the Burlesque gag to a profound moment held in suspension.

Here is a fun one.



The short film is also a formal aspect of long-form films. Sometimes they're epigraphs or prologues or subtext or Mise en abyme

The opening bit from A Serious Man is a great example.



Where does the "Indianapolis speech" from JAWS fit in? It is both part of the story and apart from it. It is not a break from the film like some sepia-toned flashback or cartoon dream-sequence. It is very much in the world of the story and yet is also a self-contained story. If all you saw of JAWS was this scene, you would still find it complete and rewarding. Where does the opening monologue from Fellowship of the Ring fit in? If any chunk of exposition should or could have collapsed under its own weight, the opening for Fellowship of the Ring certainly certainly risked it. But it worked and it quite effectively inserts us into Middle Earth.

And let's not forget about the gimmicky but fun TV ads that put Anthony Stewart Head on the map (the man who would become Giles on Buffy).



This is a gag that would be serialized.



A simple gimmick, but it made moms lean in to watch coffee ads. And the gag still works today

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Stu
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Re: Short Films

Post by Stu » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:29 am

Did you ever watch this freaky thing, Melvin?:

Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:08 am

Stu wrote:Did you ever watch this freaky thing, Melvin?:
Cold and sterile, but also violent and menacing. I like it.
Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:21 am

Sci-fi, horror, and comedy, seem to be the Holy Trinity of short form film.

Here is an old favorite that falls into light horror.

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Popcorn Reviews
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Re: Short Films

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:24 pm

I know I've mentioned Crypt TV before, but fuck it, I'm doing it again.




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Thief
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Re: Short Films

Post by Thief » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:27 pm

I think I shared this one before, but it's a pretty simple-yet-effective short...



Also, we've surely beaten this enough on my thread, but for anyone that hasn't ventured there...



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Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:40 am

The Curve was great. Nice and simple.

Here's one that could've been in Heavy Metal

Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:20 am

Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:14 am

Not a short film, but fiction using established character in a sort of bizarre apologia and/or death rattle...

ThatDarnMKS
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Re: Short Films

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:44 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:Not a short film, but fiction using established character in a sort of bizarre apologia and/or death rattle...

Who would have thought the guy that made a living playing characters living villainous double lives with not only have a villainous double life but decide to live his life as a villain he played with a double life to justify the double life he's...

2018. Whimper and bang at the same time.
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Thief
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Re: Short Films

Post by Thief » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:33 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this foreign Christmas film called Rare Exports, so I tracked down the two short films that inspired it. They are better than the film.

Rare Exports, Inc. (2003)

Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions (2005)
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Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:26 pm

Thief wrote:A couple of weeks ago, I saw this foreign Christmas film called Rare Exports, so I tracked down the two short films that inspired it. They are better than the film.

Rare Exports, Inc. (2003)

Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions (2005)
Those are great, but I entirely understand why it would be difficult to sustain the premise for an entire film. I think of those SNL skits that kill the humor by dragging things out too long or the Addams Family, which works well as a newspaper cartoon, but is rather agonizing as a feature film.

On the other hand, Troll Hunter is in the space of this short and they pull it off. The difference here, I think, is that Rare Imports Inc. is framed as faux promotional videos, which are short by nature. It's already straining in terms of genre in order to create the atmosphere (our narrator sounds more like a Morgan Freeman omniscient story teller than a marketer selling a product, the music feels like a fairy tale, the messaging frays at itself a bit -- "We're making this video, because you didn't listen," fast forward to the end "We trust you." It's wonderful because it is so damned weird, but can the novelty and fun be sustained for a feature length film? Would this work if we had our narrator/marketer yakking at us for 90 minutes? Take the narrator out, however, and now this is a different animal.
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Torgo
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Re: Short Films

Post by Torgo » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:03 pm

I saw this animated short film at a festival many years ago and it still haunts me.
It's a bit heavy-handed, but you have to admire its gumption:

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Thief
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Re: Short Films

Post by Thief » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:18 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Those are great, but I entirely understand why it would be difficult to sustain the premise for an entire film. I think of those SNL skits that kill the humor by dragging things out too long or the Addams Family, which works well as a newspaper cartoon, but is rather agonizing as a feature film.

On the other hand, Troll Hunter is in the space of this short and they pull it off. The difference here, I think, is that Rare Imports Inc. is framed as faux promotional videos, which are short by nature. It's already straining in terms of genre in order to create the atmosphere (our narrator sounds more like a Morgan Freeman omniscient story teller than a marketer selling a product, the music feels like a fairy tale, the messaging frays at itself a bit -- "We're making this video, because you didn't listen," fast forward to the end "We trust you." It's wonderful because it is so damned weird, but can the novelty and fun be sustained for a feature length film? Would this work if we had our narrator/marketer yakking at us for 90 minutes? Take the narrator out, however, and now this is a different animal.
Yeah, I saw the film before I even knew about the short films, so watching how the film plot segues into what the short films present was a bit rough and clunky. They either needed to polish that transition, or stick to either side of the fence (whether it is the semi-realistic horror/fantasy realm where they started, or the meta approach of the tele-marketing tone they started in the short films).
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Melvin Butterworth
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Re: Short Films

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:05 am



The short that had such good production value that the party ended for Star Trek fan fics. Well, that and the dubious financial set-up used to profit from what was allegedly a tribute fan fic. It's basically a faux "history channel" style mocumentary with character interviews narrating over special effects, but it basically works and of all the non-official works, this is the slickest and best looking of the bunch.
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