Month: February 2014

Signs

Signs is an example of a story that’s completely visual. There is no dialogue other than what you occasionally hear  in the background. The story that’s a big lacking. It’s pretty predictable, and the characters don’t seem too believable. That being said though, the concept is still pretty interesting. So much in fact that it appears Disney stole it for their Academy Award winning animated short “Paperman”. It’s ok though, the director of Signs has gone on to bigger things. He actually directed the action flick “The Expendables 3”.

3.5/5

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Old West

Old West opens with a wide shot of a western(Texas?) landscape immediately followed by a close-up of a match lighting a pipe, setting the visual mood for the film. Nearly every shot in this is impressive, the wide ones, the close up of faces, the pans, and the zoom ins. There’s definitely a Sergio Leone influence here. The plot is nothing new, it’s pretty straight forward and simple, along with the characters and dialogue. That’s not what matters here, what is to be noted is the fact that there’s enough emotion(a lot of it visual) in each scene to keep your attention throughout the 18 minute run time.

3.5/5

Sure Thing

Sure Thing is one of the most unique shorts you’ll find. For starers it’s an adaptation of a short play. This means the great writing comes as an automatic, but by no means did the director  just sit back and rest on that. Everything about the cinematography of Sure Thing is excellent. The handling of the cuts, the choice of making it black and white, the timing of the closeups, the splitscreen, the lighting, even the location of the characters in the room that they’re in. To put it into perspective, I’ve seen other adaptations of this short play and none of them even come close in quality to this one. In fact it’s hard to imagine that it can be done any better.

 

5/5

The Laundromat

From the beginning the score of The Laundromat does a nice job of setting a relaxed mood, while the camera and even the initial character on screen does a good job of complimenting it. It makes you feel as if you’re there in the scene without a care in the world. The story revolves around a nice simple “plot twist” that has an interesting premise. The writing is good and characters are so believable that you’ll probably find yourself laughing uncomfortably at the same time that they do.

No technical hiccups, quick easy dialogue,  interesting characters, and good directing. There’s not one dull moment in the 6:37 that it clocks in at. This is how you make a short film and The Laundromat manages to make it look easy. 

5/5

Closed Doors

Closed Doors is a thriller that does the genre justice from beginning to end. The cinematography is impressive, right from the start it gives you the feeling of being trapped in a dark corner with the characters. Also while lighting and shadows are generally only given great care in film noir’s, they’re very important  in Closed Doors. The suspense is handled nicely and there’s even an impressive fight scene(physical struggle is more accurate). If you’re looking to make a small budget short thriller, Closed Doors will not only inspire you, but it’ll give you a thing or two to learn.

4/5

Definitely Maybe

 

Definitely Maybe is an example of how not to make a short film. The plot isn’t original which is fine, but on top of that it’s boring and unconvincing. The directing is really bad, scenes are extremely tedious and are a drag to sit through. Watching Definitely Maybe is like watching a 3 hour silent film. Even if you do make it to the end, you’re bound to not care what the outcome is. The only positive is that there are no hiccups in the technical aspects of it.

1/5