Saturday, September 10, 2016

Film Festival Promos

Film Festivals will often commission short films to be used for purposes such as promotional trailers. These films tend to be both extremely short (often with run times of less than a minute) and quite inventive. Here are five that I like.

First up are two trailers from the Raindance Film Festival.

The Raindance Film Festival in London is the largest and most important independent film festival in the United Kingdom. Raindance showcases features, shorts, and music videos by filmmakers from the UK and around the world.

Raindance Trailer 2006

"Daughter" is a quirky little film from Japan with a great tag line at the end.

Raindance Trailer 2013

This trailer is the longest film in this set (run time 1:45), and is one of the funniest short films I've seen.

Next we have three films produced by Gobelins for the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. These films open the daily screening during the festival (a different film is used each day). The Annecy Festival, held in Annecy, France, is the world's top reference for animation films.

Annecy Opener 2007

"Keep Walking" uses a variety of art & animation styles to celebrate the simple act of walking.

Annecy Opener 2011

"Jazzin'" features an energetic 1930's-era jazz dancer.

Annecy Opener 2014

"Hors champ" is unusual in that it is a dark, bleak film... something that is difficult to do convincingly with a run time of less than a minute. The film concerns a cameraman who is filming on the front lines of World War I. (Advisory: graphic violence)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Exploring the World of Short Films

As an art form, the short film has long suffered from a lack of exposure to the general public. They are too short to be shown in movie theaters (outside of the occasional anthology film that collects several short films into a full-length movie), and their varying running times makes it difficult to work them into a TV schedule.

With the advent of video sharing sites such as YouTube this all changed. Short films now have a platform that makes them easily available on a world-wide basis. And, because many short films are not created as commercial products, producers are often eager to post their creations online. The result is that there are literally thousands of short films now legally available for online viewing.

In this blog I'll be sharing some of the short films that I've enjoyed. I won't claim that any of these films are the "best" in any sense, but I do hope that people will find them interesting. I thought I would start off by presenting my current favorite short films in four separate categories: hand-drawn animation, computer-generated animation, live action, and music video.

Out of Sight (2010)

This wonderful and charming film was a graduation project created by three students at the National Taiwan University of Arts. They brilliantly used hand-drawn animation to depict how a blind child perceives the world around her, and how her imagination envisions that world.

More information about this film:

Nebula (2014)

This computer-generated animation tells the story of an unlikely meeting. The musical soundtrack is particularly well done. The film was created at the famous French visual arts school Gobelins L'école de L'Image (Gobelins, the school of visual communication).

More information about this film:

Lila (2014)

This beautiful and creative live-action film by Carlos Lascano is about an artist with a vivid imagination, who can find the inspiration for her art almost anywhere. I dare you watch this film without smiling at least once... (I don't think it's possible).

More information about this film:

Tiny-G - Minimanimo (2013)

This upbeat and energetic music video comes from the South Korean pop group Tiny-G. Tiny-G had an unusual premise for a pop music group: all of the girls were quite short (I believe that the tallest was only 5 ft 2 in tall)! Weird premise notwithstanding, these girls made good music, but sadly were only active for about three years and only released a handful of songs.

Most of this song is sung in Korean, but if you listen closely you'll hear a few phrases in English. This is fairly common in both Korean and Japanese pop music, as both countries have a fascination with the English language.

English lyrics for this song: