We've received a pile of horror shorts for review lately (which we love, thanks!) and the bulk of them are absolutely amazing. As the industry progresses, I think we're going to see a bigger demand for short films in the near future, as there's a lot they have going for them. First off, from the filmmaker's perspective, shorts take less time to make, they're easier to put together and they're also easier to get into festivals and, therefore, win awards and build up your resume. Now, from the viewers perspective, our rotted MTV/Youtube minds can only process so much and we all have A.D.D. So, the short film is easily consumed and doesn't waste much of that valuable time. Further to all that, there are more and more ways to distribute your short film now, especially if all you're looking for is an audience and some recognition. So, if I've convinced you to go out and make a horror short and you want to know what to do now, let's take a look at what Alex Masterson did with "Mr. Video".
Alex Masterson's local video store was closing down due to having to compete with DVD piracy and internet downloading, so he decided to do something about it... well, in a round about way. It motivated him to go out and make the award winning horror short, "Mr. Video", which screened at 15 festivals and won Best Short Film at HauntCon Film Fest, 2nd Place at the 2007 Silver Screams Film Festival and received an Honorable Mention at the 2008 Indie Short Film Festival... It was shot on a Sony 300 XDCAM over a five-day-night shoot and was done on a micro-budget. I spoke with Masterson about the film, asking him why, with the cost of making indie movies so low, he set out to make a short instead of a feature, to which he replied that he "intentionally wanted to make a fifteen minute short film as a prelude to one day directing a feature film, which is roughly six or seven more fifteen minute segments... (and that) to go out and shoot a feature without making at least a few shorts first is kind of stupid, not to mention disrespectful to the art of directing." As for how the film turned out? It's violent without being gory, an artistic decision that Masterson opted for. It's well acted, having found his actors through a combination of auditioning, recommendations and actors he's worked with before and, lastly, having seen it, I can tell you it's a sharp, well put together film that's entertaining, has a point, makes it and delivers on all fronts. The film will be included in an upcoming AAAAAH! Indie Horror Hits DVD (A company that we've covered many times, which splits profits with filmmakers) and Masterson has just finished shooting a short two minute horror film which he wrote and directed, called "Log 159". He's also recently finished writing a low-budget British feature film script, which he hopes to direct in the next couple of years...
Having seen lots of shorts, I can say that some are stand alone films, some are more like trailers and some are used as teasers to gain interest in developing that particular idea into a feature. However, festivals will take all of them, depending on the festival, I guess. Either way, I'm going to slowly get through reviewing and talking about all the shorts we've seen over the next few weeks, but I'm going to start with these next three. Brad reviewed them, so take it away Brad...
"Gay Zombie", written and directed by Michael Simon: Talk about a title that will grab your attention... This is a short flick about a zombie who 'comes out' and struggles to fit in with the human world while he pursues real love. 'Gay Zombie' is a lighthearted, humorous movie which features a clever opening where a shrink tells the main zombie that he must learn how to deal with the fact that he's gay. 'Gay Zombie' has impressively been the official selection of over 60 festivals worldwide. For more info, check out www.gayzombie.net
"Lily", written and directed by Daniel Boneville: Man, is this flick f'ed up. But in a really artistic way. The screener contains the following quote from Oliver Stone, 'In a boldly surreal film, Daniel Boneville confidently directs the actors, the camera, and the story, while showing his potential as a fine, young director.' Agreed. It definitely will stick around in your mind for awhile after you watch it. However, I must admit that I had no idea what was going on after the first five minutes, which leads me to add the following disclaimer: Dead Harvey recommends not to do hard drugs and watch this flick, for reasons not necessary to explain. For more info, you can check out Boneville's website at: www.myspace.com/lilythemovie
"Creepers", written and directed by Nick Thiel: 'Creepers' is a spin on what I call the 'two people, one room' movie. In other words, a movie where most of the flick revolves around a few central characters and a few simple locations, which is actually a very good way to make a low-budget movie. In, 'Creepers' the s hits the fan and the end of the world begins. Zombies run around slaying everyone in sight, as a man and woman hole up in an apartment and try and wait things out... all the while, they become paranoid and don't know who to trust. For more info, check out the, 'Creepers' myspace site at: www.myspace.com/beparanoid
Like I said, there's more to get through and I'll posting something on them soon...
I saw Lily this weekend at a film festival. At the end, the 5 of us in the room all had no idea what the hell it was about. Visually, it was stunning. But plot? What the hell was going on?
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