Blog Assignment #2: 5 Short Films


What makes a good short film? What types of stories and characters can be captured in this short format?

Please view at least 5 Short Films over the next week and take notes using the format below. Find quality short films... like Oscar Nominated Shorts, and other award winning short films. View others you find on the web. Be selective. Join Vimeo to help you start a list of your favorites. If possible, find works that relate somehow to your own creative work, as inspiration for a technique or look you hope to achieve. Try to use films that are longer than one minute and shorter than 15 minutes (though the definition of a short film may vary).

Make notes on your favorite shorts, type your reflection and post to the blog once you have viewed 5 shorts. Your blog must note all of this info for each film (some of this info can be found online and pasted into your reflection):

Run time:
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis:
Visual strengths:
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music:

See links to Short films...


Title: Without You
Year: 2013
Director: Nick Rutter
Run time: 3:48
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Technically a music video, the film follows a relationship between a woman and a man in a gimp suit.
Characters: Focused on the woman and the man. Only other characters who appear more than once are the woman’s parents.
Visual strengths: Weird angles and slowed movement.
Use of Light / Color: This films visual strength lies with its dark palette and limited lighting. Outside of the shower scenes, the entire film plays out in a not well-lit fashion akin to dusk, which one of the scenes takes place in.
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: Given that it is a music video, the one song that plays over the whole film is practically necessary for the film to work the way it does, or at least in its more emotional scenes.

Title: Volans
Year: 2014
Director: Murat Sayginer
Run time: 2:32
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Volans is a surrealist film that serves more as visual spectacle than any sort of narrative.
Location: Completely CG
Characters: A flying fish and 3 floating heads.
Visual strengths: Volans is bright and vibrant. It carries a sort of electronic look, not strictly from the CG but many particle effects and a scene that seems straight out of 2001.
Use of Light / Color: Bold and striking colors dominate the film. Every important piece is illuminated in glowing light.
Digital techniques: The entire film was animated on a computer.
Use of Sound / Music: One single song plays over the whole piece and serves as to direct the action on screen. The song is appropriately techno.

Title: A Well Gnome Fugitive
Year: 2010
Director: Grant Babbitt
Run time: 6:08
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Ned the Gnome, a notorious serial killer, escapes prison to hunt down the brother that turned him in.
Location: Ends up in Lawrence, Kansas
Characters: Ted Gnome, Ned the Gnome, Kip Knooven, prostitute, escaped prisoner
Visual strengths: Clever use of angles, mainly involving over-the-shoulder perspective shots of the gnome and trying to catch the TV in many shots.
Use of Light / Color: The film is shot rather standard manner, though not badly.
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: Suspenseful build-up and musical stings work for their comedic effect. The scurrying sound of the gnome when off screen is also well done.

Title: Ruin
Year: 2012
Director: Wes Ball
Run time: 8:29
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic ruined city, a man makes an important discovery that he must escape with.
Characters: Man, drones.
Visual strengths: The film is fully animated and uses it to its full advantage. Opening on some great cityscape shots of a ruined downtown, the film both has a desolate atmosphere (particularly in an after credits scene) and serves as a great action set piece.
Use of Light / Color: Desert browns dominate most of the film, which is fitting. One great scene in particular involves remote drones that keep afloat by what look like machine gun fire chasing the man through a pitch black tunnel.
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: The music is appropriate if unremarkable. Some of the sound design from existing things came off a little muted, but the Sci-Fi elements all had a cool design that would benefit from a better sound system than my headphones.

Title: Year Zero
Year: 2011
Director: Mischa Rozema and Si Scott
Run time: 6:22
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A surreal slice of dystopian future life.
Characters: 2 men and a woman
Visual strengths: Another dark film, this one dystopian in nature. Weird and unique visuals are present, from ominous cables protruding from policemen to sharp, grey rocks growing over human flesh. My favorite is a distant shot of buildings being pulled apart and the pieces flying into the sky while a man nonchalantly walks in the foreground.
Use of Light / Color: Greys and blacks seem to be the extent of the palette used for this film, though objects and characters and made distinct enough to tell them apart.
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: The music sounds like standard fare for this sort of dystopian film and the other uses of sound often take a backseat. However, there are certain sounds that give off a very “digital” feel to the film.

Title: Dr. Easy
Year: 2013
Director: Jason Groves, Richard Kenworthy and Christopher Harding
Run time: 9:40
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: Michael is a broken man with a gun. He is surrounded by armed police. A robot with medical training is dispatched to negotiate – but can it save him?
Location: ?
Characters: Michael and Robot
Visual strengths: The visual effects are very well done, and the low lighting add to the dark concept of the story.
Use of Light / Color: Very dark, The blue color of the robot’s eyes are symbolize the cold and lifelessness of the robot.
Digital techniques: CGI robot
Use of Sound / Music: It is very quiet which adds to the intensity of the situation.

Title: The Raven
Year: 2010
Director: Ricardo de Montreuil
Run time: 6:08
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: Chris Black possesses a power that could lead to the destruction of the current regime, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him.
The chase is on as Chris runs for his life in this sci-fi thriller set in an alternate and futuristic Los Angeles.
Location: Los Angeles
Characters: Chris Black
Visual strengths: Good CGI effects for a low budget film. The setting is very believable. High contrast gives it a very gritty feel.
Use of Light / Color: High contrast lighting and unsaturated colors give it a very cold feeling
Digital techniques: CGI and lens flares
Use of Sound / Music: Orchestral music add to the intensity of the film.

Title: …Like Clockwork
Year: 2013
Director: Liam Brazier
Run time: 15:21
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: A short film created as a music video for the album ..Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age that is an animated representation of 5 of the tracks ("I Appear Missing", "Kalopsia", "If I Had a Tail", "Keep Your Eyes Peeled", and "My God Is the Sun").
Location: n/a
Characters: Various characters created by the artist Boneface.
Visual strengths: Excellent artwork animated with keyframe animation
Use of Light / Color: Dark colors, mixed with yellows reds and blues. A lot of textured surfaces.
Digital techniques: Animated still images.
Use of Sound / Music: The film really fits well with the bands music. The characters and storylines change between each track.

Title: 9 (Short Film)
Year: 2005
Director: Shane Acker
Run time: 10:38
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: 9 is a sentient rag doll who appears to be the last of his kind, living in the ruins of a decaying, post-apocalyptic Earth.
Location: N/A
Characters: 9, 5, the Cat Beast
Visual strengths: Very strong 3D animation, with a lot of textures.
Use of Light / Color: Dark colors, gritty textures, earth tones, and bright green lights.
Digital techniques: 3D animation
Use of Sound / Music: Quiet, creaking, and metallic dings, very subtle background music.

Title: Soft
Year: 2006
Director: Simon Ellis
Run time: 14:09
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: When a father and son are independently terrorised by the same gang of youths, Dad is forced to deal with fears that he hasn't had to face since leaving school, rediscovering his fear of confrontation at the worst possible time.
Location: United Kingdom
Characters: Iain, and Scott
Visual strengths: Using a cell phone camera to show how the gang records their antics. Realistic violence.
Use of Light / Color: Standard use of light and color, It doesn't distract from telling the story.
Digital techniques: Film camera and cell phone camera.
Use of Sound / Music: Natural sounds place you in the scene.

1. Title: Dig
Year: 2013
Director: Toby Halbrooks
Run time:
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: “A young girl watches her father dig a hole in their backyard. Mystified about his purpose, the neighborhood comes to watch.”
Location: In a backyard somewhere in America
Characters: Little girl, her dad, her mother, police, neighborhood children
Visual strengths: Great colorful compositions, pace is moderate and it gives us time to think and adds humor to the piece
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques: Used a lot of bright natural lighting, mostly filmed outside.
Use of Sound / Music: Light guitar in the beginning with a mix of neighborhood sounds

2. Title: The Big House
Year: 2013
Director: Musa Syeed
Run time:
5 min
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: “When a young Yemeni boy ventures out of his cramped apartment and finds a key to the empty mansion down the street, he lets himself and his imagination run wild in the big house.”
Location: Yemeni Republic
Characters: Young boy, woman shouting
Visual strengths: shots are close ups and follow the boy as he is exploring, making us feel like we right behind him
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques: Seems like a lot of natural sunlight, some rooms were dimmer than others
Use of Sound / Music: the boy speaks throughout the short, there’s a little soft background music at times and there were a few sounds of people on television protesting, which connected his story to the underlying political message of the short.

3. Title: The Gift
Year: 2012
Director: Carl E. Rinsch
Run time:
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A old man comes knocking on a door and presents a gift to the owner of the mansion. Once the box is opened, the visitor kills the man and tries to run away with the box, but gets hit by a car. A robot finds the box and throws it into a river, where a young boy discovers it later.
Location: Moscow, Russia
Characters: Gift-giver, Mansion owner, Mansion owner’s wife and children, Robot and young boy
Visual strengths: The way it was filmed always kept you guessing, lots of over-the-shoulder shots and focused on facial expressions
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques: sterile, bright and cold lighting creates an environment that seems harsh and disconcerting
Use of Sound / Music: there are lots of hard to define mechanical sounds, and subtle, but eerie music

4. Title: Apricot
Year: 2013
Director: Ben Briand
Run time:
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Two strangers meet at a café. The man asks her questions about her first love and starts documenting her words. When she realizing that he is taking down her memorizes, she confronts him and realizes that he is the boy whom she shared her first kiss with.
Location: At a cafe somewhere in the UK
Characters: young woman, young man, boy and girl and other neighborhood children
Visual strengths: Nice use of blurring and snapping into focuses, especially during memory scenes.
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques: dim lighting with soft shadows are used to set a romantic mood for the cafe scene and similar lighting is used in memories, which connects them
Use of Sound / Music: café noises, wind noises and soft violin music are used to separate the memory sequences

5. Title: Le Miroir
Year: 2013
Director: Antoine Tinguely et Laurent Fauchère
Run time:
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A boy grows into an old man. We watch his progress through his morning routine.
Location: In a bathroom
Characters: Boy who grows into a man, his lover and his baby
Visual strengths: Filmed as if through his eyes, really interesting perspective. Story is told through the reflection in the mirror and everything that is happening behind him.
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques: fluoresce lighting with shadows creates a space that seems grimy
Use of Sound / Music: There are many sounds from breathing to music and they change drastically in volume. Bathroom noises are loud depending on how close they are to the camera. Since we are seeing things from his perspective, there are times that it feels like we are creating the noises, especially when he is brushing his teeth.

Title: Sofles, Limitless
Year: 2013
Selina Miles
Run time: 5:11
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: ‘Four graffiti artists, Sofles, Fintan Magee, Treas, and Quench, cover warehouse right before demolition in Brisbane. Selina Miles shoots time-lapse of the seemly unlimited amount of paint.’
Brisbane, Australia
Characters: Sofles, Fintan Magee, Treas, and Quench; art
Visual strengths: bright colors, fast pasted, tons of movement, interesting movement.
Use of Light / Color:
warehouse lights- florescent possibly, lights brought in, tons of colors from paints used to create the art
Digital techniques: stop motion, time-lapse
Use of Sound / Music: DJ Butcher

Title: Happy
Year: 2013
Pharrell Williams
Run time: 4 minutes each, 24 hours long
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: “The world’s first 24 hour music video.” Four minute long music video of a person dancing/miming to “happy” and it’s cut so each part of the day is someone dancing in that particular time. Pharrell appears 24 times along with other celebrities.
Miami, Florida
Characters: Pharrell Williams, various people, Odd Future, Steve Carelle, Jamie Foxx, Magic Johnson, and Jimmy Kimmel to name a few.
Visual strengths: all natural light- takes you though a story through out the day or takes you to that particular time of night
Use of Light / Color:
light pastels a lot, natural ‘surfer coastal’ warm colors.. “happy colors”
Digital techniques: one cut of a dance and a transition to the next person dancing with the song on repeat
Use of Sound / Music: Pharrell Williams

Title: Into the Mind
Year: 2013
 Dave Mossop, Eric Crosland, JP Auclair, Malcolm Sangster, Sherpas Cinema
Run time: 3:37
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Skier attempts to climb and ski a mountains. The video has great story telling with high energy and expresses risk of rising to challenges.
Location: “Alaska, Bolivia, the Himalaya, and beyond.”

Visual strengths: high energy, long shots, beautiful landscapes
Use of Light / Color:
natural colors on crystal clear days
Digital techniques: long shots (air shots), GoPro shots
Use of Sound / Music: Fred Paragano, Paragan Studios

Title: Variables with Kimi Werner
Year: 2013
Run time: 4:45
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Kimi Warner shows her love and understanding of nature by hunting. She rides the back fin of a great white shark.
 “On an island”
Characters: Kimi Werner
Visual strengths: Under water shots, beautiful colors, high contrast
Use of Light / Color:
natural colors
Digital techniques: GoPro shots
Use of Sound / Music: Patagonia

Title: The Burn
Year: 2013
Director: Mike Douglas, Jeff Thomas, Switch back Entertainment
Run time: 6:15
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Mountains experience fires that burn trees to the ground, which clear new lines for skiers whom burn the mountain in a different season.
Characters: unknown
Visual strengths: visual effects, fast pasts
Use of Light / Color:
natural winter colors, white light
Digital techniques: GoPro, long shots
Use of Sound / Music: Narrations and “Young Men Dead” by The Black Angels from the album Passover

Title: Stairway to Light
Year: 1945
Director: Charles Salerno
Run time: 9:55
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Philip Pinel (doctor) was given a position at a mental institute, views on mental illness were different back then then they are now. They thought the insane were “wild animals to be held in a zoo.” Philip helped a lot of them get out of the institute, he thought they were healing them. However, the citizens thought otherwise, they thought that he was letting crazy people out on the street and people tried to beat him to death, but they failed. He lectured throughout Europe and became famous.
Location: France, around the start of the 19th century/end of 18th century.
Characters: Philip (doctor), Hector the French sea captain that killed a guard.
Visual strengths: The composition of the frames isn't anything too out there, it's pretty straight forward, however, the use of light in combination with the composition still provided visually interesting scenes. I thought there was a good variety of close, medium, and long range shots, which kept the visual part of the film interesting.
Use of Light / Color: There isn't any color, it's a black and white film. The light is very direct and harsh
Digital techniques: The film was created long before digital stuff was in use.
Use of Sound / Music: The music fits the time period, it's really loud and dramatic, it seems to be what the style was at the time. Music plays constantly in the background, which seems to be an attempt to put the viewer in a certain mood.

Title: 3x3
Year: 2010
Director: Nuno Rocha
Run time: 5:50
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Janitor does the math to figure out how to make a basket in basketball, does it and makes half court shots easily, then challenges the smug security guard to a game of basketball. They don't show them actually playing though.
Location: Looks like a high school gym.
Characters: Security guard and janitor
Visual strengths: I liked that a lot of the film was shot as if a third person as there watching what was happening.
Use of Light / Color: The lighting seemed to be really consistent of what you would expect in both a gym and a security tape room. There didn't appear to be anything or much of anything beyond that.
Digital techniques: There wasn't any visual effects done in the film, it was very straight forward shooting and realistic. It didn't seem like there was much if any manipulation.
Use of Sound / Music: It was a silent film, so the use of music really set the tone of the film.

Title: Snap
Year: 2006
Director: Manolo Celi
Run time: 4:38
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Guy taking pictures of family decides to run away with their camera. The dad chases him and the guy that took it takes pictures of him while he's running away with the camera. Eventually he runs out of film so he gives him back the camera. The pictures turned out really good and they had an exhibit with the images.
Location: On the streets somewhere...probably in Europe.
Characters: Guy that runs away with camera, guy that chases guy that runs away with camera.
Visual strengths: It was really dynamic and shaky, it gave the impression that we were running with the characters in the film.
Use of Light / Color: It was shot outside, so there didn't seem to be any additional use of lighting.
Digital techniques: Not much that I could see, there was some parts that dipped to black to go to the next scene, other than that I didn't see too much.
Use of Sound / Music: There was really intense rock music when they were running, which gave it a really intense feeling and made me want to keep watching it to see what happened.

Year: 2010
Director: Acim Vasic
Run time: 9 Minutes
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: There's two soldiers during a war one captured another and is leading him somewhere. There is a struggle between the two and the message seemed to be what comes around goes around. This one was definitely my favorite.
Location: Maybe a German forest during WWII.
Characters: Solider that was captured and the one that was holding the first one captive.
Visual strengths: The angles were very creative, my favorite shot was when the camera was on the front of the gun barrel and it looked straight back at the shooter.
Use of Light / Color: The lighting is great, it was a nice diffused light that was consistent throughout the film.
Digital techniques: The angles and light were the strongest aspects of the film, I didn't notice any additional digital techniques that had an impact on the film.
Use of Sound / Music: It was pretty quiet overall, but the silence was great, it created the tension between the two characters.

Title: The Chubbchubbs
Year: 2002
Director: Eric Armstrong
Run time: 5:28
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A little alien on a different planet who wants to be a singer trys to tell people the ChubbChubbs are coming, but they don't listen at first, then they listen to someone else and run away. Then the things he thinks are the ChubbChubbs end up coming, but the ChubbChubbs are actually little chicken looking things that he befriends.
Location: An alien planet.
Characters: The alien guy and the ChubbChubbs
Visual strengths: There was a lot of Star Wars characters in it and it looked really cartoonish, which was visually interesting.
Use of Light / Color: It was completely animated, so there wasn't any real light use.
Digital techniques: It was animated.
Use of Sound / Music: He main alien wanted to be a singer, so he kept on singing (really poorly) throughout the entire thing. He ended up being successful in the end because the ChubbChubbs he befriended (everyone else was scared of them) would growl at people if they didn't clap.

Year: 2014
Director: Julien Soulier & Adrien Landre @ Partizan
Run time: 2:55
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A boy running/walking to vast natural spaces by himself. He takes a ferry, train, and maybe a car to get where he backpacks and climbs his way to where he wants to go
Location: n/a
Characters: Barthélémy Surville
Visual strengths: Open, natural scenery. Varied use of camera framing and angle techniques.
Use of Light / Color: Natural lighting
Digital techniques: Slow motion scenes
Use of Sound / Music: Bye Bye Blackbird - Float on
Post Production - Royal Post (No script)
Title: From 1994
Director: Casey Warren & Danielle Krieger
Run time: 5:37
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: From 1994 seeks to answer this along with the importance of remembering those who we've lost in our lives.
Location: n/a
Visual strengths: point of focus shifting
Use of Light / Color: vintage feeling color
Digital techniques: panning, close ups, interesting angles
Use of Sound / Music: Music by Tony Anderson & voice over
Title: Dunny
Year: 2011
Director: Phillip Van
Run time: 10:33
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: An obese 11-year-old attempts to give a love letter to a girl that doesn't like him and winds up at dinner with her intensely suburban family and her new flame.
Location: unknown
Characters: DUNNY: Jonathan Ospa, Stacey: Celine Du Tertre, Ronnie: Gerard Canonico, Ian: Travis Walters, Greg: Eugene Brell, Rachel: Nicole Poole
Visual strengths: varied camera angles. Over the shoulder.
Use of Light / Color: vintage/natural lighting
Digital techniques: camera use
Use of Sound / Music: minimal music. Mainly dialogue and made sounds.
Title: Everyday
Year: 2013
Director: Gustav Johansson
Run time: 4:16
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A man and woman have a conversation about a “what if” scenario of there being one more day in a week. They talk about what they would do with this day.
Location: Sweden
Characters: an unknown couple
Visual strengths: a wide variety of shots containing what this extra day of the week would contain.
Use of Light / Color: natural lighting
Digital techniques: n/a
Use of Sound/Music: Music by Oscar Linnros. And voiceover
Title: Nudity Probable
Year: 2011
Director: Joe Binder
Run time: 6:24
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Tim’s girlfriends cousin comes to stay with them in their small apartment for the summer. They keep awkwardly bumping into eachother.
Location: New York City
Characters: Tim, Tiffany, and Katie
Visual strengths: use of zooming in and out
Use of Light / Color: Natural lighting indoor/outdoor
Digital techniques: n/a
Use of Sound / Music: Music by Christian cooper and dialogue

Title: Dig
Year: 2014
Director: Toby Halbrooks
Run time: 9:55
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A young girl and her friends watch her father dig a whole. The neighbors also gawk at the man.
Location: U.S.
Characters: Jenny (Little Girl), Johnny (Dad), Bob (Neighbor), Mom
Visual strengths: The framing and setup of the picture was stunning. I loved the ending where he kept a still long shot on the girl digging. That was a great choice for an ending.
Use of Light / Color: There were moments of darkness that were provided by indoor lighting, but the rest of it was outside providing a summer atmosphere.
Digital techniques: There was text added on to the ending credits, but other than that the shots were the most important element in this short.
Use of Sound / Music: There was folk/indie underscoring that gradually played throughout the short.

Title: Gregory Go Boom
Year: 2014
Director: Janicza Bravo
Run time: 17:27
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A paraplegic man leaves his home for the first time. He expects things will happen easily for him, but he finds that life isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.
Location: U.S.
Characters: Gregory, Rose, Tom, Chyenne
Visual strengths: The cuts are quick and jolty. It sets the mood for the piece. The filming/phrasing is realistic.
Use of Light / Color: The color is desert like giving off a dead feel to the short. As we get more towards the end, the director plays with darkness and shadows.
Digital techniques: Editing of color on the film is apparent. The camera movement isn’t steady which is a choice, but also a technique.
Use of Sound / Music: The sound really added dimension and suspense to this short. There was a constant buzzing noise and a reoccurring melody line the connected the whole film into one mysterious little movie.

Title: Junk Ghost
Year: 2013
Director: Felix Brassier
Run time: 3:45
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Following a plastic bag in a ghost town.
Location: Liverpool
Characters: Plastic bag (Junk Ghost)
Visual strengths: The angles were visually pleasing.
Use of Light / Color: It was darker and the color was leaning towards shades of blue.
Digital techniques: There was a focus that was in almost every shot. One small area would be in focus while the rest was blurry.
Use of Sound / Music: The underscoring was suspenseful and mysterious. It added a spooky element to it where I didn’t know if something was going to jump out.

Title: “Simple Math”
Year: 2011
Run time: 5:22
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: It’s a music video. The video is centered around a car crash in which the man driving is confronted with his past and having it all blowing up in his face in the very moment he is facing his death.
Location: UK
Characters: The lead singer of the band, his younger self, his father, the band
Visual strengths: The visual effects leave a lasting impression on the music video.
Use of Light / Color: There is a vintage edge to this video. The colors are a bit faded.
Digital techniques: The use of slow motion and adding visual elements are used significantly in this video.
Use of Sound / Music: The music drives the video and the visual effects enhance the listening experience.

Title: Huelux
Year: 2014
Director: Randy Halverson
Run time: 4:50
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: It’s a short film of time lapse. There are visuals of the northern lights, shooting stars, sunrises, and storm clouds.
Location: Dakotas
Characters: No characters.
Visual strengths: The time lapse or sped up footage really makes this video.
Use of Light / Color: There are neon lights when we see the Northern lights as well as beautiful warm colors for the sunrises. When we are watching the sky, cool colors are present. The transitions to these different colors and images are smooth and easy to watch and understand.
Digital techniques: The speeding up of the footage and the angles are used in this short.
Use of Sound / Music: The music helped by setting the mood. There was massage music underscoring the whole short, which also help by making it feel natural and peaceful.

Title: Cargo
Year: 2013
Director: Ben Howling & Yolanda Ramke
Run time: 7:04
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A dad who is infested and going to become a zombie carries his daughter to safety under before he turns.
Location: Australia
Characters: Dad, Mother (zombie), daughter (Rosie), and extra characters who kills dad zombie and saves Rosie.
Visual strengths: Dynamic camera movements.
Use of Light / Color: Simple and cloudy. Not many vivid colors.
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: Yes, especially during emotional scenes.

Title: Vincent Malloy
Year: 1982
Director: Tim Burton
Run time: 5:52
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: Vincent Malloy is a young boy who has delusions of his intense imaginations from inspirations of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories and pretends to be Vincent Price, the narrator.
Location: Walt Disney Studios
Characters: Vincent Malloy, Vincent Price (narrator), and mother
Visual strengths: dark and eerie looks through character designs
Use of Light / Color: black and white
Digital techniques: animation
Use of Sound / Music: Yes, melancholic and eerie (organs, flute).

Title: The Little Match Girl
Year: 2006
Director: Roger Allers
Run time: 6:41
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: A little girl who is an orphan struggles to live by selling matchsticks. She starts have visions of warmth and happiness towards the end of her life.
Location: Walt Disney Feature Animation
Characters: Little Match Girl, and grandmother.
Visual strengths: Contrast between warmth and cold
Use of Light / Color: Light emphasized through the glow of a matchstick.
Digital techniques: animation
Use of Sound / Music: Yes, orchestral throughout.

Title: One Man Band
Year: 2005
Director: Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews
Run time: 4:34
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: Treble and Bass fights for a coin for the best performance.
Location: Pixar Studios
Characters: Treble, Bass, and Tippy
Visual strengths:
Use of Light / Color: Very Colorful
Digital techniques: animation
Use of Sound / Music: Yes.

Title: The Captured Bird
Year: 2012
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Run time: 7:36
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A little girl witnesses horrifying monsters inside a scary-looking mansion.
Location: Canada
Characters: Little girl
Visual strengths: combination of computer graphics and real-life
Use of Light / Color: varieties (dim, bright, very dark)
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: Yes

Title: Dunny
Year: 2011
Director: Phillip Van
Run time: 10:33
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: An obese 11-year-old attempts to give a love letter to a girl that doesn't like him and winds up at dinner with her intensely suburban family and her new flame.
Location: inside an old home
Characters: Dunny, Stacey, Ronnie, Ian, Greg, Rachel
Visual strengths: capturing the older film look, use of cool colors
Use of Light / Color: Used lamps, and natural lights
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music: The use of music in the beginning, and then the use of emphasizing normal sounds like candy wrappers.
The variety in angles and shot types was impressive

Title: Nostalgia
Year: 2010
Director: Edgar
Run time: 4:11
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: No story. Focuses on the nostalgic to a man.
Location: The outdoors
Characters: just the man
Visual strengths: The transition between each remembering characteristic.
Use of Light / Color: Dull colors with each scene but between each scene is a section of very sharp colors
Digital techniques: Change between close up shots and far away shots.
Use of Sound / Music: Steady instrumental music laid over the actual film

Title: Time and Susan have matching Handguns
Director: Joe Callander
Run time: 2 min
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: They bought matching guns so they can share and so they both know the same gun. So when they need to switch or share ammunition it won’t be a problem
Location: US
Characters: Tim and Susan
Visual strengths: Shot angles. I think it was interesting that a lot of the shots were the same but the way they captured the same style of shot throughout the entire was interesting to me because that doesn’t always happen.
Use of Light / Color: Richer in color compared to the other videos I watched.
Digital techniques: I think that this video is really good at extreme close ups.
Use of Sound / Music: All natural sounds and the voice of the couple.

Title: Forever’s Not so Long
Year: 2010
Director: Shawn Morrison
Run time:12:58
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: George is a man that loses his girl friend while the world is ending. He finds out there is 4 hours to live and has no chance in surviving. He later meets someone and asks if she wants to spend the rest of her life with him aka 4 hours. She agrees. They spend the rest of their lives together doing everyday activities.
Location: In the city
Characters: The woman and the Man and the mans girlfriend
Visual strengths:
Use of Light / Color: Uses warm colors in the beginning and then switches to cool colors.
Digital techniques: uses a variety of shots. I didn’t care for the constant camera shake. I thought the shake was affective in the end but that is it.
Use of Sound / Music: a steady melody overlapped the voices of the characters.

Title: Andy Irons “I surf Because”
Year: 2011
Director: Billabong and Woodshed films
Run time: 3:43
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis: it’s a short film about why Andy surfs. Explaining how people only do things they love. He said he tried ice skating and never did it again. He said he tried surfing and couldn’t stop.
Location: Variety
Characters: Andy Irons
Visual strengths: The variety between documentary style shots of him sitting in a room/studio to him out in the water as well as adding in old photos from events or memories.
Use of Light / Color: Natural light was used as well as one strong studio light on the left of the screen.
Digital techniques: Combining the three aspects of video, documentary, and photos without making it look messy. The variety of different shot styles. I liked the Extreme long shots and long shots the best.
Use of Sound / Music: The voice over was very effectiv

Title: Bloodrop
Year: 2011
Director: Alexei Popogrebsky
Run time: 6:36
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A man in a small apartment is prompted to enter into a parallel world inside of a framed picture on his wall.
Location: Two rooms – one a cramped apartment setting and the other a spacious living room.
Characters: The Guy, The Girl (both unnamed)
Visual strengths: There are stark contrasts between the two worlds. Not only is one primarily 2-dimensional with every item actually being something of a cardboard cutout, but the room inside the picture is spacious, sleek, and bright while the apartment is cramped and dark, with a lot of stuff out of place.
Use of Light / Color: Again, there is stark contrast between the two rooms, but there’s also a bright red light that tells of impending doom, a.k.a. the train that runs by the apartment knocking over everything.
Digital techniques: The film is also available in a 3D Anaglyph version.
Use of Sound / Music: There’s no dialogue, though the two do make minimal sound, notably when they’re scared or when the guy is jumping around like a monkey. But the music is fitting, getting tense when something bad is happening and jovial when the tone turns playful.

Title: Piano Man
Year: 2010
Director: Andrew Wilding
Run time: 9:34
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A piano-player owes some money to some shady people, and plans to kill off the wealthy man he works for in order to get it to them.
Characters: Toby Wentz, Mike Tonino, Phil Lieberman, The Barman
Visual strengths: Every scene goes by very smoothly, and the shots for the phone call and the job are very obviously different – gray and a little rough and smooth and polished, respectively.
Use of Light / Color: The scenes in Phil’s house are very colorful and rich with reds and golds – very fitting of a rich old man.
Digital techniques: Nothing notable.
Use of Sound / Music: The background music was all Toby’s piano playing, and we see him playing it in the shots inside Phil’s house. It really puts you in the moment as that’s the same thing that all the characters are hearing as well.

Title: The Backwater Gospel
Year: 2011
Director: Bo Mathorne
Run time: 9:32
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A town is overwhelmed with fear as the Undertaker, a man whose very presence foreshadows death, arrives.
Location: Backwater – a fictional rural town in the American South
Characters: The Tramp, The Priest, Bubba, The Undertaker
Visual strengths: Lots of distinct characters, a sort of 3D paper doll effect on all of them. Everything in the town is very washed out. There’s even a filter over all of it to make it look more like an old photograph. This is mostly done away with in the final scene, when the conflicts are all resolved: the colors are bright and there’s a rainbow in the background.
Use of Light / Color: Colors are very faded throughout, going completely black and blue for the climactic “kill ‘em all” scene, before returning to a brighter look at the end.
Digital techniques: Completely digitally animated.
Use of Sound / Music: Some provided by The Tramp, some humming provided by the congregation, and some foreboding guitar music set a good and terrifying tone.

Title: The Cat Piano
Year: 2009
Director: Eddie White and Ari Gibson
Run time: 8:33
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: A beat poet tells a terrifying tale of when all the city’s most musically inclined were taken away and forced into an instrument almost too grotesque to be believed.
Location: A city of cats
Characters: The Poet, Le Chat Blanc, The Organ Grinder
Visual strengths: Everything was color-coded. It was easy to tell what was good and what was bad.
Use of Light / Color: Generally, the calmer scenes were blue and the more action-packed, angrier scenes were red. Le Chat Blanc remained stark white all the way through, glowing in some scenes, with pronounced green eyes. Continually being referred to as nothing short of celestial, it’s only fitting she’d stand out.
Digital techniques: The entire short film was animated.
Use of Sound / Music: The narration read like a beat poem, and fitting drums and music were used throughout. Le Chat Blanc’s singing also faded in and out when she was on screen, as well as the screams of all the cats in the cat piano.

Title: The Raven
Year: 2009
Director: Ricardo de Montreuil
Run time: 6:09
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Chris Black – a.k.a. The Raven – has powers that immediately grab the attention of the police force.
Location: Los Angeles
Characters: Chris Black, L.A. Police Force
Visual strengths: The camera was shaky at the right times, and never too much so. There were also instances where we got to look through the cameras in the patrol robots.
Use of Light / Color: Color was used to indicate when Chris was using his powers. Otherwise there was nothing to note.
Digital techniques: The robots, powers, and Chris’ eyes were all digitally animated / enhanced.
Use of Sound / Music: Very fast-paced and dramatic, it fit the feel of the film well.

The Big House
Musa Syeed
A young poor boy finds a key to a large empty house, he lets his mind get lost in fantasies of living in the house and having everything, until someone sends him home.
Hayfane, Yemen
Young Yemen boy
Used a lot of contrast, interesting angles and close ups.
Soft lighting, Earth tones, yellows, greens, reds, browns.
Writing on screen, third person perspective.
Boys narration, soft music to match emotional portrayal.

Nick White
Twin brothers switch lives, after the married with kids brother, finds out he has a deadly disease. He calls the deadbeat brother to take his place so his son doesn’t have to grow up without a father.
Joe, Charlie, Jean, Joe and Jean’s Son, Doctor, Extras.
Tight close ups, soft lights, subtle movements.
Telephone conversations, high frequency sounds during moments of silence (No dialogue), somber music.
Highly saturated Earth tones, greens, browns, tans, yellows, reds, soft lights.

…And She was my Eve
Jamie Foxx
A man builds himself the perfect mate, but nosy neighbors, and his loves’ sense of adventure get him into trouble.
Make ‘em County, USA
Vic, The Bride, Mrs. Kravitz, Spencer, Police Detective, the eye keeper, Gina, young Vic.
Mixed media like imagery, interesting close ups, pans, and angles, colors.
Bright colors reds, yellows, greens, blues, leaked lighting, silhouettes.
Comedic sound effects, R&B Music, romantic music.

Out of the Blue
Eva Longoria
A woman on a mission to stop an evil villain turns out to be a video game character controlled by a young boy.
Diana, Savage, Control, Dominique, Boy, Various Henchmen
Wide-angle shots, contrast, set design.
Muted greens, earth tones, metallic; soft, leaked lighting.
Grid patterns to transition between scenes.
Spy sound effects (gadgets, technology, etc.), dramatic orchestral music.

Rendez-vous with Rama
Philip Mahoney
A UFO is discovered and astronauts go to explore whether or not its friend or foe. When the team enters the vessel they find the universe inside.
Team of Astronauts, Vessel called Rama
The animations were all hyper realistic.
Sleek dark metallic colors, low lighting.
Sound effects (voice over, spaceship sounds, etc.), epic orchestral music.


Title: Soft
Year: 2006
Director: Simon Ellis
Run time: 14:10
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: When a father and son are independently terrorized by the same gang of youths, Dad is forced to deal with fears that he hasn't had to face since leaving school, rediscovering his fear of confrontation at the worst possible time.
Location: Germany
Characters: Father & Son
Visual strengths: Great acting, strong use of emotion and realistic conflict that anyone can relate to.
Use of Light / Color: Generally, the film was very matt in the form of color, but it really added to the overall grunginess and realness of the situation.
Digital techniques: It incorporated the use of old film style footage which helped to divide the two stories that were intersecting.
Use of Sound / Music: it utilized the sound of every day life which drew me in right away, I prefer using sound over music.

Title: This is Vanity
Year: 2013
Director: Oliver Goodrum
Run time: 23:19
Link to the film:
Story Synopsis: ‘This Is Vanity’ is the dark and tragic tale of a tiring mother who struggles to protect both herself and her disabled teenage daughter from the continual attacks of local adolescents. Repeatedly rebuffed and frustrated by the authorities, she ultimately turns to a far greater power than can be found on her failing human plane.
Location: Europe
Characters: Mother, Daughter, Bully(s)
Visual strengths: All of the scenes have a very cold temperature to them, and are filmed in a way that you feel like you are watching your own family struggle through everyday life. The actresses that play the mom and daughter couldn’t have done a better job at playing their parts.
Use of Light / Color: the film was made almost entirely on cloudy days, giving it a very soft, low contrast look. And portrayed a very gloomy mood that fit right with the unfortunate events that take place throughout.
Digital techniques: The hook to the video was genius. It was so dramatic, and catches you so off guard, I don’t know how anyone could not watch it after seeing the opening scene.
Use of Sound / Music: This was another film that utilized everyday sounds, without much use of background music, which really added the emotion the director was shooting for. There were moments in the film where the sound completely cuts out when the mom is yelling or screaming that almost creates so much implied noise that no sound is necessary.

Title: Stranded
Year: 2011
Director: Benjamin Schuetze & Ben Gulliver
Run time: 7:44
Link to the film :
Story Synopsis: Two young men are stranded on an island with nothing but conversation of the past, and the looming thought of being stranded.
Location: on an island on a lake
Characters: two men and a woman
Visual strengths: The use of angles during their coversations really helped to keep my attention. The film proved that a film based strictly off of dialog can be very interesting, but challenging at the same time.
Use of Light / Color: there was very flat lighting, it may have even been lightly misting in the filming process, but it was perfect for the mood of being stuck on an island with nothing but some clothes and another friend.
Digital techniques: it was a very clean cut video, and used a lot of traditional techniques to get the point across, it wasn’t until I had watched the whole video that I realized that it was actually an advertisement in disguise. Very effective.
Use of Sound / Music: the directors used a couple upbeat jingles throughout the film, that helped contrast the dire situation, and accented the light hearted conversations and sarcastic tone of the characters.

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This page contains a single entry by Joellyn Rock published on January 23, 2014 5:07 AM.

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