I’ll run to “Rundown”!


He said She said: Tubes And Youtubes, short films and the internet.

You can even watch video's on your phone now

With the growing popularity of the internet and the introduction of sites like youtube and vimeo there is now a much greater distribution for all short films. Many would argue that this introduction has only cheapened the medium, my contention however, is that the ability to distribute a short from and to just about anywhere on the planet can only benefit the medium of short films.

There is a certain level of anonymity that comes with the ease of accessibility. Those who have the best or any access to things like short films through youtube or any other streaming site tend to alienate and sera gate themselves from those who don’t. That being said the same accessibility has left sites like these bogged down with constant barrages of amateur video makers claiming that they have made short films. In many regards, there are individuals who do in fact use this medium to truly self distribute their work, after making something truly self produced and distributed. In those regards the internet has greatly helped the medium, in the same breath however one could argue that with that barrage of amatures and stolen videos that the industry is being made a mockery of. It is almost to accessible when devices are made specifically to shoot no more than five minutes of video that will immediately upload to youtube. There is a definite cause and effect that has taken place as a result of these resent technological advances but is it really good or bad?

Flip Video Devices

I will go with the latter on this topic and say that it is in fact good for the industry. The now defunct Flip Video camera’s that were designed specifically to upload videos directly to youtube or vimeo, and with that came the onslaught of every inside joke ever told being filmed and placed in very public forums. There has also been a massive fluxuation in the number of videos that have actually been good. There are internet phenomenon’s that have borrowed from pop culture and made farces of various levels of this medium, but there have also been very successful and stirring works that have been brought to the world because of the internet.

As previously mention, the Flip video camera is now defunct, but before production ceased they started a short film festival to get more content and marketing for their video recording/uploading device. It is my contention that this was a fairly clever marketing strategy that proved both the power and interest in the medium/device but also that one can produce something “professional” on a camera like this.

http://possiblefuturesfilmcontest.org/?gclid=CNiN8oDTzqgCFcbc4AodnA0liQ

There have been countless additions to the film festival circuit thanks to the accessibility of videos now. The medium of short film is changing rapidly and with it new ideas and challenges for film makers have been presenting themselves. There is now a five, ten, fifteen, thirty, and two second short film festivals. Can they really be called short films in that span of time? I will again say yes. All that having this time limit placed on short film makers has done is prove that the medium of short film has validity at any span of time. Having what most would call bizarre or a misrepresentation of the medium such as these second long short films is just the kind of new thinking that is keeping the public interested in short films.

It is a very fast paced lifestyle that most people live and no one has a very long attention span anymore, so, theoretically, these second long short film contests are the perfect length of time for the common internet video viewing public. Not only that, but the simple fact that film makers have been challenged in such a way to develop a narrative and strive for some kind of connectivity with their audience in only five seconds is a true challenge, but is both a learning tool and wonderful artistic challenge.  There have also been video magazines developed on the internet as well various sites that are designed to connect short film makers to investors and each other. All that has truly happened as a result of the internet is that that it is now much easier to get recognized as a film maker. Though it may not seem it with the billions and billions of videos on the internet now one could say that the best shorts could easily be lost in the preverbal piles, I however believe that it has only made the better works more noticeable to the public.

Opinion is still paramount in the short film industry and more than ever opinion can change and effect reactions to the directors work. That being said the market for the more absurdist shorts has greatly increased, again due to the accessibility. It would seem that thanks to the internet there is now literally a market for everyone to view any kind of product they would find interested in, as well as being able to globally distribute said product. Will the internet be the downfall of the short film industry, it is very unlikely, much like how videos killed the radio stars, the internet will blend and change as short films will blend and change to meet the new technological advances and public desire for fast, easy, entertainment.


He Said She Said: The Internet and Short Films: An Overview

Since the beginning of this new millennium we as a society have found ourselves embracing the advent of the digital age.  Mostly due to the growing popularity of the internet in the mid nineteen nineties, this digital revolution has effected all facets of popular, and even obscure culture. Even the medium of short film has been effected by the recent technological booms of the past two decades, namely in the boundaries that the internet has pushed this medium to go to.  It is my contention that the internet instilled a new life, and quite possibly saved the art form of short film.

Coming out of the late seventies and early eighties there were not a lot of short film makers, especially within the United States that could receive any kind of national distribution (unless being packaged with other shorts from various film competitions/ selections). As the later part of the eighties came upon us, the world was given Music Television, and there was a spark in the medium of short films again. This concept of making videos that last as long as a single song became the first step in creating a resurgence for the publics interest in short films.

Music videos continued to boom, and then in the mid nineties, the internet really began to take off with the advent of American Online pushing forward the technology. As the internet became more popular society demanded faster computers, and better download speeds. In the early double O decade, high-speed internet became a reality and with that came the desire to watch something from the comfort of your laptop, and thus the idea of streaming videos was born

With this powerful new ability to stream content waves of videos numbering in the billions have been uploaded to the internet, many of them short films in some aspect or another.  The internet has in fact become one of the most powerful tools for directors and artists to get noticed or funded for their projects.  During this time other products like digital cameras,  cell phone cameras Like the days of old people began simply filming whatever they could and uploaded the videos from said devices to platforms such as youtube and vimeo.

While many maintain that the over saturation of the market and endless wave of amateur videos, combined with endless waves of illegally distributed clips is destroying the film industry in general, this medium of easy self distribution has been proven to showcase many unknown and talented directors; in conjunction with a more easily distributable market to advertise to. Key short films were discovered by placing their works onto youtube, one such film was “9”, a short film that took director, Shane Aker, four and a half years, on and off, to create. Acker used the programs Maya 1.55.5, Photoshop for the textures, After Effects for compositing, and Premiere for editing. This film was one of the top contenders in the best animated short film category at the academy awards, as well as garner such critical acclaim that in 2009 the short was adapted into a full length feature, produced by Tim Burton. That being said the short film is much better and clearly and precisely explains in ten minutes, what the feature consistently over simplifies and reiterate. The short simply had more resonance, tonally you were on the edge of your seat most of the time, and if not, you would be almost moved to tears at the emotions of the voiceless main character. This short is a gleaming example of the power that short film is now privy to thanks to their assimilation into the aforementioned digital viewing devices.

As you can see “9” is a truly masterful short that was allowed to succeed because of its popularity on the internet.  The director of the self made Mortal Kombat trailer that had the internet a buzz, Kevin Tancharoen, is one such success story. Here is a director that has to this day directed movies that were swept up in the big break dance challenge phase, with his only big screen credentials being the movie “Fame”( 2009), “Britney Spears: Live in Miami, and a run as director for several episodes of the series “Pussy Cat Dolls Present: The Sear For The Next Doll”. That being said I was absolutely astounded and aghast that the same director that had previously made these films, somehow make such an outright tour de force with his pitch to direct Mortal Kombat.

If you just viewed this and are in as much disbelief as I am I believe the man’s point has been made. It is phenomenal that a director that, given his previous works, said to the industry he himself will fund some scenes and place it on youtube, in short, he was able to make a short feature and pitch it not only to movie executives but also the movie going public. Thanks to the outcry of support the public had for this short he is now commissioned to make a seven episode series of short films based on his take of the Mortal Kombat mythos.

Successes like these are happening all the time now thanks to the internet and its easy accessibility. Not only has the internet allowed enthusiasts to give it their best, but it has also allowed up and coming directors  a new platform to practice and display their craft. Many of the artistic film community has also used the internet to start distributing their works. Foreign film makers are now able to reach the entire world with their pieces all that they need is a computer and a connection to the internet. It is now literally that simple to be noticed on as a film maker, and in the fast paced short attention span world we live in today, short films are the perfect medium to embrace and use the internet to its full potential.


PREPARE TO VIEW!Mortal Kombat (2009).

The director of the self made Mortal Kombat trailer that had the internet a buzz, Kevin Tancharoen, is one such success story. Here is a director that has to this day directed movies that were swept up in the big break dance challenge phase, with his only big screen credentials being the movie “Fame”( 2009), “Britney Spears: Live in Miami, and a run as director for several episodes of the series “Pussy Cat Dolls Present: The Sear For The Next Doll”. That being said I was absolutely astounded and aghast that the same director that had previously made these films, somehow make such an outright tour de force with his pitch to direct Mortal Kombat.

The Calm Long Walk Before A Fight to the Death

If you just viewed this and are in as much disbelief as I am I believe the man’s point has been made. It is phenomenal that a director that, given his previous works, said to the industry he himself will fund some scenes and place it on youtube, in short, he was able to make a short feature and pitch it not only to movie executives but also the movie going public. Thanks to the outcry of support the public had for this short he is now commissioned to make a seven episode series of short films based on his take of the Mortal Kombat mythos.

The first “episode” of these shorts establishes the central idea of good versus bad guys with impressive production work and attention to detail. Longtime fans of the series will love the little hints and easter eggs that pop up throughout the short, hinting at what fighters we can expect to see, or maybe its just respect for a well established fan oriented mythos. Whatever the case this short is entertaining and will leave you pining for the next instalment, which is being released soon.


I’ll hop into ” The European Shower Bath”

Come on in, waters great!

Part of a series of shorts designed to give various perspectives on Europe, The European Shower Bath, by Peter Greenway, stands as an interesting commentary on the development of the European Union, as well as society’s response to said unionization.  Various people representing their individual countries shower together as all of their individual colors mix and go down one drain. Others join the shower and inevitably several people/ countries are left out. Shortly all the water runs out suggesting the members of the European Union are taking up all of the recourses and leaving none for any of the other countries or newer members to the union. It is an interesting concept that places the countries people at their most personal and vulnerable. Being able to view these countries as their individual people really brings home the message that the citizens are the only ones that are getting hurt by the action of the European Union.


Spend a small amount of time in “Europa”

Welcome to Europa!

This is a fairly straightforward and apt story about how everyone tends to see things in a grass is greener on the other side view of life. The story shows a Croatian man staring across a small river at two men hammering down a sign saying that the country they are in is part of the European Union. The story shows the both sides desiring something the other side has, hence the grass is greener on the other side metaphor. The short makes its point just as the style of film making would suggest, short and sweet. It is not long by any definition of the word and could stand to have been developed with more of a story or a more interesting shooting style. That being said, I would propose to ask, if the message is that understood, does it even need to be said at all?


Good Work Klaus!

This is hysterical German dark mockumentary about the absurdities of workplace instruction video’s.  This short is as offbeat and zany as say the black knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail while still taking itself as seriously as a filmic mockumentary in the vain of This is Spinal Tap .

A reaction to an absurd end

The only comment that i could derive from this film is that there is a real level of absurdity to the amount of accidents that can potentially happen while doing the most menial of tasks. If you have ever worked a day in your life you have probably seen a video at your orientation that, not unsurprisingly, looks very similar to this short film. It is quit a concept and executed with the greatest level of comedic timing and action in mind, because really, how likely are these absurd things likely to happen?  It is a fairly gory and dark comedy and might be to much for some to find humorous, but if you get a kick out of Looney Tunes level absurdities in your character deaths than this short is for you.

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