Short Animated Film Find: Fuelled

Fuelled

KilledtheCat Productions
Sheridan Animation 2021 Group Film
Group MentorJason Par, Music Composer: Sebastian Reuten
Published: December 2021 on Youtube

Synopsis: Fuelled tells the story of a housewife on the path of revenge for her late husband.

Personal Thoughts:

What a beautiful, sad story this is. Fuelled is simple, timeless template of happiness to tragedy to revenge to madness to sadness.

Through it, these andromorphic characters express powerfully through emotional action and reaction. No word are needed, as the facial expressions tell enough. We feel, reflected on the beautiful postcard lives the housewife and husband had. We can be happy through them. The music, lighting, gentle animation of the past is sweet. Then soured by murder, and events of the present. It’s twisted, sad, and yet still emotionally driven. That ending left me haunted, though with a lesson on grief and resolution (or lack there of)

I love that animation is perfect and beautiful. Many animators/storyteller in the credits are attributed to this short project. Each involved should be very proud of this outstanding result, and likely elevate and branch off into bigger projects.

Short Animated Film Find: Burn Out

Burn Out

  • Director, writer, animator: Cécile Carre
  • Published: 2017 online and at multiple short film festivals

Synopsis: S​tella,​ ​a​ ​space​ ​mechanician,​ ​has​ ​broken​ ​down​ ​and​ ​ended​ ​on​ ​a​ ​desert​ ​planet.​ ​While​ ​she​ ​is​ ​in​ ​despair,​ ​a​ ​little​ ​girl appears​ ​out​ ​of​ ​nowhere.​ ​Following​ ​the​ ​child​ ​into​ ​a​ ​tunnel,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​depths​ ​of​ ​the​ ​planet,​ ​she​ ​discovers​ ​a​ ​big​ ​cave​ ​full​ ​of objects​ ​that​ ​belonged​ ​to​ ​her,​ ​reminding​ ​her​ ​the​ ​dreams​ ​she​ ​has​ ​left​ ​behind.

Personal Thoughts:

This full film is short, but says much on the current human condition, how many of us feel deep inside yearning for more. We feel trapped, bound to duty, ever-dreaming, never-quite reaching. There is a struggle that I feel in our protagonists dilemma. But, then a child’s voice brings us forward.

We figure it out, an imagination in the story and from the storyteller, clueing us on the real dilemma. Not the need to fix a spaceship but to fix the pilot and get back on real course. The one she dreamed of as a child, and eventually gave up on. The curiosity, imagination, and drive to return to that childlike wonder and push to something better, is what brings our pilot back to the stars. But not so much to work, but to something new and daring.

“I am afraid to give up my dreams when I grow up”.

That’s a great line, for those who indulge in their desire to explore, travel, see new sights should push that priority above simple mundane duties of getting by. I love the message here.

I also love the animation. Very fluid character movement with an awesome use of space, colors, shapes, taking us viewers away for about 4 minutes, and then beyond for what our memory captures. I love every second. The music also fits.

Director, animator Cécile Carre’s artistic style inspires and amazes. She has art prints you can buy at www.inprnt.com/gallery/carrececile. Check them out!

Fan Film Find: Neon Genesis Evangelion in Five Minutes, from Mega64

Neon Genesis Evangelion In 5 Minutes

Published: December 21, 2020 by Mega64 on Youtube

Synopsis: The complete anime of Neon Genesis Evangelion done in more than 5 minutes (about 10), in live action but very low budget, abridged comedic fashion by the wonderful Mega54 crew!

Personal Thoughts (from Captain Orion):

I’m a huge fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion since its VHS release. Though there are many deep philosophical insights and discussions on the original anime and manga out there, it’s still something that gives plenty of room to not be taken too seriously. Neon Genesis Evangelion is may things – a visual masterpiece, a game changer for mech and giant robot genre of its time, an emotional roller coaster with complex characters and development. It’s also silly and absurd at times. The gang at Mega64, who I am also a huge fan has brought about the more fun side of Evangelion perfectly in this brilliantly done love letter to its fandom. Tons of in-jokes poking fun at its strange plot devices, weird foreshadowing, and melodrama. I also love the low budget, yet inventive and practical practical effects, costumes, sets. Just awesome, and perfect entertainment for at least 5 (10 minutes) of my time.

Short Film Find: Laws of the Universe

Laws of the Universe

  • Director: Chris Mangano
  • Writer: Adam Aresty
  • Published: June 25, 2020 as a short film exclusive from DUST

Synopsis: An inmate is trapped in his prison cell after an extraordinary circumstance happens beyond his prison walls. With outside forces threatening the ones he loves, he will do anything it takes to escape.

Personal Thoughts:

A most interesting story about a young man serving his time, but looking to make a change, biding his time for the future, excepting his isolation in the meantime. But, he doesn’t seem to be a cold-blooded killer, and has a kind heart with humane prospects, as we see though aspects of his room decor and phone conversations. He killed someone, but for reasons that suggest his own sense of justice, but he lives with the guilt in a system that judged him.

But a much bigger story in the outside world changes the conditions of his small room within, by too much. I love the contrast of those outside his micro prison, seemed to be affected less. He is forgotten, and you see his agony through a low deprivation of food, electricity, contact.

But he sees on chance for a way out, though someone who seems to care less for his plight, but with the means for an escape. He goes for his one chance through alien tech, and its gratifying when he takes advantage. The tech at the same time, is a tool of a different system, granting him that much needed extra chance. But to get that, he uses the one thing he does have to his advantage, and that’s the fear he conveys as an imprisoned Black male. That works very well.

What happens is the important resolution of this story, just be his freedom, and that’s enough. But, I also like how he holds on to the alien tech, as a sense of newfound responsibility, likely will put it better use than the former user, who I think probably stole it. Still, there’s much potential for more story with this odd new tech. Many problems can be solves, and created with this.

I love the acting, done very well by the star, Sidney Lawrence Brown, Jr. The use of light, angles, spacing with much of the film being restricted to a very small. And, then the refreshing contrast at the end, to a beautiful, very open world where the alien ship places little less.

Short Film Find: Contact: An Animation About Connection in Space

Contact – An Animation About Connection in Space

  • Director, Designer, Animator: Katy Wang (www.katywang.co.uk)
  • Writer: Gabriel de Bruin (Gabriel Greenough) and Katy Wang
  • Sound and music producer: Ambrose Yu
  • Published: Kingston University/Kingston School of Art 2017
  • NOTE: Originally a graduation project by Katy Wang, now featured in on a few video streaming pages

Synopsis: Stranded on a distant planet, a lonely astronaut sends out a signal in search of human contact.

Personal Thoughts:

Beautiful presentation, especially with the visuals and sound design. Also, I think there is a deeper meaning about loneliness, feeling lost, trying to connect in space where we many of us might as well be on Mars. We use our computers and online connections to reach out, hopefully eventually a stranger from some other world, and then connect. Then, even in the vastness of space, we feel that connection of finding each other. And that’s the best kind of contact!

Short Film Find: Volume 1: ZYGOTE, a sci-fi horror directed by Neill Blomkamp

Zygote: Volume 1

  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Published: Sunday, July 12, 2017 on youtube.com
  • Source: oatsstudios.com
  • Time: 22:23
  • Note: “Volume 1” with Zygote includes other short films available to watch online, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie). Support for volume 2 calls for fan support, of which can be helped through the purchases of its DLC digital assets (video files, D assets, script, concept art). Visit oatstudios.com for more info.

Synopsis:

Oats Studios and filmmaker Neill Blomkamp are pleased to announce the latest short film in the Oats Studios Volume I anthology, ‘Zygote’. Starring Dakota Fanning, a few people find themselves fleeing a creature made of human body parts.

Personal Thoughts: 

A good creepy short, with nothing too complex in social commentary, or too dumbed down for an average schlock horror. The set-up is unexciting, as mining colony’s in science fiction usually mean nothing good for anyone. Still, there is hope between the main characters, in a set-up that gives a little back story of the horror unleashed. The creature itself is scary, though at times feels a combination of John Carpenter’s The Thing, a monster from a sci-fi anime, and a bad dream. Such works well, for being in a low-budget short film. What works better, is the frantic danger that seems ever-present from the beginning, carried on by the pounding score and blinking, flickering lights. The interaction between the two main characters presents the futile hope that both can perhaps make it, but predictable only one in the end. I chuckled, where Dakota Fanning’s character tries out different fingers of the monster.

Otherwise, a good short of which I think is great for an anthology set. The rest I have not seen. Enjoying this quality, and being a big fan of Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, I will check out the rest and likely support his Volume 2 anthology.

Short Film Find: BIOPUNK, a concept short set in dystopian London

BIOPUNK

 

  • Director and story: Liam Garvo, Screenplay: Andrew Harmer
    Producer: James Heath
  • Published: Sunday, June 5, 2017 on vimeo.com
  • Source: dresdenpictures.com
  • Time: 6:19
  • Note: Biopunk began as a Kickstarter project, funded successfully. Details here.

Synopsis:

Set in a dystopian London in 2054, the world has been ravaged by a virus that has killed billions and caused part of the remaining population to mutate into something other than human. BIOPUNK is a proof of concept short for a feature film. Starring Katie Sheridan as Resha, Charlie Jones as Edwin, Benjamin Tuttlebee as Kio, Robert Nairne as the Preacher and Kristian Nairn as Bob.

Personal Thoughts: 

Damn it, that video was too short. I enjoyed the visual cinematics and editing, and especially the story. I want more of this story and more of this kind post-apocalyptic telling of small-scale living and social commentary. While there is a hint of horror and action, I felt more engaged with the good and bad habits of humanity remaining constant, and the survivalist elements intact. I hope there will be a BIOPUNK full-length feature film for at least as a short-release indie title, with much of the cast here involved.

Short Animated Film Find: CLEANER by Sung Hwan Lee

CLEANER

 

NOTE: Subtitles may not appear. If needed, click on the subtitles/closed caption logo at the bottom of the screen.

  • Director: Sung Hwan Lee
  • Music: Justin Oh
  • Artwork:  Choo Soo Hyun, Kim Do Hyung
  • Published: Sunday, April 5th 2017 on youtube.com
  • Produced by Studio Shelter, South Korea facebook.com/studioshelter

Synopsis: ““The future of the flood due to the overflow of waste and environmental pollution. Machine robots that try to eliminate human beings who are responsible for pollution. A lonely hero, ‘cleaner,’ who lives for survivors.”

Personal Thoughts: 

Very over the top, and enjoyable as a short action piece. I also like the music. Yet, something more with the sort of parody of hero-worship here, suggests the olympian feats are just the outer later. Beneath, is complexity and want to maintain youthfulness in a world gone harsh and emptied. There is strange joy in not being lonely after losing his loved ones, with possible hallucinations in the weird talking things, and eventually another human. The cleaning equipment is cool in use as silly playthings. I like the idea of robots hunting humans for the crimes of pollution, as it is they who also see themselves as “cleaners.” It all works out, strangely.

Short Film Find: STRANGE BEASTS, augmented reality gone too far?!

Strange Beasts

 

  • Director, Writer, Producer: Magali Barbé
  • Published: Sunday, March 19th on vimeo.com
  • Source: magalibarbe.com
  • Time: 5:19

Synopsis: “A sci-fi short about augmented reality. “Strange Beasts” is an augmented reality game. It allows you to create and grow your own virtual pet. How far can it go?

Personal Thoughts: Creepy, because this fantasy is not far from reality. It’s got all the feel of an episode of Black Mirror, including a dark twist to the end. The far effects of this AR and eventual VR would be interesting to the effect of one’s mental health and long-term sanity. The loneliness at the end has me pondering, what if more people engaged in this AR game? I think back to the silly episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“The Game“). That and this situation seems dark and creepy, but at least the victims are happy, right?!