Category Archives: Short Film

Short Film: “Alike”

Creativity matters. Don’t let society make you lose your color. What a beautiful sentiment.

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Syria-Themed Documentary Shorts Are of the Times

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“The White Helmets”

Two months ago, I encouraged several people to watch this year’s crop of Oscar-nominated documentary shorts. My only instruction: have tissues handy. Hard-hitting themes ranged from Syria, to end-of-life decisions in an ICU, to Syria, to the Holocaust, to Syria.

So months before the White House fired its missiles in the direction of the Middle Eastern country this week, the Academy was providing us privileged folk sitting in soft recliners with varied perspectives on the crisis that’s happening halfway around the world—where instead of privilege there are regular shellings, and instead of soft recliners there are scared children. The nominated documentaries, “The White Helmets” (the eventual winner), “Watani: My Homeland,” and “4.1 Miles” each offer a completely different take on Syria’s civil war, and each gives us reason to care. This is essential viewing. Below I give a brief synopsis for each film, including the full version of “4.1 Miles.”

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Short Film: “Stutterer”

I have a bit of an attachment to this film. “Stutterer”, written and directed by Benjamin Cleary, was submitted to a film festival of which I was a member of the screening committee. I loved it. Of the 100 or so films I screened that year, it was one of the best I had seen. I championed it to the programmers in hopes that they’d agree and add it to the festival’s slate. Alas, the film didn’t make the cut—not because it wasn’t good or deserving. Great films are often rejected from festivals for any number of reasons. Months later, “Stutterer” was nominated for an Oscar, along with one other film I screened for the same festival (which I also championed and was also rejected). “Stutterer” won. (I should start my own damn festival.)

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It’s Funny Because It’s True: SNL “qua” Sketch

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There are few SNL sketches that will top “Schweddy Balls,” based on my personal tastes and sensibilities. That sketch, perfectly written by Ana Gasteyer, is so multi-layered, so well performed, and just plain hilarious.

And then there was “Short Film” (watch here).

No, “Short Film,” which aired on last week’s Emily Blunt-hosted episode, does not top Gasteyer’s and Molly Shannon’s NPR-set sketch, but it comes pretty damn close—again, per my personal tastes and sensibilities (it’s likely not everyone’s cup of tea).

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“In-Kind” Accepted into International Film Festival Manhattan 2016

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I’m thrilled to announce the official selection of my short film, “In-Kind,” with International Film Festival Manhattan! The film will screen in New York City on October 20. For more information about its making, view the “Anatomy of a Short Film” section of this site.

Short Film: “Geri’s Game”

Winner of the 1998 Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated, this Pixar classic was written and directed by Jan Pinkava. If nothing else, it’s proof that one isn’t necessarily the loneliest number.

Short Filmmaking: From A to Z

And this is oversimplifying the process! Support short filmmakers.

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Short Film: “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”

Nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated, “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” is a beautiful film about friendship and dreams. This is Russian filmmaker Konstantin Bronzit’s second Oscar nomination in this category; his previous nomination came in 2009 for his animated short “Lavatory Lovestory.”

Short Film: “Doodlebug” by Christopher Nolan

Doodlebug

Christopher Nolan’s first IMDb credit came for writing, directing, shooting, editing, and set designing his 3-minute short film, “Doodlebug” (1997). The black-and-white, noirish film was made while Nolan (then credited as “Chris”) was studying English literature at university. Its lone performer, Jeremy Theobald, later starred in Nolan’s feature debut, Following (1998), another black-and-white noir just a year later.

It doesn’t take much to notice the early stages of Nolan’s evolving “film mind” in this brief piece. The various levels of reality at play here are fully on display in a greater form in Nolan’s 2010 film, Inception.

Now, see how it all began for the modern master…

Anatomy of a Short Film: The Magic and Luxury of Making a Short Film

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Joe Forbrich in “In-Kind”

(Read about the entire process of making short film, “In-Kind,” by checking out the “Anatomy of a Short Film” section of this blog.)

1 weekend. 20 hours. That’s how long it took to shoot “In-Kind,” the short film that I wrote and am co-directing, along with Stephanie Dawson. (Check out the “Anatomy of a Short Film” tab above for progress on this project.) This film’s been on my mind for over four years, and I’m excited to say that we’ve wrapped shooting and are looking forward to post-production. Over 20 amazing artists and technicians joined together in a Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment to get it done, not least of which was our terrific cast, composed of Monique Pappas, Makenna Pappas, and Joe Forbrich (SAG-AFTRA).

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