Category Archives: Short Film

Who Is That Handsome Fellow?

(Re-posted from The Reminder)

by Chris Maza

May 28, 2012

If you had only 48 hours to make an award-winning movie, could you do it?

Dan Quiterio thinks he has what it takes.

The Ludlow native now located in the Big Apple is taking part in an international filmmaking contest called the 48 Hour Film Project taking place in New York City from June 1 to 3.

The objective of the contest is for a team to create a short film from start to finish in two days’ time. Teams randomly pick a genre and must create a four- to seven-minute film using the same common character, line of dialogue, and prop given to all contestants in a certain city.

Once they have those elements, they must devise a story, write a script, shoot the film, edit it, and submit the final product before the clock runs out. The winning films are screened in a theater and go on to well-known film festivals, such as the Cannes International Film Festival in France.

“It’s kind of like one of those cooking shows on TV in which chefs are given some random ingredients and have to turn them into a gourmet meal in 30 minutes,” Quiterio said. “The only real planning we’re allowed to do in advance is securing potential locations, actors, crew, and equipment. Of course, we won’t know what our needs will be until we have some vital questions answered once the competition begins, so you really have to be flexible.”

Continue reading Who Is That Handsome Fellow?

Support My 48 Hour Film Project

I’m participating in the 48 Hour Film Project, which is a global competition that requires teams to create a short film—from start to finish—in just 48 hours. If anyone’s ever made a film, you know how difficult that is. That means no sleep. (We won’t even know what genre we need to write to until that same time period.) My team is made up of accomplished filmmakers who have had their films screen internationally, including at some of the world’s top festivals, such as Cannes and Berlin.
We’re looking to raise funds by June 1. The money would go towards feeding our cast and crew, transporting equipment, buying props, etc. Money raised over our goal of $500 will go towards festival submission fees, paying admission for the film’s premiere a week later (yes, we have to pay), etc.
Please consider supporting my team—Team Rude—and my passion by donating any amount at the following link: http://therudeparty.chipin.com/the-rude-party-48-hour-film
To learn more about the 48 Hour Film Project, you can either visit the site (http://48hourfilm.com/) or leave a comment and I’ll reply.
Thanks so much for your support!

Short Film: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

This animated short film by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg is this year’s Oscar winner for Best Short Film (Animated). Immediately below the film is Joyce’s and Oldenburg’s acceptance speech.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adzywe9xeIU] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9rme79ptdA]

Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Among this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Short Film—Live Action is “Time Freak,” the comedic story of a neurotic inventor who creates a time machine that he uses to travel around yesterday so that he can obsessively correct his social foibles. The short is the only American film nominated in its category. I had the chance to pick the brains of the film’s masterminds, including writer/director Andrew Bowler, his producer wife Gigi Causey, and lead actor Michael Nathanson, just before their big day in Hollywood.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_DLkVR7hK0]

Where were you when you found out about the nomination?

Michael: I actually was sound asleep. My wife is a public school teacher in NYC, and she had been up early and found out at work. When she woke me up by screaming into the answering machine, I knew it was good news.

Andrew: We were at home when we heard the news. We got up at 4:45am, unable to sleep anymore. The telecast did not come on ’til about 5:50am, and then the results were posted online shortly after that. We wanted to share the possible moment with our friends and family in different parts of the country, so we shot it.

(Watch this video of Andrew and Gigi finding out they have been nominated for an Oscar.)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnwiOYhIExU&feature=youtu.be]

Continue reading Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

Continued Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

This is the continuation of a Q&A with the team from the Oscar-nominated short film “Time Freak” that I conducted for LimitéMagazine.com. For the first part of my interview with writer/director Andrew Bowler, producer Gigi Causey, and lead actor Michael Nathanson, click here.

Andrew, did you go to film school?

I went to NYU’s film school. I think I had a similar experience to most people who go there in that I met my best friends whom I would collaborate with for years and almost no one else. Geoffrey Richman, Michael McDermott, and Adam Fleischhacker are all accomplished filmmakers in their own right and they all worked really hard on “Time Freak.” The four of us all met in the same video class sophomore year. Geoffrey and Mike were producers [on “Time Freak”], as well as the editor and production designer, respectively.

Michael, how and when did you first catch the acting bug? What have been your biggest challenges in developing your style and rhythm as an actor?

I remember being in my first school play when I was in sixth grade, playing the comedic villain in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, and getting in front of an audience and thinking, “Wow, this is what I want to do.” I was always a film buff, and I had the opportunity to see so many great films, growing up in NYC. It really wasn’t until I got to Northwestern in Chicago and studied theatre that it really hit me that this is what I’m going to be doing with my life. As an actor, kind of like the character in “Time Freak,” you’re always trying to get better, understand the craft more—sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I feel like I try, whether it’s stage or screen, to give the audience something edgy, something unexpected. I like when an audience is uncomfortable, and yet wants to know more. I think that’s when the most interesting work happens. There’s a fearlessness I admire in actors like Gary Oldman and in comedians like Bill Murray; they are so invested in their character work, you truly feel like anything can happen at any moment. I guess I would say I’m not into ever playing it safe.

Continue reading Continued Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

Short Film: “A Trip to the Moon”

Martin Scorsese’s recent film Hugo prominently features pioneering French filmmaker Georges Méliès and his works, chief among them is his 1902 short “A Trip to the Moon” (“Le Voyage dans la lune”). This film has the distinction of being the very first science-fiction film. It follows a small group of astronomers who journey to the moon and discover its inhabitants.

This film features innovative animation and special effects. It was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century (#84) in a Village Voice poll.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYRemE9Oeso&ob=av1n]

Short Film: “Oktapodi”

This 2008 Oscar-nominated animated French short film was directed by Emud Mokhberi, Thierry Marchand, Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, and Quentin Marmier. It’s a quick watch, at just 2:26.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=badHUNl2HXU]

Short Film: “Signs” by Patrick Hughes

I first watched this short a couple of years ago and loved it. Watching it again, I like it, but it doesn’t have the magic that I seemed to remember the first time.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy0HNWto0UY]

IMDb’s Amazingness: Independent Films and Shorts

IMDb is my homepage. It’s my home on the Web—where I hang my hat and spend most of my time. I research films, check the news, rate movies, build my Watchlist, and vote in the daily poll. It’s great. IMDb is like a brain—a clearinghouse for knowledge and creativity. But I have to confess—I haven’t recognized the site’s full potential. Much like the human brain, I only use about 10% of it. So imagine my surprise when I discovered you could actually watch independent full-length movies and short films on the site. Almost 7,000 of them. Maybe I’m late joining this party. Perhaps many of you already knew this. So humor me. Check out IMDb’s list of Independent Films and Shorts. There’s no reason to ever be bored again.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting some of IMDb’s features, proving the site’s amazingness. (Yes, amazingness.)

Note: IMDb is not paying me to endorse its site, but I would gladly accept a few bucks. Movies are getting expensive, you know. 

Short Film: “Alive in Joburg” by Neill Blomkamp

In my last post, I referenced District 9, the South African Oscar Best Picture nominee from 2008. “Alive in Joburg” is the 2006 short film on which District 9 was based, directed by Neill Blomkamp (who also helmed the feature) and produced by Sharlto Copley (who stars in the feature adaptation).

Aliens have arrived to Johannesburg …