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Long Story Short

By Joanna Robinson | Videos | January 25, 2011 | Comments ()


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The main reason I've gathered you here today is to show you this short film entitled Lazy Teenage Superheroes. You know I'm prone to ramble sometimes, and I don't want you to get bored and wander away before you get to the video. So go ahead, watch the film. It's about 13 minutes long. I'll wait.

That's pretty great, right? Sure, fine, the acting is rather painful and the dialogue fails to wow, but the effects are fairly nifty considering that the budget was $300. THREE HUNDRED CLAMS? I have shoes that cost more. Frankly, I'd prefer to see more of this than I would any number of comic book adaptations currently in the works. (Especially since X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn described his film as having "a lot of teenage angst. The Twilight girls will like it." Oh, lord.)

Short films are such an interesting medium, the provenance of film students and wanna be auteurs. And while the lack of studio involvement gives a short filmmaker the benefit of a more pure artistic expression, the shoe-string budget can impose somewhat crippling limits on the quality of a piece. The two ways I've seen a short film director work around the budget issue is to either shoot a film that relies heavily on clever dialogue (The Clerks approach), or to get really, truly, bloody inventive.

It's the inventive stuff that intrigues me. I used to work a lot of film festivals and have seen scads of dreadful shorts, heaps of pretentious shorts, and just a few shiny gems. The shiniest in recent memory is 2007's Death To The Tinman. This short was director Ray Tintori's film school thesis, so it's not entirely devoid of certain pretentious film student cliches, but I'll be damned if it isn't highly watchable and creative. So watch it, and then think of all the creativity you have in your clever Pajiban heads and the technology you have on your laptop, or cell phone, or iThingie and ask yourself why you're not making films. I'd watch your movie.


Joanna Robinson wants the soundtrack from Death To The Tinman to play while she, like, does the dishes or her taxes or yard work and stuff.







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