Blog Assignment : 5 Short Films

What makes a good short film? What types of stories and characters can be captured in this short format?

Please view at least 5 Short Films over the next month and take notes using the format below. Find quality short films… like Oscar Nominated Shorts, and other award winning short films. View others you find on the web. Be selective. Join Vimeo to help you start a list of your favorites. If possible, find works that relate somehow to your own creative work, as inspiration for a technique or look you hope to achieve. Try to use films that are longer than one minute and shorter than 15 minutes (though the definition of a short film may vary).

Make notes on your favorite shorts, type your reflection and post to the blog once you have viewed 5 shorts. Your blog must note all of this info for each film (some of this info can be found online and pasted into your reflection):

Run time:
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis:
Visual strengths:
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music:

OVER THE NEXT MONTH, YOU SHOULD PLAN TO VIEW MANY SHORT FILMS and PICK YOUR FAVORITE 5 shorts TO BLOG ABOUT. IF you made it to the Oscar Nominated Shorts, you can include your favorites in your list. If you missed the Zinema screenings, please check out some shorts from the library and watch on DVD. There are also links to many collections of short films on the class blog:

See links to Short films…


12 thoughts on “Blog Assignment : 5 Short Films

  1. Hannah Bockbrader

    Title: Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse
    Year: 2014
    Director/Company: Bleeding Palm
    Run time: 11:18
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: Explanation why Christopher Bosh is kind of weird.
    (A Miami film festival wanted stories that weren’t commonly known. They got this.)
    Location: The Multiverse (but mostly Miami)
    Characters: Star Prince Christopher Bosh, Evil Sorceress Jillian, Mystic Wolfman, Mike Miller
    Visual strengths: Manages to put together an assortment of crazy animation and live action techniques successfully
    Use of Light / Color: Very bright crazy colors,some lighting for chromakey
    Digital techniques: ALL the experimental animation techniques
    Use of Sound / Music: Music, scripted audio, sci-fi sound effects.
    I cannot get over how all of these animation styles manage to work together. It’s amusing, entertaining, and manages to tell a fantastically strange story.

    Title: Girls, Girls, Girls
    Director: Chris Demarais (Rooster Teeth)
    Run time: 4:28
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: Miles wanders and thinks about talking to girls
    Location: Austin TX (I’ve totally been to the park they filmed in.)
    Characters: Miles, “Aleshia”, Girl 2, Tiffany
    Visual strengths: Barbra’s face and Mile’s physical acting
    Use of Light / Color: Natural light and bright colors
    Digital techniques: Minimal
    Use of Sound / Music: Voiceover and elevator music, some changes in audio levels
    This short makes me laugh. And I like things that make me laugh.

    Title: Two Ghosts
    Year: 2015
    Director: Amy Lee Ketchum
    Run time: 9:21
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: A jackalope searches for his lost love
    Location: A magical felted forest
    Characters: Male Jackalope, Female Jackalope, multiple Weird Bear Yeti Things
    Visual strengths: IT’S A FELTED STOP MOTION
    Use of Light / Color: All artificial from in a studio, but there’s sunlight, moonlight, sunset…
    Digital techniques: Shot with a DSLR
    Use of Sound / Music: Flute music played by jackalope
    The detail in this film is astounding–the subtleties of fur moving in the wind, the beautiful haunting music, the strange choreographed dancing—all create a magical magnificent short film.

    Title: The Gunfighter
    Year: 2014
    Director: Erik Kissack
    Run time: 8:50
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: A gunfighter gets much more than he bargained for when the
    narrator reveals some interesting secrets.
    Location: The wild west
    Characters:Gunfighter, various townspeople
    Visual strengths: Old West aesthetic
    Use of Light / Color: Possibly natural light
    Digital techniques:
    Use of Sound / Music: Narrated by Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson)
    I enjoy the self aware aspect of the narrator in this short. It’s exceptionally clever, and I love that.

    Title: I Have Your Heart
    Year: 2012
    Director: Crabapple, Boekbinder, and Batt
    Run time: 4:25
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A heart transplant poses the question between the donor and receiver–am I becoming you? Or are you becoming me?
    Location: A town entirely crafted out of paper.
    Characters: A girl, her parents, doctors, a tom cat, and a female cat
    Visual strengths: It’s a paper cut out animation. A whole town was created out of paper.
    Use of Light / Color: It is black and white, with color accents. It is lit in a studio.
    Digital techniques: Shot with a DSLR
    Use of Sound / Music: The story of the film was created around the song.
    The environment of this film is incredible. One of the shots pulls out through a house that is entirely built out of paper. Building the set also makes zooming in and out easier for the filmmakers, since size changes in paper cut out animations are awful to do.


  2. Title: This Is It
    Year: 2014
    Director: Alexander Engel
    Run time: 2:56
    Link to the film:
    Story Synopsis:
    Tells a story of two friends moving in together. They face a series of issues that college students may go through.
    Location: USA. In an apartment.
    Characters: David Gelles & Mike Steinmetz (Two roommates), Hannah Dunne (Sister), Nicole Balsam (Marla), and Noah Chamis (New Roommate).
    Visual strengths:
    Different use of camera angles and shots.
    Consistent lighting throughout.
    Use of Light / Color:
    Consistent lighting throughout.
    Digital techniques:
    Use of Sound / Music:
    No music, but there is constant talking. Just the right amount of talking.
    No background noise- It’s good!
    Sound- noises from breaking glass, running water, door slamming, etc. (to match the talking)

    Title: On Loop
    Year: 2014
    Director: Christine Hooper
    Run time: 5:00
    Link to the film:
    Story Synopsis:
    A girl wakes up at 4a.m. not being able to fall back asleep, suffering from insomnia with all these thoughts in there.
    Location: UK. In a bedroom.
    Characters: One central character (the girl that wakes up)
    Visual Strengths:
    Different angles
    Point of view
    Use of Light / Color:
    Light coming form lamps
    Consistent throughout
    Digital techniques:
    Live-action / Stop-motion
    Use of Sound / Music:
    Just the voice of the central character
    Some sounds

    Title: Duet
    Year: 2014
    Director: Glen Keane
    Run time: 3:12
    Link to the film:
    Story Synopsis:
    Beginning at the life of two characters; male and female. We watch them grow and their lives intersecting.
    Location: USA
    Characters: One male and one female
    Visual Strengths:
    Minimalistic in design
    Deep story
    Use of Light / Color:
    Very consistent and beautiful
    Background stays the same, while his hand-drawn animations light up
    Digital techniques:
    Hand-drawn animated short film
    Use of Sound / Music:
    No talking, just music.
    He picked a very soothing song that went along with the piece.

    Title: Feast
    Year: 2014
    Director: Patrick Osborne
    Run time: 6:00
    Link to the film: Watched at movie theater.
    Story Synopsis:
    Relationship between a man and a puppy that he takes in told through the food the puppy receives.
    Location: USA
    Characters: Boston Terrier puppy (Winston), James (The Owner)
    Visual Strengths:
    Focused on the dog, while the humans were generally out of focus
    Use of Light / Color:
    Playful colors and lighting
    Digital techniques:
    Computer animated
    Use of Sound / Music:
    Sound of talking and puppy barking
    Music that went along with the story and the puppy’s mood

    Title: The Pavement
    Year: 2013
    Director: Taylor Engel
    Run time: 2:49
    Link to the film:
    Story Synopsis:
    A looping plot line of “the pavement, the night, those eyes, the glass, the red, the smoke, those lips, our touch, the breeze, the pavement.”
    Location: USA
    Characters: 2 men and 1 woman
    Visual Strengths:
    Black & white
    Close-ups / different angles
    Looping plot
    Microscope view that slowly zooms out to reveal a scene
    Use of Light / Color:
    Black & white
    Single light source
    Digital techniques:
    Speed of video: slow motion/speed up
    Use of Sound / Music:
    Voice over
    Minimal sounds, but effective


  3. Anna Frank

    Title: Feast
    Year: 2014
    Director: Patrick Osborne
    Run time: 6 Minutes
    Link to the film : Saw at the Oscar shorts.
    Story Synopsis: Feast tells the story of a man and the progression of his life through his dog’s eyes and the use of food.
    Location: Indoors/residence mostly
    Characters: A dog named Winston, his male owner, and his girlfriend.
    Visual strengths: The use of foreground/background that helped shift focus between the dog and the life around him.
    Use of Light / Color: Bright, light, soft colors during the daytime and dark tones/ambiences during night or indoors.
    Digital techniques: All computer animated.
    Use of Sound / Music: Great use of outdoor/downtown sound effects, natural dog sounds. Most of the beginning withholds from any music, using most of the sound effects to narrate or add reality. Background music doesn’t really come in until the dog reunites his owner with his girlfriend to the end of the film.

    Title: The Dam Keeper
    Year: 2014
    Director: Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi
    Run time: 18 Minutes
    Link to the film: Saw at Oscar shorts. Trailer:
    Story Synopsis: In a town there is a dam that keeps the darkness away. Every 8 hours the damn needs to be rewound to protect the down. A small boy who is the dam keeper, is bullied and singled out at school for literally being a pig. He makes a new friend; a fox who likes to make fun of people by drawing insulting cartoons of them. Due to a misunderstanding, the dam isn’t checked, putting the town in danger.
    Location: Mostly outdoors within the town, very little indoors at school and the dam.
    Characters: The dam keeper and his friend, the fox, along with other school kids and townsfolk.
    Visual Strengths: The art style is beautiful and makes the film look handmade.
    Use of Light/Color: Very light/muted color tones, as if the sun is always shining on them.
    Digital Techniques: Computer animated.
    Use of Sound/Music: Subtle narration and genuine sound effects from townspeople.

    Title: (notes on) biology
    Year: 2012
    Director: Danny & Will Madden, Jonathan Silva
    Run Time: 5 minutes
    Link to the film:
    Story Synopsis: A boy gets bored with his notes in biology class.
    Location: School classroom.
    Characters: Student, biology teacher.
    Visual Strengths: Great pacing and clean animation.
    Use of Light/Color: a weird faint sepia tint in the film. Works rather well. Pen colors from notes.
    Digital Techniques: Pixilation and hand-drawn animation
    Use of Sound/Music: Dull teacher lecture that gradually becomes more muted=> emphasizes classroom setting. One man “handmade” sound effects.

    Title: The Bigger Picture
    Year: 2014
    Director: Daisy Jacobs
    Run time: 8 minutes
    Link to film: Saw at the oscar shorts in the Zinema.
    Story Synopsis: Two brothers vie for the attention of/argue about their aging mother in her last days.
    Location: Indoors, household, hospital.
    Characters: Two brothers and their mother.
    Visual Strengths: the creative way that the characters interacted with the walls of the room and the rest of the furniture.
    Use of Light/Color: Dull, homy light. Seems like neutral/pastel colors.
    Digital Techniques: Life size stop animation.
    Use of Sound/Music: Heavy on dialogue. I don’t really recall any background music.

    Title: Forgot
    Year: 2013
    Director: Stephen McNally
    Run time: 2 minutes
    LInk to Film:
    Story Synopsis: A man reflects on life and society and how much we forget in our life, and more importantly—why we forget.
    Location: Everywhere.
    Characters: A man and woman.
    Visual Strengths: The art style and the writing is wonderful.
    Use of Light/Color: Dark indoor tones contrasted rather well by the bright sunlight colors.
    Digital Techniques: Computer Animation
    Use of Sound/Music: Subtle narration and a pondering sort of background music. Kind of fits in rather well with the whole idea that the main character was thinking throughout the whole film.


  4. Mitchell Ringness
    Visual Narrative 5 Short Films

    Title: Alexia
    Year: 2013
    Director: Andres Borghi
    Run Time: 8:54
    Link to the Film:

    Story Synopsis: Franco’s dead ex, Alexia, comes back to haunt him on the anniversary of her death after he invites a girl he’s in relations with (Melina) over to his house. Alexia ends up taking over Melina’s body and promptly rips Franco’s face off (probably).
    Location: Franco’s computer room/house
    Characters: Franco, Melina, and Alexia
    Visual Strengths: The film was very successful in creating a ominous, sinister vibe right from the get go. Very good and creative angle shots.
    Use of Light/Color: Great use of lighting, primarily from the computer screen projecting the light onto Franco’s face. Very dark everywhere except for on his face.
    Digital Techniques: Good use of the computer screen and its effects as the film progresses. Super creepy and freaky once Alexia starts messing with the screen.
    Use of Sound/Music: Eerily quiet and suspenseful. Makes you sit on the edge of your seat just by not having any music. Makes the other “normal” sounds stand out and make you jump. Not much verbal dialogue, mostly dialogue consists of a computer beeping whenever messages are sent or received; very effective and unique way to show it.

    Title: Don’t Move
    Year: 2013
    Director: Anthony Melton
    Run Time: 13:55
    Link to the Film:

    Story Synopsis: A short film about how an encounter with a Ouija Board turns sinister once a demon comes into their world and demands they play a twisted version of hide and seek. Five must die, only one may live. It’s the fat guy, the fat guy lives.
    Location: Someone’s house (not specified whose house it is)
    Characters: Anna, Marc, Sarah, Jill, Paul, Graham, the Demon
    Visual Strengths: Pop-up scares, disturbing visual and audio effects, and a very cool demon monster! Some of the CGI was a little bad but overall it was good. Great style in terms of the cinematography.
    Use of Light/Color: Low levels of light, but enough to make it effective. Lots of red lights, and the overall color scheme seems to gravitate toward a red palette.
    Digital Techniques: Some very effective, and some not so effective, CGI and visual effects. Monster was both CGI and physical depending on what was happening. Great usage of shots, very well at telling a story.
    Use of Sound/Music: Intense and in-your-face audio helped make this one of the greatest short films I watched. The sounds the demon made were horrifically disturbing and very creative. Definitely gave me a lot of ideas! Lots of dialogue between characters.

    Title: Lights Out
    Year: 2014
    Director: David Sandberg
    Run Time: 2:41
    Link to the Film:

    Story Synopsis: An unnamed lady comes home one stormy night and is about to get ready to go to bed but a shadow keeps appearing as she turns off the light. She ends up being terrorized mentally by whatever it is that is roaming her house. Totally gets you in the end when you think it’s gone, and it ends up being right by her face! Definitely one of the scariest short films I’ve EVER seen.
    Location: Unnamed woman’s house (hallway, bedroom)
    Characters: Unnamed lady, demon thingy
    Visual Strengths: Absolutely terrifying in it’s simplicity and quick, in your face angles and shots. Creates an insane amount of suspense and fear in just a few minutes!
    Use of Light/Color: Very dark, low amounts of light, but striking contrast between the light and the dark. Very ominous and eerie. Very little color, nothing stands out.
    Digital Techniques: N/A
    Use of Sound/Music: No music, but sounds are very well placed and timed, as well as being loud. Very creepy in every way! Jump-scares created from sound! No dialogue whatsoever, simply the woman’s reactions.

    Title: Elegy
    Year: 2014
    Director: Lewis Farinella
    Run Time: 15:13
    Link to the Film:

    Story Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic future, nature has evolved to be deadly to humans. This short film focuses on a man’s journey to deliver an unknown package to an undisclosed location. He comes across resistance in the forms of small packs of humans, devoid of any laws or obligations. He finally makes it to the location, his lover’s gravesite, where it is revealed that the object he was carrying was a rose for the gravesite. He ends up dying there from a wound he received from fighting outlaws.
    Location: A post-apocalyptic overgrown world.
    Characters: Unnamed man, unnamed outlaws.
    Visual Strengths: Incredible cinematography, beautiful landscapes, unique angles, great story-building elements.
    Use of Light/Color: Wonderfully lit scenes, no harsh shadows, good usage of color.
    Digital Techniques: N/A
    Use of Sound/Music: Perfect usage of music, not overpowering. Great sound effects as well. No talking at all for the most part, just primal body language that’s universally understood.

    Title: Portal: No Escape
    Year: 2011
    Director: Dan Trachtenberg
    Run Time: 6:57
    Link to the Film:

    Story Synopsis: A woman wakes up in a cell room with no memory of who she is or why she’s there. She ends up cracking a code on her cell wall which leads to a gun safe with a portal-creating weapon. She escapes from her cell with it, only to find that her entire breakout was for nothing as the entire outside world is a lie being projected on a screen.
    Location: Jail cell, research facility, post-apocalyptic world.
    Characters: Unnamed woman, facility guards
    Visual Strengths: Very gritty and realistic. Awesome lighting, awesome sound and audio, and awesome effects! Good close-ups, and great way to create repetition through filming style used.
    Use of Light/Color: No vibrant colors other than the portals, very gritty and rundown feel to the settings. Great usage of light though, very balanced.
    Digital Techniques: Very cool props and special effects, especially the cool scenarios created by using the portal gun.
    Use of Sound/Music: Incredible usage of sound effects, not much music until once she breaks out of her jail cell. Fast-paced, action-packed sounds! Good audio. No dialogue between characters, or to oneself.


  5. Ryan Gilman

    Title: The Dark Knight Legacy
    Year: 2013
    Director: Brett Register
    Run time: 7:16
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: One year after the events of The Dark Knight Rises, Red Hood arrives.
    Location: Warehouse
    Characters: Red Hood, Oswald Cobblepot, other mobsters, 2 Police officers, Nightwing
    Visual strengths: Does a nice job of representing characters of gotham, making them all seem semi-realistic like the Christopher Nolan movies
    Use of Light / Color: Flashing strobe used during fight scene to cover the pulled punches, very harsh light with alot of shadows. The only red is the mask of Red Hood, making it stand out
    Digital techniques: Muzzle flares, fake blood for fight scenes
    Use of Sound / Music: Gun sound effects, slight horror string instruments in background, big Dark Knight/Inception hits, suspense music

    Title: The End
    Year: 2011
    Director: Dominic Fera
    Run time: 24:56
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A young man can see how every relationship with a woman will end the first time he says hi to them.
    Location: Strip Mall, house
    Characters: Brendan McKeller, Jennifer Jones, a few random women
    Visual strengths: Keeps rule of thirds constant the whole time. Stable shots for the most part. The few follow shots are very smooth. Constantly refers back to his hurt ankle as a parallel to how he was hurt emotionally and hasn’t pursued anything since. Like how he won’t skate because he’s afraid of getting hurt again.
    Use of Light / Color: Standard lighting, outside shots at beginning and end have the sun in the shot, but it adds to it. Very warm colors make the romance feel warmer.
    Digital techniques: None
    Use of Sound / Music: Variety of music in the background, downbeat piano, occasional vocals, keeps the tone (which is light) the way it is.

    Title: Backwater Gospel
    Year: 2011
    Director: Bo Mathorne
    Run time: 9:32
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: People who fear the undertaker of the area hide away when he comes to town. As tension builds things start to go awry.
    Location: Old West town
    Characters: Undertaker, Guitarist, Preacher, Bubba, townspeople
    Visual strengths: dusty film over camera to fit old west theme, darkness with bright light on teeth and eyes to accentuate animalisticness. Alot of symmetry.
    Use of Light / Color: Minimal dusty color to fit the old west theme. Dark shadows and black when not brown.
    Digital techniques: Animated, so alot of digital techniques
    Use of Sound / Music: Man sings about the undertaker. Dark foreboding music while the undertaker sits waiting to accentuate the fear everyone feels toward him.

    Title: The Desk
    Year: 2011
    Director: Albert Gonzales
    Run time: 7:43
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: The new kid at a school is lonely, so he writes on his desk. The the desk starts writing back.
    Location: Public Highschool
    Characters: Peter, Julie, Schoolkids
    Visual strengths: No unnecessary shots of anything, many insert shots, but every single one accomplishes something. Rule of thirds followed to a T
    Use of Light / Color: Standard school lighting, starndard school clothes and colors. Somewhat more shadows used when desk is lost.
    Digital techniques: Written words appear on desk.
    Use of Sound / Music: Constant piano song plays in back, but it is very jumpy at points, poorly edited. The major flaw in an otherwise well done film.

    Title: The Fleeting Little Life of Peter Wright
    Year: 2015
    Director: Tim H
    Run time: 14:56
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A man named Peter Wright is going to kill himself when his roommate walks in and starts interrogating him
    Location: Small House, Top of a building, train station
    Characters: Peter Wright, Jenny
    Visual strengths: Main character always seperated from roomate by some amount of space, they never touch. Smiley potatoes in spaghettii-o’s makes it look like they’re bloody
    Use of Light / Color: Bland Colors, everything appears everyday and normal, as this is something that happens every day in the world.
    Digital techniques: None
    Use of Sound / Music: Some synth music plays calmingly in the background, good use of sound effects. When going to upload the suicide video the button makes gunshot sound as she is figuratively killing him.


  6. Matt M

    Title: The Red Balloon
    Year: 1958
    Director: Albert Lamorisse
    Run time: 34 min
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: an adventure of a boy and his balloon. The surprise is that the balloon may have a mind of its own.
    Location: town in France
    Characters: boy and balloon
    Visual strengths: the balloon has a very bright red. It appears to contrast the bland environment.
    Use of Light / Color: natural daylight.
    Digital techniques: not much as there may not have a lot to use back then. It is still well done making the balloon seem alive.
    Use of Sound / Music: some music during some parts.

    It is a little long. I watched a few years ago. I am not sure how they made the balloon move like that.

    Title: The Black Hole
    Year: 2008
    Director: Phil and Olly
    Run time: 2 min 49 sec
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: After work hours an employee somehow prints a black hole and uses it around the office
    Location: an office
    Characters: one employee
    Visual strengths: the dark makes it seem mysterious
    Use of Light / Color: indoors and not much lights on
    Digital techniques: some digital techniques to make his harm disappear.
    Use of Sound / Music: some sound effects. Not much in music.

    I just found this short. It is a quick story. The ending is funny and the character sort of deserved it.

    Title: The Big House
    Year: 2014
    Director: Musa Syeed
    Run time: 4 min 50 sec
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A Yemeni boy finds his way in a large mansion he never been in.
    Location: Yemen
    Characters: boy
    Visual strengths: good lighting.
    Use of Light / Color: natural light
    Digital techniques: not much.
    Use of Sound / Music: some music in some scenes.

    This one was linked on one of the websites link on this blog. It has an interesting documentary style.

    Title: Geri’s Game
    Year: 1997
    Director: Jan Pinkava
    Run time: 5 min
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: Geri is in the park and plays a game of chess with himself
    Location: park
    Characters: Geri
    Visual strengths: great fast pace animation.
    Use of Light / Color: warm colors making it look like it is in the fall
    Digital techniques: computer animation
    Use of Sound / Music: many sound effects and some music.

    Pixar has many fun short films. This one is one that I found as one of there better ones. I like how it appears that there are two Geris instead of one.

    Title: The Longest Daycare
    Year: 2012
    Director: David Silverman
    Run time: 5 min
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: Maggie spends the day at daycare and has a conflict with her rival.
    Location: daycare
    Characters: Maggie Simpson, The baby with one eyebrow, butterfly.
    Visual strengths: very colorful. A lot of animated details.
    Use of Light / Color: a lot of use of color
    Digital techniques: hand drawn animation but looks somewhat digital.
    Use of Sound / Music: a lot of different music for different emotions.

    I always been a fan of the TV show. This short was made for theaters and few years ago. While it has no dialog it has some of the same humor as the TV show.


    Year: 2015
    Director: Cale Glendening
    Run time: 3:13
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis:Mercedes-Benz restoration specialist Mr J G Francis puts a 1973 250C Coupé through its paces in the California desert
    Location:California Desert
    Characters:Mr J G Francis
    Visual strengths: Excellent framing
    Use of Light / Color: Very purposeful and tastefull
    Digital techniques: I love the way this is shot it is so cinematic and beautiful
    Use of Sound / Music: Strong Storytelling

    Title: Palmera Express
    Year: 2015
    Director: Eddie Obrand
    Run time: 15:19
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: “They rode the cool Northeast trade winds across an ocean to The Island. They ended up in the bed of a plantation-green pickup truck, with a mad tour guide behind the wheel, and thrashing palmeras blowing above them. They rode stubby fishes and sleek shortboards through lurching, spitting sapphire surf. Each guy had a story, from the gonzo writer to the gypsy traveler. It was there on The Island where these eclectic friends converged one extraordinary winter to explore these foreign waters and revel in this dreamy island life… All aboard the Palmera Express.”
    Location: Hawaii
    Characters: Many
    Visual strengths: Good vibe
    Use of Light / Color: nostalgic feel
    Digital techniques:
    Use of Sound / Music


  8. Taylor Maki: 5 Short Films

    Title: Yellow
    Year: 2006
    Director: Neill Blomkamp
    Run time: 4:05
    Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)

    Story Synopsis: In the near future, scientists are able to create an advanced form of artificial intelligence. However, sometimes experiments do not go according to plan.
    Location: Laboratory, city streets, and a factory.
    Characters: Yellow, (a synthetic human) and the scientists who created him.
    Visual strengths: Use of light/shadows. Authentic looking locations and people.
    Use of Light / Color: Bright pops of color in an otherwise dull environment.
    Digital techniques: Lots of CGI used for the synthetic humans and laboratory equiptment.
    Use of Sound / Music: Exciting, fast paced music. Lots of street sounds and city ambiance.

    Title: Alight
    Year: 2011
    Director: Jason Keyser
    Run time: 2:46
    Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)

    Story Synopsis: A short sweet love story about two elemental beings, separated by the laws of nature. A quest for revenge leads to evolution.
    Location: A desert, and a castle made of stone.
    Characters: A fire and water elemental, as well as an enemy made of stone.
    Visual strengths: Flowing, beautiful animation style. Very stylized.
    Use of Light / Color: Rich colors, and dim lighting set the bittersweet mood of the film.
    Digital techniques: Digitally animated.
    Use of Sound / Music: A beautiful soundtrack that changes with the events and emotions of the characters.

    Title: Time Trap
    Year: 2014
    Director: Michael Shanks
    Run time: 7:46
    Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)

    Story Synopsis: When a spaceman’s ship breaks down, he must go on an adventure through time and space to find the parts he needs to repair it.
    Location: Outer space, and post-apocalyptic Earth.
    Characters: Spaceman, and various unfortunate humans.
    Visual strengths: Unique visual effects.
    Use of Light / Color: Great use of color to set mood.
    Digital techniques: Great use of CGI to create spaceship and ‘time bubbles’.
    Use of Sound / Music: Music accentuates mood and story perfectly! Upbeat and fun.

    Title: Kortex
    Year: 2014
    Director: Robin Disch
    Run time: 16:03
    Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)

    Story Synopsis: In a post apocalyptic world, a wanderer is on a quest for the things he misses from when the world was simpler.
    Characters: Salesman, man, robots, scavengers.
    Visual strengths: Lots of interesting angles, good use of props and costume.
    Use of Light / Color: Bright lighting and contrast suits the theme of the harsh desert.
    Digital techniques: CGI Robot droids.
    Use of Sound / Music: Old fashioned music suits this almost “Fallout” style film.

    Title: The Elevator
    Year: 2010
    Director: Greg Gilienna
    Run time: 3:37
    Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)

    Story Synopsis: A man gets on an elevator and is quickly overwhelmed by the other passengers.
    Location: An elevator.
    Characters: Various people.
    Visual strengths: There’s an overall sense of reality in the lighting and characters that is very believable.
    Use of Light / Color: Dull lighting accentuates the stifling situation.
    Digital techniques:
    Use of Sound / Music: Classical monotonous elevator music.


  9. Tony Moore

    Title: Blind Spot
    Year: 2011
    Director: Matthew Nayman
    Run time: 5:48
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: (Taken from video description) “Steven couldn’t see how his day could get any worse… That’s because he is looking the wrong way.”
    Location: In a car
    Characters: Steven, Jocelyn (airline employee)
    Visual strengths: Camera stays in one place the whole time while we see things fall apart in the space around Steven’s head.
    Use of Light / Color: Filmed in what appears to be early evening when the sky is getting dark, but we occasionally see the sun setting between the buildings. Most of the light we see is coming from the sun
    Digital techniques: I would imagine the entire background is computer generated, along with all of the effects used when the city is in ruin
    Use of Sound / Music: We mostly only hear the conversation but we also occasionally hear car horns, sirens, and other sounds from outside the vehicle

    Title: Marilyn Myller
    Year: Not given
    Director: Mikey Please
    Run time: 6:07
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: Marilyn is an artist who plays God. She creates and then she destroys.
    Location: In Marilyn’s imagination, Marilyn’s house, Art gallery
    Characters: Marilyn, Marilyn’s roommate, Phillip
    Visual strengths: The claymation made for some fun visuals with Marilyn creating different pieces. The creation of the universe, and subsequently the planet, were beautifully done.
    Use of Light / Color: This is a fairly dark film with light only used in small doses. It begins in space so the light only comes from the stars, and once we get to Marilyn’s apartment the only light comes from her lamps.
    Digital techniques: Lots of claymation effects
    Use of Sound / Music: Some background music that set the tone. Sound and sound effects were both good

    Title: Cargo
    Year: 2013
    Director: Ben Howling & Yolanda Ramke
    Run time: 7:04
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: Stranded in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a man sets in motion an unlikely plan to protect the precious cargo he carries.
    Location: In a car, in the woods
    Characters: Dad, Mom, Baby Rosie, three other survivors
    Visual strengths: Blurry camera to start the video to give the viewer a sense of disorientation, quick cuts to produce a panicked sensation
    Use of Light / Color: Natural lighting
    Digital techniques: It doesn’t look like anything was digitally rendered; all effects were real
    Use of Sound / Music: Music cuts out for dramatic effect, zombie sounds in the background for suspense

    Title: Isolated
    Year: 2014
    Director: Thomas Vergara
    Run time: 5:14
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: After finding himself in a wrecked taxi, Evan tries to figure out the pieces of the puzzle, while dealing with a dangerous threat in a seemingly deserted city.
    Location: In a city
    Characters: Evan, guy in cab
    Visual strengths: Sometimes changes to first person view to put the viewer in his shoes, very quick cuts to give sense of disorientation
    Use of Light / Color: It’s a dark film and it happens at night so light is used sparingly. Flashbacks to daytime give us a little more light, as it is shedding light on the situation
    Digital techniques: The entire film was digitally animated and the quality was some of the best I have ever seen
    Use of Sound / Music: Intense music during intense scenes, good ambient city sounds

    Title: Fugu and Tako
    Year: 2014
    Director: Ben West
    Run time: 7:58
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: This film follows two Japanese men whose lives literally transform when one of them eats a live puffer fish in a sushi bar
    Location: in a sushi restaurant
    Characters: Fugu, Tako, sushi chef
    Visual strengths: The pufferfish head was something I have never seen before and it made the film very unique and fun to watch.
    Use of Light / Color: Outdoor shots had natural light, some of the indoor shots were darker but for the most part it was a bright film.
    Digital techniques: the sushi from the shop was moving, the puffer fish was animated, and the puffer fish head was animated in a great way
    Use of Sound / Music: Very good music which helped set the tone. It got more sentimental when Tako was talking about losing his friend.


  10. Title: Imagine A World Where Being “Gay” The Norm & Being “Straight” Would Be The Minority! [Short Film]
    Year: 2013
    Director: K. Rocco Shields
    Run time: 19:12
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: “Teen bulling and teen suicide based on someone’s sexual preference is ridiculous – and this film turns the tables on modern society. What IF the shoe was on the other foot?. ”
    Location: America
    Characters: Ashley, her moms, Ian, mean little kids
    Visual strengths: Powerful close-ups, out of focus narrative, powerful images especially at the end with her in the bathtub and bathroom. Montage used appropriately to narrate the understanding of heterosexual and homosexual relationships while Ashley is being focused into a toilet. Uses slowing-down methods to reflex Ashley’s feelings toward hateful actions.
    Use of Light / Color: Saturated colours, dark shadows, bright illumination of non-natural lighting, while natural lighting is drawn out and warmer.
    Digital techniques: No 3D uses.
    Use of Sound / Music: Background music to influence Ashley’s struggle with relationships, soft and slightly techno. Dialogue both in context and voiced over to explain plot.

    Title: Identity SHORT FILM (Award Winning Inspirational Short)
    Year: 2012
    Director: KJ Adames
    Run time: 5:18
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: “Living in a world where everybody wears masks due to lack of self-identity, a brave girl encounters the truth that sets her free”
    Location: High School
    Characters: Nameless girl
    Visual strengths: Allegory of Plato’s Cave, use of Chess’s rules – the pawn, shows how one girl changes masks when going from one group of friends to another. Emphasis on how there are different types of masks – reflecting on people.
    Use of Light / Color: Washed out colours, soft lighting, at the end when she leaves without her mask there is actual brighter natural lighting.
    Digital techniques: No digital effects except for reversing the final scene in the beginning then playing it normally at the end.
    Use of Sound / Music: Only voices come into explain metaphors relating to the theme of identity, the world of appearances, and manipulation. Music is background, not intrusive. It is uplifting at the end.
    Title: The Most Beautiful Thing (Short Film)
    Year: 2012
    Director: Cameron Covell
    Run time: 10:43
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A boy contemplates wanting to ask someone out to prom meets a girl who is deaf. They form a friendship that leads into more. When he attempts to ask her to prom he faces a challenge guided by misunderstanding.
    Location: High school
    Characters: Emily, Brandon, random tough guy
    Visual strengths: Shaky walking camera angles, close ups, cut scenes, visuals to their notebooks, which is important to their communication.
    Use of Light / Color: Warm colours, use of natural lighting, bright clothing colours. Pink is an important colour – both her backpack and the prom flyer, and the flowers.
    Digital techniques: None
    Use of Sound / Music: Sweet music when montaging the story of their relationship and Brandon getting ready to ask her out then being disappointed when he sees her being kissed. Not a lot of dialogue, mostly written between the two characters, and when Brandon says “hi” and Emily speaks to him.
    Title: A Finger, Two Dots Then Me (Short Film)
    Year: 2012
    Director: David and Daniel Holechek
    Run time: 7:39
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A poem written by Derrick Brown and performed by him.
    Location: Meadow, a dark room, hospital, space
    Characters: Two lovers
    Visual strengths: Old man in a hospital bed – powerful close-ups, slightly out of focus. Two young kids in golden meadow, running and very photogenic, Derrick talking with naked light bulbs around him that illuminate for visual effects relating to poem’s lines.
    Use of Light / Color: Bright with children, dark lighting with old man, bright light bulbs of blue and white to symbolize the soul and/or pilot light.
    Digital techniques: Drawings of stars that like chalk to show innocent, layered over film
    Use of Sound / Music: “Kids Will Be Skeletons” by Mogwai, and Derrick’s narrative are powerful, especially at the end when Derrick brings his poem to the climax.
    Title: Breakup Sex
    Year: 2015
    Director: Buzzfeed
    Run time: 6:04
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis: A couple is about to celebrate their anniversary, except the girlfriend finds the boyfriend’s note that he is going to break up with her. This leads to an awkward, passive aggressive confrontation.
    Location: Someone’s house.
    Characters: Karina and Ben
    Visual strengths: A lot of space between the characters are shown. Shaky and out of focus close ups and backgrounds. Sometimes the shots are not centered and cut off.
    Use of Light / Color: Bright colours in the beginning of the film, but changes when the girl finds the breakup letters. Her dress and balloons contrast her feelings. The room is dark and washed out of colour, a lot of blues. The ending when he reads the letter it is bright again.
    Digital techniques: No digital techniques.
    Use of Sound / Music: Soft music in the background, really noticeable when the conversation turns darker when they need serious and at the end. Song, “Absent Friends” by Warner Chappell Production Music Inc.


  11. Title: ROADS
    Year: 8 months ago
Keith Rivers
    Run time: 02:30

    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis:
It’s a documentary about his journey thru this country, and how it has impacted his life and what a trip across cultures can mean to the people who get to experience it.
Mainly Zambia Africa
People he meet along his journey
    Visual strengths: It is shot and edited with a lot of thought about the story that he wanted to tell, and using the idea of common things to connect cultures and people.
    Use of Light / Color:
I think that the use of natural light along with the color quality not being the top of the line camera equipment plays to the story he is trying to tell about the people of Zambia, and how we as Americans can relate to some of the same struggles, even though we are not from a 2/3 world country.
    Digital techniques: The editing is definitely really well thought out, and the fact that it is shot in a little bit lower of a quality helps play to the idea of 2/3 world countries.
    Use of Sound / Music: The ambient noise and added sound effects in the background of the voice over really does play with video adding another quality to the story being told. The voice over really gets this point of the video across.

John Kahrs
    Run time: 06:34
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis:
Man runs into woman on train platform, they fall for each other. But the woman ends up getting on the train before he can get anything more then the lipstick mark on the piece of paper he had. Later he sees her in an office building across the street. He folds all of his papers from his desk into airplanes to try to throw across to her, to get her attention. In the end the airplanes lead them together.
A animated city
Man, woman, and crabby boss
    Visual strengths: 
The use of “light” to create the natural light that would be the sun is good. The animation is very realistic of the world that they created.
    Use of Light / Color:
The light is created right for the time of day, and area that they could be in, along with inside vs outside lighting.
    Digital techniques:

    Use of Sound / Music: The sound effects add to the realistic quality of the animation, and the music plays exactly on cue with the motion of the animation.

The Lost Thing
Andrew Ruhemann & Shaun Tan
    Run time:
    Link to the film :

    Story Synopsis:
A young boy is out looking for bottle caps, but finds a lost thing. He decides someone should look after the lost thing till he can find it a good home. He sees a tv ad for a place to bring lost things, and the janitor tells him not to leave the lost thing there, and gives him a card to this other place where there are lots of lost things for the lost thing to hang out with.
A made up world
A young boy, and the lost thing.
    Visual strengths: Very playful and very colorful, give to the magical qualities and dream likeness of young children’s imaginations.
    Use of Light / Color:
 The lighting adds to this magical world, and the colors added to the playful child like quality.
    Digital techniques:
Good use of animated techniques.
    Use of Sound / Music: Sound and music added to the playfulness and realistic qualities of the piece.

Post-it Love
Simon Atkinson & Adam Townley
    Run time:
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis:
A male and female coworker who are shy express themselves to each other thru post-it notes.
An office building
A male and female coworker
    Visual strengths: 

    Use of Light / Color:
The lighting well would be kind of poor in other situations, works well in this piece as it adds to the ambiance of the office setting.
    Digital techniques:
The cutting between scenes done right to not take away from the storyline.
    Use of Sound / Music: plays well into the motion and movements of the video

Christopher Kezelos
    Run time:
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis:
 It follows the story of Zero, a being born into a world of numbers, where zeros are considered the pariahs of society and thus oppressed by all other numbers. It is a simple story about human nature and how stoically the subjugated take their persecution.
A made up world
Yarn “people” who have numbers on their chest
    Visual strengths: 
Very cute and playful, the use of the yarn people creates a different kind of humor to the short.
    Use of Light / Color:
Use of colors to separate the popular from the unpopular works well
    Use of Sound / Music: The voice over helps to create this very playful storyline, and the music works well with the motion and movement of the characters.


  12. Taylor Schwinghammer
    Title: Out of Bounds
    Year: 2014
    Director: Victoria Piechowitz
    Run time: 6:35
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: A man has what I would say OCD. He must do things a certain way and have things in certain places. He only has a fish, Paul as a friend. He is terrified of going outside and comes across a dilemma when his fish food for Paul gets shipped to Sophie house, across the street. He muster ups the courage to go outside but things go terrible wrong for him.
    Location: Suburb
    Characters: Paul 179 the fish, Sophie, and, The owner of Paul 179
    Visual strengths: Being able to use the blueprint background as a way to show his thoughts. Different points of view through out.
    Use of Light / Color: When he goes outside the colors change to a dream-like quality. In his house it is dark, like he is trying to keep himself away and shut out but while at Sophie’s house it is brighter showing a positive change.
    Digital techniques: all animation
    Use of Sound / Music: Music is played during the intro and also at the end underneath while they are talking. Music also plays while he introduces Sophie.

    Title: I’m Not A Weird Person
    Year: 2015
    Director: Molly McGlynn
    Run time: 5:05
    Link to the film:
    Story Synopsis: After a traumatizing encounter with a stranger, Emmy is trying to find the courage to leave the safety of her apartment and go back out into the world again… because she’s in desperate need of toothpaste.
    Location: on the street, in her living room
    Characters: Emmy, stranger on street
    Visual strengths: Close ups are good then zoom out to the action that she is doing. In particular I like the shot when she goes outside for the first time and we establish that she is on a fire escape and then we see the fear and that she is uncomfortable.
    Use of Light / Color: Some natural lighting, while in the house it is not bright or fluorescent mostly dull and neutral in the house only pattern is found on the couch
    Digital techniques: minimal
    Use of Sound / Music: Sounds on the street even though you don’t see where they are coming from considering it is just of the people walking in the street. Mostly voice overs of her thoughts then when she is in the present normal sounds that she is making in her house and her talking as well. Some music throughout mostly when she is talking out loud then more of mood setter when she is doing the voiceover for when she goes outside

    Title: Roommate Wanted – Dead or Alive
    Year: 2015
    Director: Iaerke Kromann
    Run time: 7:32
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: A struggling medical student gets way more than he bargained for when his new roommate moves in. Can they find a way to share their living space … when one of them is a zombie!?
    Location: Man’s apartment
    Characters: Adam, Zach the Zombie
    Visual strengths: cube through out. walk out of frame to go to the next area of apartment . close up shots
    Use of Light / Color: the apartment walls are neutral in color while Adam has a bright green sweater on and Zach is purple. There seems to be a color scheme that goes with the green that the red vest, yellow sweater and purple body follow. Only in his room are you left with dark lighting.
    Digital techniques: claymation animation
    Use of Sound / Music: Voice over throughout with a narrator. Mostly gasp or groans from the characters. Climatic/intense music in the beginning. More playful during it. When Adam in kitchen then get interrupted abruptly. Different songs for the different encounters that they have going off of the mood of Adam mostly

    Title: Parrot Away
    Year: 2015
    Director: Mads Weidner
    Run time: 5:57
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: The ugly parrot Pierre gets lucky when a fashionable pirate is being just a little too fashionably late …
    Location: On Sea
    Characters: Pirate, Parrot, Fisherman
    Visual strengths: being able to make some areas look flat while still adding dimension to the boats. Using more of the cartoon area for the runaway scene in black and white adds interest and also adds time to the chase without really showing where they were going.
    Use of Light / Color: Bright colors besides the one not “perfect” parrot. I also thought it was interesting that the parrot and pirate were not matching like the other pairs
    Digital techniques: animation but it mostly was flat and lacking dimension which made it look more like a cut out animation.
    Use of Sound / Music: mostly sound effects. some use of music for the parts that didn’t have as many sound effect such as the black and white parts.

    Title: Leonard in Slow Motion
    Year: 2014
    Director: Peter Livolsi
    Run time: 9:12
    Link to the film :
    Story Synopsis: Leonard exists in slow motion but lives in a regular speed world. When he discovers his office crush is getting transferred to Florida, Leonard decides he must somehow become regular speed to win her heart before she leaves town for good.
    Location: Florida
    Characters: Leonard, Sheryl, Leonards friend and Jerry the boss
    Visual strengths: When Leonard looks towards Sheryl then we find our point of view to be looking to her at the next shot. Showing the news show over his shoulder then coming back to his reaction. Close up of his movements particularly when he is writing the post card to Sheryl.
    Use of Light / Color: natural in color same throughout the whole story
    Digital techniques: Being able to have Leonard in slow motion but have real time movement throughout the rest of the frame.
    Use of Sound / Music: His sound effects are in slow motion. Music for when the shots are further away and he is walk. Noticed he doesn’t talk when he is in slow motion, it makes him more secluded in my personal opinion


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