In a family full of feature films and TV shows, the little sister – short films – can often get lost in the mix. However, some of my favorite stories come from short films and I went hunting for an excuse to share some of them with you.
Interestingly enough, some of my favorite features have come from short films.
Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys is one of these. It was based on French New Wave director Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée. But there are a surprising amount of others that started out as shorts too, like District 9, Boogie Nights, Napoleon Dynamite, and Office Space just to name a few.
So, do you want to be the cool film nerd among your friends, who knows random things before everyone else? Then you should watch these shorts and educate all your friends with your expert film knowledge.
Here are 10 shorts I respect and as a gesture of that respect I shall salute them and tell you why I think everyone should see them…
A short film by Jamin Winans and Double Edge Films. Spin is the story of a DJ with the ability to change events. His goal is to try and make the best possible outcome happen. Of course, many things go wrong because people are people and with every small event he changes many more things go wrong. Spin, I salute you.
By Radical Media and Publicis Mojo Productions and directed by Patrick Hughes, Signs is a cute, out-of-the-box rom-com. What makes this short so compelling to watch is the lack of dialogue. The film relies heavily on the actor’s ability to tell the story. Everything is told through the action, but it’s not a silent film. I love that the story moves forward through visuals and hand written notes. It’s a unique way to tell the story, a challenging one, but all the more worth it. I hope to see this technique done in a feature some day. Signs, I salute you.
Probably one of my favourite shorts ever. Validation is about a man who gives out encouragements (validations) instead of just validating their parking. Validation is a Theatre Junkies Production, and was directed and written by Kurt Kuenne. It stars Bones’ T. J. Thyne. What I love about this story is how good it makes you feel. I mean who doesn’t like to be encouraged? Personally, I’d love to see this as a feature because we need more feel good movies that inspire us to be better human beings. I salute you, Validation.
OK, so I’m really biased on this one. SUPERsweetness is a short film I wrote and directed during film school. It tells the story of a bumbling superhero who thinks he’s saving the world, when really it’s his side-kick doing all the work. There’s something about these quirky characters that I love. I feel like it’s a story that leaves you feeling happy and I’d love for it to make more people happy. So if you’re having a crummy day, go watch this one.
5. The Bridge
Again, this is one I’m more biased about. The Bridge is a short film written and directed by Brendan Hanley and stars Keaton Evans and Stephanie Dwyer. It was produced on their film and acting school, which I had the fortune opportunity to teach on. It’s a profound story about the power of being a bridge in people’s lives. This story needs to be told. Who knows how many people it could help? It has the power to bring awareness to an issue many of us like to avoid. I salute you, The Bridge.
6. Our Time is Up
Our Time is Up is a short film by Station B and Rob Pearlstein. It tells the story of a therapist who receives news that will change how he does his job and life. It’s a quirky story, full of lovable characters and one I think could definitely transfer to the big screen with ease. It would be like the movie Ghost Town, without the ghosts. It serves as a great reminder of what’s important in life – to be present. Be saluted, Our Time is Up.
7. Margo Lily
Oh my goodness!! Margo Lily, I salute you! This is such a good short film. What a unique way of telling a compelling story. Margo Lily was produced by Lithium Studios Productions. Written and directed by Dane Clark and Lindsey Stewart, this epic short is definitely worth the watch. Without giving away the plot, it tells a simple story, but sets it in a specific senario you wouldn’t normally think of. I’d love to see this unique storytelling done for a feature film version. Watch it. Just go watch it now.
Spider is a short film by Blue Tongue Films and was directed by Nash Edgerton. It’s a tale of warning to one and all alike and no short film list would be complete without it. Spider and it’s sequel Bear are both definitely worth the watch. Obstacles are what make a story interesting and Spider is crawling with them. It would be seamless to turn it into a feature. So how ‘bout it Nash? Spider you are thus saluted.
Karaoke is a film by Borderlines Films and was written and directed by Andrew F. Renzi. I like the style of filming for this short, but I also think it’s an interesting look at what we do when faced with uncomfortable situations of life. It’s a look at how we deal with our loved ones when they’re dying. It’s a beautiful peice of filmmaking and you should go watch it now.
10. Borrowed Time
Borrowed Time was created by a couple Pixar animators, Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj. This epic little western is a great piece of art that is a must watch for any Pixar lover. This one isn’t for the kids though, it explores the heavy concept of grief and regret in a unique way. With each step forward, the aging protagonist is forced to face memories he’d like to remain forgotten forever. I salute you, Borrowed Time.