Four Stories

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? A while back, we promoted a contest from W Hotels, Intel and Roman Coppola that was looking for short scripts. The Four Stories competition resulted in some excellent short films, and Eugene may be the very best – a humorous jaunt involving a sheepish man (played to perfection by Michael Govier) who is gifted a laptop that grants him anything he wishes. Directed by Spencer Susser (Hesher), who’s appeared in this column before with I Love You Sarah Jane, every element is top notch on a technical level but it’s the non-obvious sense of humor found in Adam Blampied‘s script that makes this work stand out. Govier has proven why he should play Ignatius Reilly here, playing a sweet oaf who tries to warm his hands by a fake fire and dog-whistle at a fish. He’s awkward even when he’s alone, and there’s a grand innocence to him (illustrated especially by what he wishes for), but the story itself is happier to echo the unfair episodes of The Twilight Zone when it comes to the plot thickening. Stellar, quiet comedy with all sorts of unexpected directions, Blampied is a talent to watch, and whomever is trying to make A Confederacy of Dunces this time around should seriously give Govier a call. What will it cost you? Only 12 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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Four Stories Filmmaking Competition

You’ve only got 7 more days to enter the Four Stories Filmmaking Competition, which means you’ve either got to hustle or you’re still polishing and perfecting. Either way, we’ve decided to help out with a few free pieces of advice that might come in handy. The contest – sponsored by W Hotels, Intel, The Directors Bureau and Roman Coppola – is unique in that its prompt involves two strict rules about where the story must be set (inside a W Hotel) and what has to be at the heart of the story (an Ultrabook laptop). Think of it as a grown-up version of creative writing class where the chance to have your script made by a Coppola is at stake along with two cool trips and a bit of spending money. I don’t remember my creative writing teacher ever being able to offer that (sorry, Mr. Boyd!). So if everyone is shackled by these challenges, how do you stand out? The creativity is up to you, but hopefully these 4 tips will get you that extra push you need for that 20th revision to really sing.

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Four Stories Filmmaking Competition

There’s no denying the simple romanticism of a hotel room. You’ve escaped your normal life for the turn-key reality of a temporary space where you don’t have to clean up after yourself, and there’s a mint waiting on your pillow when you return from the pool. These magic places have been the epicenter of creation (ask Ernest Hemingway or Barton Fink) and they’ve been the subject of storytelling (from the blissful views at the Overlook Hotel to Lost in Translation‘s palatial oasis in Tokyo). Why are they so inspirational? Because they’re fictional living spaces where the story hasn’t been written yet. With each new swipe of a key, the slate is wiped clean, ready for new words and ideas. And most of them have wi-fi, so you can write those words and ideas down. With that in mind, W Hotels and Intel are partnering with Roman Coppola and The Directors Bureau to launch a short film competition called Four Stories.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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