Low Budgets

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Some of it’s obvious, some of it’s aggressively amateur, but it’s hard to resist posting a short film that’s so dedicated to movies. It also helps when the director claims that it’s this column that helped push him out the door and finally get something on camera. Plus, despite a few flaws, this comedic short from Walter Woods nails down the style of a handful of notable directors right down to the title sequencing. Wes Anderson is a bit clunky, but Quentin Tarantino is spot on, and the rest are pure icing for a great example of low-budget filmmaking that works because of a clever, sketch comedy-style concept and good execution which mines what’s funny about stereotyping auteurs. What will it cost? Only 9 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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Why Watch? We all hold cameras in our hands now. People have started using the iPhone 4 to make films, and it’s a strong representation of a new low-budget filmmaking technique that’s still a bit wobbly. Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong made a pro flick with the phone, and we’ve featured an amateur iPhone movie (that was pure joy), but this is the first to truly evoke a 1970s sense of horror without a budget. It’s a sense that the person behind the camera has skill even if the equipment has severe limitations. Plus, director Vinod Bharathan borrows more than a few angles from the thrillers of the past, and having an attractive, pantsless blonde walking around with a knife is something everyone can enjoy. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out Limbo for yourself:

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Welcome back to Commentary Commentary, where we dive into the shiny backside of your favorite DVDs and bring you the magical insight that comes from hearing filmmakers talk. This week we’re going back to the woods, trekking through miles and miles of uncharted forest area, and looking for some lost film students. Not necessarily film school rejects. You can’t really be rejected if you wind up dead in the woods, right? Doesn’t matter. This week we’re listening to the commentary track for The Blair Witch Project, the infamous, no-budget shocker that became a cultural phenomenon in 1999. It also remains a sure-fire way to scare your friends or making them violently ill from all the shaky cam. Here’s what we learned from the commentary on this, the movie that kicked off the latest trend of found-footage moviemaking.

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Stuart Townsend has spent the past 15 years acting, and now he’s hopping into the director’s chair for the first time with Battle in Seattle. He sat down with FSR – we assume he was sitting; it was over the phone – to talk about riots, balancing the truth with fiction, and targeting the Obama generation.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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