Ruairi Robinson

mars

It’s not often that a director will amass a fanbase before he’s ever even helmed a feature, but that’s exactly what Ruairi Robinson managed to do, thanks to the buzz that surrounded his short films like The Silent City and BlinkyTM. Movie pundits have been predicting for years now that Robinson is a future name in the world of genre films, and now he’s getting his chance to prove them right, because his first feature, The Last Days on Mars, is ready to be released in the UK on September 19, and has put together a trailer to promote the occasion. In addition to watching it because of the buzz surrounding Robinson, you’re also going to want to give this trailer a chance if you enjoy biology-based horror movies, or thrillers in space, or when the two come together in something like Alien. And you’re going to want to check it out to appreciate the cast that Robinson has put together, who aren’t close to being A-listers, but who are really underrated talents down to the last performer. Robinson is probably really good at making mix-tapes. I’m jealous of all his teenage crushes. Click through for some Liev Schreiber goodness.

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Why Watch? Guest Week is not over yet here on Short Film of the Day. Cole is still wrestling with the German authorities who insist that he must hit the minimum quota of poop-related Google searches in order to gain access to the internet. But he’s a family man, not a sick and deranged person. Today’s featured short was made by a somewhat deranged person, however. Fans of this column will know the name Ruairi Robinson as the director of the brilliant short Blinky™, which made our list of the best short films of 2011. He’s also in line to make his feature film debut soon. This time we travel back a bit further to one of his first works, 50 Percent Grey, a story about a soldier who wakes up in the afterlife to an unexpected series of events. It’s funny, in its own deep, dark way. What will it cost you? Three minutes and three seconds of the rest of your life. Don’t shoot! There’s always more Short Films!

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Over the course of the year, curating the Short Film of the Day feature has given me a deep and affecting appreciation of the art form. Before, I hadn’t given much thought to the little bastards, but the truth is that they are incredibly versatile and representative of the boundaries that film can break. They can be jokes told well or human dramas driven home. They can be a perfect bite or demand to be expanded into a full meal. They can feel classic or break out into the long, strange realm of experimentation. They are so much more than movies with short runtimes. There’s one difficulty in judging them, though. With such variation, pinpointing how one can be better than another gets to be tricky. So, no matter the order, the one constant is that all the movies listed here are outstanding at what they do. The other (small) problem is that sometimes short films spend a long time touring festivals and otherwise being unavailable online. Thus, eligibility here is based solely on when a movie hit the web for us to digest. In that way, it’s the best short films from 2010-2011, but I have a feeling that that trivia won’t matter once you sit glued to the screen at the talent on display here.

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Why Watch? A thrilling WWII dogfight on a low budget. Writer/Director Nick Ryan‘s glorious short film is proof that with the right artistic eye, some effects equipment and a hell of a lot of time, you can create something truly jaw-dropping for a price that will drop that jaw even lower. And you can even do it with a great story and rock solid acting. Starring Toby Kebbell (RockNRolla), this short tells the story of a fighter pilot who chases down a Nazi ace who shot down his friend. Part revenge story, part morality play, it’s beauty injected with adrenaline and Spitfire fuel. Eat your heart out, Howard Hughes. Nick Ryan has a promising career waiting for him. What does it cost? Just 10 minutes of your time. Check out The German for yourself:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Associate Editor Kate Erbland drops by to play Best/Worst and talk Found Fauxtage Films. Plus, we speak with author Ray Morton to get the whole story of why The Beatles made A Hard Day’s Night and we get a special announcement directly from Vimeo that will sound like sunshine to weary independent filmmakers. That is, the filmmakers who want to save some money. Download This Episode

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We featured the short film Blinky a while back, but if you go to the page now, the video is private. Why? Because director Ruairi Robinson is blowing up in a major way, and they’ll probably want to sell the cow instead of giving away the sweet sci-fi milk for free on the internet from now on. If you saw the short before it was walled up, then you know his success is a great, great thing. He’s got immense talent (and an Academy Award nomination from his 2001 short Fifty Percent Grey), so it was a no-brainer when he got picked up for Lionsgate’s aliens-crashing-in-Russia flick The Fallen, but that probably won’t be his feature debut. According to Deadline Tharsis Bulge, Qwerty Films is ready to start production in early 2012 for The Last Days on Mars, a story about a routine hunt for life on Mars that runs off the rails when an astronaut biffs it into a cave, dies, and gets taken over bodily by a resident of the red planet. The fresh talent behind the camera will be joined by the seasoned talent of WETA doing effects in front of it. It sounds a little like The Thing on Mars, which is not bad at all. Plus, Robinson has already proven that he’s more than capable – it will simply be a matter of seeing if his debut is as stunning as his short work. If it is, and considering the projects he has lined up, […]

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Ruairi Robinson has hit the production world hard with his short films. Just about everyone (including us) featured his short Blinky a few months ago and praised it for its simplicity, beauty and terrifying cuteness. And that’s just his latest. The director is attached to feature-length astronaut project The Animators, but now Variety is reporting that he’ll be coming down to earth alongside an alien craft with Fallen. The story will focus on the busted ship as its killed off all electronics within a 400-mile radius (about twice the distance from New York City to Washington, DC), and a crack international team has been sent to investigate. Fortunately, all of this happens in Russia so it has an odds on chance of landing in a 400-mile zone where there aren’t any electronics anyway. Crisis averted. The project sounds fascinating because Robinson is a director to watch, and the sci-fi world seems to suit his sensibilities just fine. Plus, the idea of watching a special ops team hobbled by going into a zone where they can’t use electronics has an interesting tip to it. It’s a simple turn, but it could be very cool. I personally can’t wait to see Lionsgate UK get Fallen off the ground, and I can’t wait for the sequel, Revenge of the Fallen.

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Why Watch? Starring Max Records from Where The Wild Things Are, this effects-heavy, absolutely brilliant short features a young boy getting a robot helper that he hopes will help by fixing his family. Then, of course, it has no problem going on an adorable rampage with one hell of an ending. The kind of ending that makes you stand up and applaud even though you’re sitting alone at your computer. The people demand more Blinky. What Will It Cost? Just 13 lucky minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Check out Blinky™ for yourself:

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