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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BAFTA nominated short films 2010 - an overview

It can be hard to actually get to see the shorts that are nominated for awards. I was lucky, Eight did have a limited cinema release. However, most shorts are much harder to see outside of a festival. And usually producers hold off of on-line distribution as they are seeking a better deal from elsewhere. The result - a low audience.

Luckily I am viewing the BAFTA nominated shorts for voting purposes. Here I will be looking at why (perhaps) these shorts were selected from the many that were entered.

First up is Connect made my a guy I met a few years ago, Sam Abrahams. And personally it brought a smile to my face to see Alex Lang in it, as I worked with him a few years back.

"A bittersweet, elongated moment of romance on a bus, interspersed with a deliciously dark sense of humour." - The Guardian

Connect is a dialogue-free film, set on a busy bus, full of close up details and captured moments. It also has some larger fantasy set pieces that unfold as the girl with the headphone (in the poster) listens to music and looks at her fellow passengers.

I have to say that personally the combination of those two elements (large movements and small intimate moments) didn't quite work for me. Both were well done, very well done in fact. But perhaps both in a short film is too much.

So why would it be included?
1 - Technically it was excellent - looked great, good sound mix, you could trust these guys to produce something bigger budget or longer with no worries.
2 - Great performances with people who hold your attention through their delicate performances. Good casting.
3 - Editing - never confusing (unlike a lot of shorts)  and everything flowed at that 'just right' pace which shows edit prowess.
4 - It is feel good. You can smile with this film. If you are at a film festival and just sat through five depressing shorts about grim lives then this film would be the tonic.

If you, as a film maker, are coming from a promo or music video background and are wanting to get into drama then you must see this short. It is a perfect example of the bridge you need.

A simple idea, done well, that doesn't outstay the core idea - the running time is 5 minutes.

I would call this - the quirky but professional looking short that has a feel-good vibe.

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