Submissions keep pouring in for #ShelterShorts, and we’re happy to be back with a new roundup of some of favorite work of the past couple of weeks!
As a reminder—the initiative is ongoing and will continue to run as long as shelter-in-place rules make it necessary, so if you’re thinking about participating there is plenty of time. Get to work, submit your film, and remember to share the hashtag and donation link in the description of your post. Cheers, and stay safe everyone!
Dir: Rod Blackhurst
Site alum Rod Blackhurst is more acclaimed for his features than he is for his shorts, after the worldwide success of his documentary Amanda Knox and his Tribeca Grand Prize win for Here Alone. But, in and around these successes, he’s become quite the pro at the sub-5min jump-scare short, as evidenced with millions of views for shorts like Alone Time and Night Swim. His #ShelterShort, Mommy, works off this familiar playbook, and, if quarantine limited his time and resources, it’s certainly not apparent on the screen, as this is a very polished take on the short film horror genre.
Dir: Talia Shea Levin
Taking a more music video approach is Talia Shea Levin with the extraordinarily clever ISOLATIONS. With a vintage vibe produced from the use of old Fuji 16mm film and 70’s style zooms, Levin surveys homes in her Los Angeles neighborhood and captures the joyful movement within, as bodies dance to a killer track from Amanda Leigh Jerry. The theme is clear, and the unity of the production aesthetic married to its message makes this simple piece a powerful one.
#Flattenthecurve – 1/3
Dir: Kathrin Steinbacher & Emily Downe
One of the cooler trends we’re seeing in lockdown is a profusion of collaborative works: compilations, anthologies, exquisite corpses, basically any format that allows filmmakers to band together remotely is being explored. This one is especially good— organized by rising UK animation stars Kathrin Steinbacher and Emily Downe of Studio Desk, #FlattenTheCurve is to be a 3-part series that incorporates the work of over 90 animators from all over the world all of whom are responding to a brief that asked them to create “a short animation depicting something positive they have experienced, seen, or thought in the midst of this strange time.” Enjoy this now, and be on the lookout for Steinbacher’s BAFTA-nominated short In Her Boots which is coming to our site next month.
Dir: Tim Wilkime & Madelyn Wilkime
Wilkime is familiar to S/W die-hards for his previously featured shorts, Staycation and Milton. He’s got a great comedic sensibility and uses it to excellent effect in this alternately funny and spooky short. He and Madelyn Wilkime’s farcical interplay as a couple confronting a very weird ghost— excuse me—spirit, in their backyard shows off the duo’s well-practiced timing, but doesn’t stint on the scares at the end. Come for hilarious couple banter, then make sure to stay for a fabulous Skype cameo from Randall Park.
Dir: Joanna Nordahl
Another micro-trend we’re seeing in this midst of shelter-in-place is the revival of a bygone creative exercise—dumping out your hard drive and creatively sifting and stitching together old clips. Back in the day, these used to be called “memory banks” and were a staple of the old Vimeo community and the site’s popular “weekend challenges”. They were ubiquitous at one time, but have fallen out of favor, so it’s inspiring a potent nostalgia in me to see their reappearance. Nordahl‘s is one of the best we’ve seen—she went through all her saved iPhone clips from the last 8 years, and the result is bursting with life and energy.