Contributor / @chelsealupkin
2017 was the year that I couldn’t shut up about short films. There may have been major Hollywood features and awesome Netflix series vying for my attention, but short films took the proverbial cake for me.
As a filmmaker, I couldn’t have been more excited, proud, and inspired by the films featured on Short of the Week. I told everyone – my old college roomies who visited me from Pennsylvania, my car enthusiast friends from New Jersey, filmmakers I met in London, that strange man wearing short-short overalls in Gatlinberg TN, the uber driver in Nashville, my sister in D.C., some restaurant owner in downtown Los Angeles, and even that mail guy who talks too much in my work building in New York City. I couldn’t help it. This was a big year for short films.
When asked to create a top ten list from this year’s selections, I realized I gravitated toward films with killer dialogue or a premise that sunk its teeth in me far after I finished watching. That’s why it’s no surprise that big payoff films like F is for Friendship, Traitor Knight, and Whispers Among Wolves, got in for their sophisticated use of language. The amount of character development and story conveyed in words that sliced like knives or charmed their way through plot were glaringly obvious in my choices. I’m a sucker for quick wit and I love to watch characters volley across screen – that back and forth playfulness kept me hooked and engaged in a way that I honestly haven’t seen anywhere else.
As the unspoken horror expert on the site (That’s right, guys! I’m saying it! Challenge me!), I was thrilled with some of our more spooky selections and it looks like I wasn’t the only one to choose them – horror shorts really won this year. Between the disturbingly isolated nightmare-scape, Curve, and the classic ghost-storytelling style of The Disappearance of Willie Bingham, short horrors did what they do best: they made me believe that it could happen to me. A truly successful horror film inspires empathy that speaks to our most profoundly visceral experience of fear and these shorts knocked it out of the park.
TLDR: 2018 has a lot to live up to.