We keep our promises here at Picturenose – following on from our feature on Dream Seekers Productions, we felt that it was only right for our latest recruit, Tom Donley, to let you know his thoughts on a selection of the company’s short movies. So, enjoy, and links are provided to each film – don’t say we don’t look after you.
The Scarecrow & the Princess (2009)
A Hallowe’en rebuttal to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas or How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Scarecrow & the Princess is a visual poem describing a scarecrow’s attempt at establishing a relationship with children as they trick-or-treat every year. The scarecrow appears to be nothing more than an inanimate hanging object in the yard as it realizes it only has one day a year to complete its task of finding a friend. As another Halloween is winding down, the scarecrow briefly befriends a small girl dressed as a princess (Cameron Protzman). During this short period of friendship, outside forces interrupt the two’s moment of companionship. The princess is upset and leaves the scarecrow. At which point, the film becomes a little more devious.
Written, directed, and produced by Peter Dukes of Dream Seekers Productions, this live action short story does a great job at showing the different emotions and shadows on the face of the scarecrow. It gave the scarecrow personality and furthered the dramatic ending. This was a great little short film that should be watched every year as you wait between doorbells from trick-or-treaters.
The Beast (2012)
‘I smell your fear.’
So says the werewolf-afflicted son (Alexander Le Bas) as the tension is built and clues are presented that this scenario will not end well. The short film begins as a father (Bill Oberst, Jr.), his son (Le Bas), and friend Douglas (Peter Le Bas) all stand in a field debating their next action. The son stands with visible scarring on his body while Douglas fidgets with noticeable nervousness. The father has a cautious, yet passive attitude for his son’s current condition. Without giving away any details, I’ll state that the dialogue is to the point, allowing the tension to build, leading the father to make the ultimate decision involving his son.
This short film was again written, directed, and produced by Dukes, and he has provided an interesting twist in the horror film genre. Again, I won’t give away any details, but we’ve seen the same underlying theme in recent zombie movies and TV shows, pertaining to the possessed human condition. Overall, it was quite an enjoyable short film that any horror film lover would appreciate.
Interestingly, Oberst, Jr., in the role of the father, has probably enjoyed more screen-time than most actors in Hollywood. He was used in the Facebook App, Take This Lollipop, being featured as a demented serial killer that tracks and stalks his next victim based on your Facebook account. You sign up for the App and Facebook posts a video of a creepy Oberst, Jr. pursuing you as his next victim. In, The Beast, Oberst, Jr. proves he has a real screen presence and is capable of capturing his audience’s attention. Again, this is a great live-action short.
A Goblin’s Tale (2011)
A Goblin’s Tale feels aesthetically like a throwback to the horror films you grew up with as a child. The premise begins with a young woman emerging herself into a fantasy book she has retained from her childhood. The young woman, Carol Anne (Tiffany Giardina), begins reading a story including a rat yielding a sword, talking frogs, and goblins. Not too far into the story, Carol Anne falls asleep. As Carol Anne is startled by a strange voice, she awakes to find a character, Vlix (Laura Kearsey) from her book now in the same room as herself. Their interaction begins innocently and playfully. However, as the story continues, their interaction becomes further mature and much more dark. Once the conversation begins to scare Carol Anne, she wants to stop the story and awake from this nightmare. However, Vlix has it’s own story to tell. The ending will not be ruined, as it is superbly concluded.
To put this story into further perspective, it’s like listening to a song that has a cheerful, simple melody, but when you listen to the lyrics you realize it’s much darker intent. In A Goblin’s Tale, other fairy tales are referenced by Vlix and used to further the undertones of the story.
Dukes again does a great job with pacing throughout the film, using shadows and sound to great effect. Most people will be distracted by the Goblin’s makeup. However, it is no more distracting than, say, David Bowie’s leotard-wrapped package in Labyrinth (1986). My favorite live-action short film by Dream Seekers Productions thus far.