by Christopher Campbell.
Short films can be good calling cards, but they aren’t always the best proof that a filmmaker has the skills to immediately jump into a feature. Especially a big Hollywood production. In recent years, thanks to the combination of the Internet, social media and cheaper tools for making movies on a personal computer, we’ve seen some awesome short films go viral and then get the attention of studio execs and big time producers.
The filmmakers, in only a few minutes of screen time, display a lot of talent and imagination and, most importantly, promise. But they’re often handed properties that are too much to handle even for experienced directors, as we saw with Neill Blomkamp’s assignment of Halo as a feature debut. Fortunately, that never happened and instead we got District 9, an extension of his popular short, Alive in Joburg.
It’s fitting that Blomkamp disappointed with his sophomore effort (Elysium) in 2013, a year that overall was pretty dismal for directors transitioning from shorts to features. Terrible movies from people who had broken out with acclaimed shorts isn’t anything new. In the past we’ve seen Oscar nominees like Stephen Kessler and Christian E. Christiansen move “up” to Vegas Vacation and The Roommate, respectively.
The past year was particularly heavy on the disappointing newcomers, though. 2013 even finished out with what’s possibly the biggest bomb of the year, and yep it’s a feature debut from a short film sensation: 47 Ronin, directed by Carl Erik Rinsch, who’d previously helmed the under-five-minute sci-fi effort, a commercial for Philips actually, title The Gift. Let’s watch the short and remember the good times below.
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