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I'll Tell You How It's Gonna Be

It's cool to see a 48 film seemingly built around the technical element. Jumping (or smashing) back and forth between different timelines is a smart way to make a dense 5min film and it did have me wondering what the lead was going to do to get out of the situation. Unfortunately, that "get out" moment didn't feel very plausible given he'd already been beaten to a pulp (albeit with very convincing makeup) and how the action felt very staged. 'Action' is an annoying genre, to be fair. I don't think I've ever seen a well-choreographed fight scene in 48hours. But at the least, the editing helped a lot to convey chaos in some scenes with quit cuts and the close-ups did a lot to mask the rest while still feeling in-your-face. The acting from the lead antagonist was very strong. The hero, not so much - he only really had one tone throughout.

Tilting At Windmills

I didn't buy into the end twist's quick shift in tone and the beginning kind of dragged, but holy crap they had me laughing hard. Every gag, no matter how absurd, was performed totally on key and timed to comedic perfection. Enjoyed this one a lot.

Beast Mode

Wow, this was a production feast. Some superb grindhouse-y lighting (that cubical!), great camerawork (that night-day transition!), and a sound-score combo that's too slick to fault. Unfortunately, it over-promises and under-delivers once the actual beast mode kicks in. Up until that point, the film did a great job making you wonder how far this guy would transform if he didn't receive his social media fix. The result, however, isn't really all that different from who he was. He's not dangerous. He doesn't completely lose his mind. He just goes from being kinda pathetic to being kinda pathetic but as a werewolf. Having the monster squad explain the whole situation also felt needless since the visual storytelling already did a great conveying the concept. Overall, because it's so well made, it makes me ache that the script didn't received a couple more passes, for this could have been a legendary 48 film. As it stands though, I still had fun watching this and the lead + makeup squad deserve big golden kudos for their efforts.

The How, The What, The Who and The Why

Thought this film did a clean job cutting through both the heist genre and the ULTRA condition. Sometimes the simplest approaches (a child plans to steal a chocolate bar) lead to the best outcomes and while there are things to be improved on, the efficiency of the plot gives this short a strong backbone. I feel there are two things that could have elevated the story even more: 1) When the kid gives a rundown of his plan (great use of the silhouette, by the way), he immediately reveals that he's going to backstab his sister. Had the story kept this detail hidden until the ending, it would have made for an effective twist that would have REALLY made the audience go "what a little shit!" It's more effective to have the viewer come to this conclusion themselves, rather than have the main character state this out loud. 2) The point of the puddle was to make a big mess that got the mum pissed off. Unfortunately, by throwing the water outside on an already rainy-looking day, it doesn't really look like a mess. It would have been much more impactful to make a mess in, say, the living room or the bedroom (though, admittedly, it would undoubtedly be a pain in the ass to clean up afterwards). I did love having a manly-as voice actor doing the audiowork for the child. Hearing that deep voice explain precise heist plans one minute and then say "mummy" the next is pure comedy, right there. It would have been great if the script extended that flipping between 'adult talk' and 'toddler talk' even further. Also, don't know how you got that little girl to ball her eyes out, but holy moly that was some effective acting.

Wrong Target

I love you, Mad Scientists. It's insane how many high-end productions - from comedies to dramas - are coming out of this competition, but you remain rooted in the pure anarchistic joy this competition started off being. A lot of teams shoot for the moon, but what gives yours the energy is the spazzy characters and costumes that the actors fully commit to as well as the 'cut to the chase' editing that never lets up. I'd love the sound to be greatly touched up so it removes the wind and that we get juicier knife-slitting audio effects to compliment the gunfire. The split-screen was cool when done vertically (ie. near the end) but a little off when done horizontally (ie. in the middle). Also for next time, I'd recommend trying to amplify the action. Start off small then steadily increase the madness leading to a highway pile-up of a climax.

Fred's Bread

Nicely shot, well-produced business comedy powered by some really high-class performances - especially from the actor playing Harper Harrison. The only big drawback for me was the ending - it seemed far too convenient and rewarding for a group of characters who didn't quite earn it.

Dangerous Interchange

Though it's more of a skit than a story, UNE has made one of the slickest shorts in the competition. I love how the concept is powered by the genre and technical element, though the Harper Harrison character felt a bit crowbarred in. But this is only noticeable because of how solid the rest of the script is. Every shot (both of them) looks immaculate and the lead played out the mundane scenario perfectly. A pity about the mic issue (it's been mentioned above). Having seen 'Ballsed Up' last year, I get the feeling UNE used two shots this year begrudgingly, simply because of the 'match cut' element. It's a hellova cut, though.

A Time and a Place

Clever idea for a time travel film and it gets a lot mileage out of the concept. Pretty sure the pirate got me every single time. Some gags worked better than others - the "others" being the caveman (who never goes full caveman) and the American farmer who cuts a sweet scene at the knees with a luke-warm line. That sweet scene, however, was a very good resolution. The writing wasn't quite sharp enough to sting, but it made me feel warm.

You Ready For Space?

Solid performances in this one, especially from the dude with the glasses - he does so much to sell the goofiness of the concept. He's also just damn entertaining to watch. I thought the angle of 'getting to know your alien gf's culture' was cool, but nothing really came of it. The conclusion didn't follow through on what he learned - if anything - or of it being part of the aliens' grand master plan. So it ended up feeling more like filler. Great effort on the makeup and costume design for your alien though. Some lines gained some ace chuckles from me, too.

Ladies First

Opening a rom-com with a nasty break-up can cause a few issues - mainly that it can present our leads in a negative light and make it difficult to root for their happiness. I have to admit: I felt this drawback for the first few minutes of the film. However, it's a film of three parts - different moments that tent-pole the relationship's end. The second scenario makes the most of the typical rom-com contrivance, handling its numerous actors' interactions gracefully. It's a shame the 'hotel' didn't really convince as a hotel. The ending is easily the strongest segment of 'Ladies First', a one-shot meet-cute that feels extremely organic. It's a great counter to what preceded it, easing our lead out of the nastiness. Additional props to Miss Fire for the smart handling of its LGBT characters - a trait that would have been blown up and exploited in less capable hands.

Wired

The young lead girl gave a good performance and I like the setup. I feel the electrician could have been given more to do - especially with what transpires. As it is, the ending plays out in a way that makes me feel more afraid of the boy, which I don't think was the intention. If it was though, shut me up and add another star.

Wheat, Myself and Rye

Well, if you're going to deliver a cargo plane full of "WHAT?", you've gotta pilot it with plenty of moxie, and that's pretty much what CRAB CRAB CRAB did. For the most part. The warping of the music really helped to get that spiraling sense of crazy the film progresses to and Bread World becomes more and more like Silent Hill. The performances and the costuming aid it (especially Bread Man's highly unsettling face near the end), but with a premise as absurd as Wheat, Myself and Rye, I didn't feel it quite hit 'overdrive'. I was expecting Harper to suffer more consequences or go through some 2001 madness, but the conclusion kinda just settles down anticlimactically. But hey, killer song at the end.

The Stile

Really like the take on the genre. Anything related to self-harm can feel grossly gimmicky in 48, but the out-of-reality setting and nightmarish vibe keeps the subject matter grounded and authentic. The lead was good, her face conveying more anguish than her line delivery did, and for a mostly-one-location film, the cinematography and audible atmosphere did a hell of a lot to deliver a moody sense of limbo. The big thing that held this film back for me was the other actor. The film does a great job making this looming character feel uncomfortably ominous, but the vocal performance just doesn't match that. He sounds like an everyday teenager, which takes a lot away from how the character was set up. Regardless, the vague ending is strong and gives you enough to work with without over-explaining itself.

Jumbo

Some may find this laborious but I liked the short-n-simple nature of this film. The mesh of animation and live-action works well (nice roto work) and I like the use of physical Wellington icons being the monster’s playthings and how it observes its surroundings. Though there isn’t really a story, it truly is nature running amok.

Operator Part II Twin Souls

Good-looking film with some clever, simple tricks used to sell the sci-fi setting. The shot when she first opens the door is particularly well done. The performances let it down a lot. The lead woman especially lacked energy to her line deliveries - and there are a lot of lines to deliver. I saw this in the screening room with the adjusted audio and the music added a lot to the mood. Though I hadn't seen the original, the film drop enough hints as to how the world worked to give me a sense of what was going on but leaving enough mystery to keep me engaged. I felt the ending would have had more punch if it just lingered on the lead contemplating on her decision rather than have the operator spell out her options.

Us... But Mainly You.

For a two person crew, this is a darn good effort. Hannah and Josh have got quite a good wit between them too, delivering a state-housing politics comedy that - appropriately - ends with absolutely nothing getting done. Though I have to admit - the funniest part to me was their team intro. If there are two things this short could have benefited greatly from, it's... 1) Tighter editing. By cutting out needless shots (e.g. drone shots of Harper walking), you'll get to the gags quicker. This 7 minute short could have been 4.5 minutes long and the pacing would've thanked you for it. 2) Staying true to your mockumentary roots. Having only two people, there was no way you could have kept the mockumentary handheld look, which is a pity, because that inconsistency is very noticeable. Still, I had a solid couple of laughs watching this.

Mary's Descent

This was so good for most of it. Tight performance, classy cross-cutting that gets straight to the point, tailor-fit music and visually slicker than most 48 films. It just doesn't stick the landing. As a lot of teams have suffered, that Wilhelm Scream doesn't quite work. It's too goofy of a sound to end on for something that builds genuine suspense. The blocking in that final scene also felt a bit off with the two goons standing right behind the guy when he's given a chance to leave. I'm digging into that ending mainly because I was reeeeeeally jiving with this film for most of it.

Sneeze

The best production of the heat. The camerawork, clean grade, simple makeup effects, frenetic edit, and on-point performances combine to sell the elevating terror one guy goes through when a simple sneeze leads to something kinda horrifying. It reminded me of an old animated short called Banana Phone. It’s a bummer, then, that the ending deflates the tension and doesn’t resolve its story. It really takes the thrill out of this technological thriller. I did laugh, though.

Chasing Tail

A solid noir look and a fine flip on the genre gets this across the line. For an animated film carried largely by its dialogue though, the characters could really use more facial expressions. As it stands, their eyes barely take any shape beyond wide. Do more work on the faces and it'll do wonders for you. I bloody loved this line: "...or was she a rat? It was all so confusing."

Spearhead

Solid acting, ranging from OK to great, and the overall production was very nice. The camera absorbs the locations without ever trying to be flashy. I appreciate that. What I think lets this down though is the script and especially the horror aspect. The twist seems completely random because we spend so much time on the victims and little time on the perpetrators, stopping us from getting a decent hint that they would commit the acts they do. Foreshadowing is a valuable skill that isn't easy to pull off - especially in 48 hours and when you don't want to give the game away - but if you can crack that nut, you'll be finalist contenders.

Life Insurance

First off: your lead is GREAT. Damn funny fellow, nailed every line, perfectly disgusting smile — his energy is the backbone of the entire short.

Absolutely loved the visual gag at the start of him in the background behind the closed door.

While the montage of him threatening to kill over and over again did enough to make the ending work, it may have been more effective to show these moments escalating in potential danger. So when the characters cave, it’s because they’re fearing something even worse.

Enjoyed it.

The Greatest Gunman

A murderous sharp-shooter helps a meek young lad to find out what he's doing wrong with the ladies. Why? I haven't a clue, but Brothers in Crime sells the goofiness with plenty of off-the-wall gusto. From the sensei's claim that he's "the greatest gunman in the central to central-west Auckland region" to an awesome dolly zoom of him sniffing, the short rides on Tane Huata's comedic charisma. I like the dude a lot, and he's great in this. I'm not sure there's much more too the film than that. The mystery is basically an outline to service the jokes, with a resolution that hinges a character we hardly met. And while I can easily forgive noticeable CGI blood in a comedy like this (I actually think it adds to the charm), the editing could have been far tighter. The first cut is the most troublesome: it abruptly ends the music and rushes into the next scene to haphazard effect. It's understandable - this is the kind of issue that occurs in 48Hours all the time. Still, it's a damn fun watch, if just to see the hilarious hissing douchebag or the priceless introduction to Harper Harrison.

#apocalypse2k15

A good lead performance and solid cinematography help keep this short fueled for its 7 minute running time. However, I felt it could have been edited down quite a bit as there were a few flat gags (like the photo frame used for the match cut) and the final confrontation dragged on in the puddle longer than it needed to (once the character's free, the rest becomes padding). Although the main character was starting to get on my nerves, her total survival incompetence was pretty damn funny to me in a number of occasions - warming up bath water via toaster got me good.

Interloafer

A fun, nicely shot short with a creative concept done very well. The lead was great as the straight hero carving through the goofy underworld The Good Kuntz created - this was a short powered largely by its performances. I feel 'Interloafer' was held back by its editing though, with some sudden transitions to locations feeling awkwardly wedged in. The song also felt out-of-place at times, although the song by itself is a good song.

I am ball 2

I, too, would like an 'I am Ball' trilogy. I'm really big on the use of cut-out animation here. It's both simple and classy and it kind of made me wish the whole film kept to that look. It's also good to hear the Wilhelm Scream used in its best, most basic form. I do, however, feel like this film is trying to test me. It's going to make me feel stupid to say this, but this series could reach its apex if you made me feel more for the ball. Understand the ball. Define the ball. ...yes, make a ball a more rounded character.

Roller

PickleThugs grabbed the genre with a clenched fist and smashed it. The use of contrivance for comedy is some of the best I've seen in the comp. The lead played the straight man well, allowing the absurdity around him to shine. The only set-back I have is with the narration, which I felt didn't add anything and even took away a little bit from the superb ironic ending with a throwaway line.

Clean Getaway

Really slick short, produced to pristine quality on all fronts - directing, writing, cinematography, sound, music, the bloody makeup. The two leads hit their comedic marks with absolute gusto, giving the film a lot of its drive. The flashback seemed a bit too brief, begging to either be expanded upon or to be cut entirely.

Hide N Seek

Neat idea with a solid execution. One of the better uses of kids I’ve seen during Lockdown 2020.

Felt the concept could’ve been pushed a little further. Left me expecting to see the father confronted by the older daughter given he saw the other ‘aged’ items in the closet come out, so the climax left me feeling a bit empty.

A good entry nonetheless.

Ghostfish: Catfished By A Ghost

Laura Daniel gave the best performance of the night. She played her ghost character with such believable melancholy that is impossible not to feel for her. This good amount of sweetness to the rom-com horror premise adds a lot, because this team already had the comedy down pat. It was a bit of a bummer that the ending felt more like a punchline to a long joke than a conclusion to a sweet story. But perhaps I say that because I was so invested in the setup. Also, that legless ghost effect was stupendous.

Audition(s)

A nicely done 'try that again' time-travel short with a solid lead performance. Some very cool camera tricks present, especially in that initial bathroom scene. Had the friendship been further developed and the consequences of constant travel been teased (rather than just vaguely explained through a line of dialogue), it would have given the ending much more of an emotional effect. A very good effort.

SPACE PSUSY

By going horns in with its costuming, props, VFX, and set, this is how you make a z-grade film look amazing. I especially appreciate the match cut from vagina to magical orb. It's a simple, workable approach to the genre that holds a gaggle of gags - nothing being funnier that a mental breakdown of a character as she reads the same line over and over again. Having her friend step back in at the last minute is a nice way to cap it off. I found the film within the film hard to follow though. That might be the point, but it causes most of the short to feel more like a random collection of jokes than a narrative. As wonderfully bizarre as those random cuts to a green screen orifice were, it did make me wonder what they had to do with the film. It feels like a victim of the 5min limitation. Had this been 7mins long, I could totally see that film-within-a-film making more sense and SPACE PSUSY hitting even harder.

The Shirt: Altered

One of the things I loved most about the first ‘Shirt’ is how it went from ‘simmer’ to ‘batshit insane’ with a crazy ending and a philosophi-cool monologue. That payoff really knocked it home. This sequel doesn’t have that ramp-up. Not that it was necessary, but without that lunacy, this follow-up feels a bit tame by comparison. The pace also isn’t as quick-footed, and I feel it’s because the character’s objective isn’t fully realised. Instead of finding a shirt, he’s trying to find out why he has these headaches, but moments like the bar scene don’t add to his progress and end up halting the story. The style change-up was very cool, though. I’m big on that sort of blending. There are some simple things you can do to make the stills blend in with the live backgrounds even better, like add shadows or a bit of manufactured shaky cam added in post. You could even cut off a bit off his feet in some of the beach shots to make it look more like he’s standing in sand. The re-issue of the 2014 line? Also very clever. And for what you ended up doing, the ‘alien’ genre was made to feel like a natural fit for The Shirt Cinematic Universe.

Uber Cyborg 2.0

I loved what you were going for here but was bummed that it didn't quite come off. Even though it was intentionally meant to be green screen mania, a lot of moments didn't have much coordination and ended up looking like random shapes flying around a shaky screensaver. A couple moments - the ones that were clear to comprehend - really worked though. I especially liked the head-chopping part and the end save. If the whole film kept that visual clarity, this could have amazed. That plane set was choice, too. Though I wish you were able to film more of it as opposed to using the green screen to fit other characters in.

Sound Sleep

Great sound design is often not praised in 48, but Traces of Nut's film hinges on it - and my golly gosh, what a fine film this is. Though the mystery isn't really one you can piece together yourself before the conclusion, the pieces it does present certainly hint that something is not quite right. So when the twist occurs, it earns it, leading to a very satisfying end that makes the transition from comedic to dramatic flawlessly (aided by a stupendous score and beautiful cinematography). My only big qualm was with two sounds in particular that I won't spoil, but they sound very similar to each other. I mentally tripped up a bit figuring out which sound match to which action, but that might just be a sign that I should get an earwax cleansing.

A Lesson on Probability

Not sure what inspired the foreign semi-art-haus style, but clearly Mexico knows how to do it extremely well. With numerous visual flourishes that isolate key plot aspects to single still shots, breezing through its simple story of attraction while nailing the twist. As calculating as its concept, 'A Lesson on Probability' delivered quality on all fronts. I love it when 48Hours films embrace their genres this tightly.

The Office Quest

I had a soft spot for this short because I could see exactly what they were going for. Unfortunately, it wasn't told very well. The ending, while delightfully cheeky, makes half of what happens in the film even more puzzling (e.g. the random wizerd-esque guy). Nevertheless, some gags hit and it was very well acted.

Piece of Cake

This one held a special place in my heart because of how neatly planned this one-shot film was, giving it a very smooth quality to it. Having the commentary of the two cops was a brilliant mechanic, and aside from the odd line, their dialog was on key. There wasn't really anything going on plot-wise with this film, it lingered in the middle and the "how can they NOT see the thief?" question did spring into my mind, but given the bastard genre, I was willing to be lenient. Dug this one a lot. I want to see this one again.

The Worthington Heist

This was a solid crime film that told its story well, had good performances and managed to get a pretty primo house to heist. It could have use a punchier script and and a bit more character, but overall, I liked it. The two crims she hired were the highlight for me. And the awesomely awesome way they implemented the slo-mo.

Full Circle

I adore Goodfellas, so I say this with a heavy heart: I felt let down by their entry this year. It was still a very solid short with on-point performances and sturdy plotting that pulls off the titular 'full circle'. However, tonally I felt this film was off. I know, it sounds like a dumb thing for me to criticise, but Goodfellas have always been so sharp with the different tones of their films. From the first (and final) excellent drone shot, there's an ominous mood surrounding the film - one that gets cut down by an odd comedic turn that never quite glued.

Hattie Hatpin

You brace souls, doing stop-mo in 48. You've picked a clever style that looks good and is relatively simple to pull off. If you can, try make time to work on more backgrounds to really make it pop. Also, don't be afraid to make your film even shorter if it could make it punchier. I liked the basic plot - woman gets rejected by dumb men, woman shows wrath - and it's one that benefits from getting in and getting out rather than being stretched in certain areas. Overall, it gave me solid Monty Python animated vibes.

For Name’s Sake

Superbly ridiculous interpretation of the 10-year genre that tapped into a personal, reoccurring issue in my life. Slick production all round that justified its otherwise common - but varied - urban Auckland locations. Leans on the performances of its leads and they do a damn good job of it. And that Happy Birthday scene? Bloody ace. The final location kinda tips off the final gag, but the end reveal was a satisfying capper to one of this heat’s strongest films.

Twenty Twentyone

There was a bit too much exposition going on this one, which is a shame, because they had some rad throat-slitting and face-shooting scenes that I would have liked to have seen more of, just to inject some more fun into it. I really admired the lead's performance and their implementation of the leaf was genuinely clever.

7PM On a Saturday Night

What a great way to incorporate the character Nicky Brick into a horror, making his horrible luck turn him into an accidental serial killer. I really dug the middle of this short and how it cut between different time-stamped scenarios, plus it had a great lead. There are only three things that disappointed me: 1) It really could have used an event that triggered Nicky's stroke of deadly unluckiness. 2) The date scene could have brought out some great tense situations but it only hinted at it. 3) That it was disqualified, because I enjoyed this one a lot.

Poncho and the Priest

Stupendous opening credits. Had me settled for a two-hour feature. Lacks production polish in some areas. Contains some beautiful shots in other areas. (Did you use natural lighting for that opening shot? Because wow, that was pretty.) Moreover, has that head-down, high-energy, smash-through-the-wall 48 filmmaking that's infectiously funny to watch, with perfectly game actors and a silly but coherent plot unafraid to swerve in any ridiculous turn but paced well enough to swerve quickly into the next one. I have one big setback: the film doesn't really commit to the 'Generation Gap' genre. Competition-wise, it's a key limitation. Entertainment-wise, it probably doesn't matter. I laughed heaps.

A Baaaaad Habit

My love goes out to you Sir Warwick Rule, a one-man animation army. Despite the minimalism, the design of the sheep was great and you do a lot with eye movements (and colour) to inject character where it's needed. I do wonder if you're able to add a few more touches to the background to really boost the overall look, just some texture on the mountains or the grass and add a few clouds or something. This may not be physically possible, of course - there's only so many minutes and cans of V one is provided. Out of all the gags, the sudden sheep sheering at the end was my favourite. It's probably because it's so immediate, which made me realise that the second half of the short (after they jump the fence) could have cut quicker to the chase in order to add more urgency to the angry bull situation. The gag about Charlie being distracted by a butterfly doesn't quite work - probably because we don't actually get to see it. It was also a bit jarring to have the chilled out music still playing when the bull first charges. Nevertheless, this is a cool addition to the 48Hours animation section. (Actually, I lie - "weed..ses" was my favourite gag.)

The Real House Punks of Auckland

There isn't much to the premise (genre + popular TV show) but this team got some solid gags out of it. My favourites were the stealing of the construction vehicles and the Inception of interns. That last one was one of the heartiest laughs I got in our heat.

Any Portal will do on a Storm

Really satisfying to see such an all-out attempt at doing a post-apocalyptic zombie action film during lockdown. The puppeteering is so damn charming and the headshots were very effective.

Could probably do away with all the set-up, the lore, and narration. For a 3min film, just a quick establishing shot of the wasteland would be enough, then you can cut straight to the undead characters and mass mayhem.

Evilly Evil

Good job embracing the evilly evil Musical genre. It's a catchy tune and I like the fact that he was more of a dick than the anti-christ. Got some good chuckles just from him being an asshole. Some jokes didn't really feel like they had punchlines though, like the fidget spinner scene and the girl at the bus depot. I'd be curious to see this one remade with better quality camera and audio equipment.

Balls

Cutesy films starring toddlers can often be cringe-inducing, but 'Balls' made me straighten my back and take notice while making me chuckle to every punch-to-the-groin gag it had. It uses simple perspective shot to giggle-inducing effect, really adding to the child-like nature of the young fibber's story. Simple, solid and charming.

Parched

Clever interpretation of the Other Dimension genre, and PickleThugs take their premise to some very inspired places. Beautifully shot, too. The only big drawback for me was the lead's sudden turn in believing everyone was after his drink, which felt like it came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, this was a very strong short.

Charlie's Psychosis

The strongest elements of this short were the editing and shot choices. It's like you fell in love with the match cutting from last year and wanted to use it again with more purpose. I dig that. At the start, I wasn't liking the music cutting with the shots - it felt jarring in the wrong way. It's also a shame you didn't have access to better audio equipment (most of us don't) because that blasted wind gets in the way a number of times. I wasn't that big on the trip-n-fall ending, either. It came off feeling like you weren't sure how to end it. Nevertheless, a solid idea.

Gone

I appreciate the concept, some of the solid editing choices, and the use of the fish-eye lens to make more use of a tight space. I also admire any 48Hours film that can transition seamlessly from night to day to night again. Two things hold this short back. The acting isn't really there to sell the drama, as is often the case in 48Hours. Also, what we see the lead doing isn't all that relevant to the plot or the ending. We see him taking photos of the woman at work and at a cafe, but that's it - it doesn't really tie into the conclusion. If you could somehow work that in more with his suspicions - that she's the woman who his wife is cheating with - it would make the twist more powerful as opposed to it coming out of nowhere. The best clues are the ones hidden in plain sight. (Then again, maybe there's things on his board that hint out to this that I completely missed.) You get bonus points for the original song and putting the line in a verse. "I'll murder you with love" is perfectly creepy.

6 Ft Under

My one big issue with this film was the middle - going from one location to another and back again really added nothing to the story. It's a decent short, nonetheless, with a poke at Taken that's very well handled.

Extract of Feminine Essence

Lots of good stuff in this short. The z-grade stuff in the bedroom - especially that quality boom mic gag - were well executed and had me chuckling. The surrealist stuff on the beach had a bunch of cool moments like the backwards footage and the costuming. Unfortunately, these two different aspects don't really work together. As cool as the beach stuff is, it feels like it ignores the z-grade elements the bedroom scene sets up. As a result, the whole short feels like two different films working against each other. I think this team just got a difficult genre, because they've clearly got skill.

Foresight

There's some good production muscle flexed here, especially that makeup - top marks for that department. If there are two things a mostly-one-room short relies on, though, is writing and acting. Unfortunately, this short doesn't really smash either. Conceptually, the plot is fine, but the dialogue could have used a lot of tweaking so it went beyond 'describing the plot'. The performances are also pretty wooden, so having both those things in tandem drags the film down. But these are elements that evolve through experience, so just keep at it. You'll improve.

Munchies

Very well made and even though we see heaps of flats and houses in 48Hours, you dressed yours up with significant amounts of effort. It really shows. Tight acting all 'round and the bizarro premise is aided by everyone going fully into it. Some of the humour didn't work for me - partly because of my personal tastes, partly because some of the gags felt dated (especially the largely stereotyped effeminate flatmate). But the only significant hold-up I can say - and this is kinda difficult to express - is that it feels more could have been done with what was set up. I really like the idea of a flatmate being thrown into this mad world, but we don't see much madness actually happen. There's a conversation here and there and the climax rules, but we're not given many situations that show the lunacy each flatty has for getting these cookies. Perhaps it's just a time thing, as 2 extra minutes could've helped get the most out of the concept.

Harping On

Sure, the plot was extremely light, but Sinistral's concept didn't need to rely on a complex story - observing a smart phone-powered man who is completely oblivious to his last-man status kept me engaged for the whole 7 minutes. When the film wasn't making me think "How in the hell did they shoot that!?" - and I was thinking that A LOT - it was making me laugh at the main character's very nature. Despite being the only person on Earth, he seemed completely happy and content with his false sense of socialness online via Instagram, texting and Facebook updates - even when no one was liking or replying. Executing this one idea kept 'Harping On (lol)' focused, delivering something rare in 48Hours - smart satire. One of my favourite shorts from this year.

Ticked Off

For a school team, making an exam for the premise of a race-against-the-clock film was a quality idea. There are a number of neat visual touches (like the figment of an intimidating teacher hovering our protagonist in a suddenly-emptied exam hall while she succumbs to exam-fright) that vividly represents such pressure. It's just a pity the ending seemed so timid in comparison.

Gym Buddy

Superb character relationship piece with a great lead-by-example message that pays off. Clean production, sound, and edit, but it's the rich script and the leads performances that drive this home. On first watch, the gym bait-n-switch feels like a very fresh and clever twist on "gym therapy", but on second watch, it does feel a bit odd that she would let the asshole instructor grill her pal for so long before intervening with why they're REALLY there. It's only a minor quibble, though. That bloody goofy Wilhelm Sceam has been a thorn in many sides this comp, including this short. It sounds completely different from the actor's voice and doesn't fit at all. That's the only rough in an otherwise treasure of a short film.

Converge

Handsomely shot and smartly edited for a film with little dialogue and jumping in and out of time. Unfortunately, as it's already been stated, the sound mix needed more work. The colour grade also seemed a bit jumpy in parts, occasionally making the image a bit too saturated. I got a bit confused with how he figured it all out. This could be just me missing something, but I feel it might be the film doesn't give the "a ha!" moment enough time to linger. Had the idea been given more time to brew, allow its breadcrumbs to pave a more defined trailer, this could have been a real contender. As is, it's still a 48 film with a lot to admire.

The Radical Adventures of Captain Flowers and his Sidekick Barnaby against the Legions of Evil. Episode 1: Fleeced

Holy balls, how did they pull this off? The number of backgrounds, designs, and animation styles bursting out of this thing is like a confetti cannon on spin-cycle. I loved watching this, and the transitions from style to style were fantastically creative. I can only think of two limitations: one is the sound which someone has already mentioned; two is with the occasional use of still imagery which, for a film intended to have a fast pace, can halt its verve.

Safehouse

Man, I can see something great in this, but every part just falls a bit short. I can appreciate a bottle movie set in a dystopian world, and the radio setup was simple and effective. But the situation itself doesn't say anything about the state of the world. The sound was a bit on the fritz, as mentioned before, but for what camera abilities you had on offer, I thought some of your choices were really on-point - especially the cut to handheld the moment things went haywire. And the acting from the main fellow trying to get the gun back was impressive. The editing wasn't as sturdy as it could have been. The part where he pockets the ammo and drops it was hard to decipher. By the end, I was wishing for the writing, the sound, the editing, and some of the acting to be tighter.

Tomcat Down

Straight out the gate, this one has me charmed with its one-man-army filmmaking tactic, its Windows 95 screensaver effects, and brütal soundtrack. I got pumped to see what was going to happen next. Unfortunately, half of that was just a comedic conversation, and some of the attempts at humour were pretty obvious - "Got any bogeys?" "Just the ones up Dumdum's nose." The setup is brilliantly silly, as is having one person play multiple characters in cockpits. Given this build-up, it could have benefited if Karl Burnett OVER-acted the roles. If this short had an equally silly plot (one that constantly pushed forward), it would have helped sustained the energy this short had at the beginning.

Shed

Like me a good, simple time-travel piece. The reverse-ageing concept is a really good one and I'm impressed with the shed effect. Also, THANK YOU for not feeling the need to explain why this shed is magic.

With such a fun concept, I do wish this film played around with it more. Takes nearly two minutes to set it up which, for a three-minute film, doesn't give much time left. A lot of that set-up could have been streamlined, especially the lead's reaction to wanting his youth back. Would leave a lot more space to take the central concept further.

Still, solid stuff.

Stealing Thoughts

There's a lot of great stuff in this short - the cinematography is drop dead gorgeous at points, the music and sound design are on point and the editing has some great tricks up its sleeve (especially the fast forwarding coordination shown at the start). Unfortunately, I just don't think those elements have a lot to work with. It's never nice to say this, but the lead didn't do well to portray a man with a voice in his head - most noticeably when he says "Leave me alone" with no change in expression. The vagueness of the ending works well, adding an extra level of creepiness to the story.

Read, are the tea leaves

Can’t say I know what was going on here, but it sure as hell kept my attention and that mood was THICK. Sleek cinematography and a consistent colour palette went a long way to sustaining the atmosphere. Same with the A-grade sound work. Your lead voice actor was on point, too.

Honestly don’t know what kind of meaningful feedback I could give. Even the inconsistent levels of the animated mouth kinda adds to the hypnotic weirdness of the whole thing. Liked it a lot.

Monday, 12:03

Really impressed in your ability to pull off a Groundhog Day narrative in just 3min. It's tight and explains just enough for everything to click in place.

Some darker lighting or LUT would've helped elevate the mood on a visual level. You'd be surprised how a simple black sheet covering the wall will make a world of difference. REALLY like the idea behind the fading photograph, but may have been a bit too subtle. If the photo was littered with items that gradually reduced with each loop, I think it would have had more punch to help the audience get the idea that there are only so many loops before the incident is perminent.

Still, bloody good effort. Keep at it.

Glitch

Though it's not the most original concept, this was very nicely done. A lot of the under-the-skin moodiness it evokes is largely due to the reverberating soundtrack - which was excellent. Unfortunately, the lead's performance was too subdued to really draw you into his unusual circumstances. It's also a shame 'Flashes' weren't able to gain access to better audio equipment or utilise a greater sound mix - would have really elevated the piece. And while some shots looked great (including great re-uses of the 'match cut' element), there were other shots that could have served the 'glitch' world more (e.g. the playground scene that lingers with seemingly no purpose). Nevertheless, this short is effective. It might turn some people off, those who "don't get it", but I felt it hit a good midground between exposition and intrigue.

Mind Camp

Incredibly Strange by design, and I dig that. The Tim & Eric-ness telemarketing angle did a damn good job of communicating the dystopia while hitting some chuckle-worthy WTF-ery. It all kind of halts with the news anchor bit explaining "the supreme leader" in an abruptly straightforward fashion, but the wrap-up is on point.

Tide

Beautifully shot with FANTASTIC duel performances and well-written characters to boot, 'Tide' easily earned its position in the Auckland City finals. However, with the subject matter King Gains-Bury & Biches wanted to tackle at the end, 7 minutes really doesn't feel like enough time to sell it. It was done as well as it could, but I felt pretty emotionally distant from the conclusion. As a minor note: That line about "Growing some balls" has also been taken from somewhere else - felt it could have been modified or ditched.

Sweet Child Of Time

The big issue with this short is something you and the other reviewers are well aware of - the sound. It's why I've rated it as low as I have and probably don't need to restate what's already been covered, eh? I'm 100% on board with the MS paint-style visuals and big-ups on your shadow shot - it looked cool. If there's one piece of advice I can give, it's that you should try with all your might to never have backgrounds that are pure black or pure grey. Even if it's space or simply a metal wall, take some time to paint a texture. Even 30 seconds will do. Make a rush-job out of it. It'll suit your style and make the overall short look much better. My two fave gags: the robot having to lean to fit in the door and NZ being outrageously bigger than the rest of the world while AU drowns in the background. I trust those got a good response out of the audience. Wish I was there to see it.

Pass Card

A nice, simple, effective skit that doesn't quite nail the landing. But still entertaining thanks to a solid lead performance and chuckle-worthy moments - yeah, the gum-in-the-pubs got me good. The switch between "fantasy" and "reality" doesn't quite work at the end though, and the girl's final remark doesn't quite ring true to me, especially when she's been explaining the lead's "identity" to her boyfriend. I wish this short got more time to knock it home.

Breathless

This could have been a 'rom-com' or a 'black comedy', not that it matters because this short does both genres pretty damn well, using the idea that the partners want to kill each other as a bait-n-switch into darker, weirder, way more awesomer territory. The lead couple deliver some great performances that power the comedy, as well as the nicely brewed tension at the end. The home invasion scene was also very nicely shot, making their spousal problems even funnier when they turn up during the "cleansing". Sure, their romantic resolution was kinda tacked on, but this short was a lot of fun regardless.

Leap

A "is he? Isn't he?" superhero mystery that isn't told particularly well. Some of the actors try their hardest to make the script work but it really never pulls through. The way it was shot left a lot to be desired.

Rough Trade

I bloody love DIY filmmaking like this in the comp. The lead is admirably all-in which helps the film so much and gags like the car jump and “hack.exe” had my ribs cracking. For something as manic as this, it benefits from a tighter pace. Editing out some padding would have gone a long way, simple things like her putting golf clubs in the boot can be chopped from three shots to one just to speed things along. It would have also been cool if the 2nd car jump shot wasn’t the same as the first, gives some variety and is an opportunity to show us what else you could do with a mouse and the Move Tool. And while that chewing gum gag was pretty funny, it stopped the story in a noticeable way. It could have either served more of a purpose or been cut entirely. Really dug the zoom-in with the dude getting sawed, mainly because of the lead’s expression. Adds a lot of character to the scene and could have used more CUs throughout. The confrontation was great, largely because the antagonist was just as outlandish as the lead. Also LOVED the triple-punch-cut before that - it’s a pity the final fight doesn’t go as bonkers.

Special K

It's a pity you don't have access to better sound equipment or sound editing - decent sound and mixing really helps to elevate a short with outdoor sequences and fight scenes. The story and end gag were simple, but effective - a wise choice for 48Hours. If your next entry has another onfoot chase, get your actors to REALLY sprint. It'll look far more effective.

Second Time Lucky...?

This is a great interpretation of the 'Survival' genre, a first-date scenario you desperately want to pull the parachute cord on. The male lead was a touch wooden on his line deliveries, but did a very good job selling the agony through his expressions and movements. The female lead was superb, busting out that all-in energy the script demanded. That on-point cut to her laughing and the end facial expression cracked me up. The flashback moment felt like a joke that was missing a punchline, putting a bump in the pacing (though it worked to fit in the Wilhelm Scream). The part with Susan mentioning that she was on a date didn't really add anything either. These are things that could either be reworked or sidelined to focus more on putting this guy through dating hell and him trying desperately to prolong his suffering. I would have liked different methods of escape explored - as it stands, he kinda goes back and forth from cafe to bathroom. But for what you had, there were some really cool editing and camera tricks used to heighten the tension. I especially like the quick-cutting between close-up of the watch and close-up of her face smashing more food into her mouth. I reckon you could exploit that tension further if you gave the audience an idea of WHEN he was able to leave and turning the pressure up the minutes before he's "allowed" to leave. The biggest thing holding this short back is the production (lighting, sound, etc), but there's nothing that can be done about that - we aren't all studio teams. Hopefully, in the future, you'll have access to that high-end equipment or someone will dump a buttload of money for you to hire it. I'd love to see what your team comes up with in the future.

Fun Run

Fun Run, for lack of a better word, is a fun short. Fleet Street clearly wanted to announce to the audience that this was a "Quest" to the finish line, and it's easy to buy into the concept. The thin plot is easy to overlook when the characters are so likeable (a particular female cyclist was one highlight). There are some obvious technical shortcomings, but overall, I enjoyed it.

A Lesson on Probability

Not sure what inspired the foreign semi-art-haus style, but clearly Mexico knows how to do it extremely well. With numerous visual flourishes that isolate key plot aspects to single still shots, breezing through its simple story of attraction while nailing the twist. As calculating as its concept, 'A Lesson on Probability' delivered quality on all fronts. I love it when 48Hours films embrace their genres this tightly.

Katy Harrison - Grooming A Superstar

This was damn funny, taking the living-vicariously-parent plot through the means of cheap internet fame. Most of the jokes click thanks to snappy performances - especially the little girl who carved through with great subtlety.

Hide and Seek

This feels like a first-draft film, which is very common in 48Hours. The lead character is too difficult to root for (I found Harper too thoughtless to be a fit parent), the antagonist's motive could have been a little more justified (though his one annoyance was really damn funny) and the long exchange Harper had with her neighbour really could have been cut down to contain the urgency of the situation. When things needed to be tense, I didn't feel it, partly because the score is either too acoustically soft or completely non-existent. Nevertheless, the short still functions well enough and is lighthearted in the right areas. It's also shot cleanly with some tight editing (nice match cut!).

Jour du Biscuit

I wish the production could mate the idea here, because the idea is gold. (The sound and lighting is on the lower end, but I get the feeling there was nothing that could be done about that.) Giving life to a sentient killer cookie is entertaining as hell. And yet, dare I say, it feels like we hear too much of him. Having him explain the characters in this Russian roulette game was essential, but I feel we're robbed by not having the spotlight temporarily on each individual. (It's in the "Show, don't tell" ballpark, though in this case it should be "Tell AND show".) When the grand argument goes down, it can feel a bit sudden. Fortunately, the actors play their roles so well that you don't feel at a loss. And although the very end comes almost out of nowhere, it's a good gag to end on. PS - This this a Goddamn beautiful line: "...and amateur racist with professional ambition."

eLOVEator

A lovely interpretation of the genre. They’re so close, yet so far away. Absolutely loved the shots of them in their two separate elevators. Really gives you a sense of their intimacy but also their physical separation. This premise leans heavily on the script, which isn’t as strong as it needed to be. Part of the issue is that the male character feels a touch overwritten at the start, interacting with the elevator operator in an overtly wordy manner that didn’t feel like a normal interaction. Another issue is, I suspect, due to the 5min restriction. It’s deceptively difficult trying to get two strangers to have a meaningful connection in the span of minutes, and unfortunately their isn’t quite enough dialogue to effectively land the love-at-first-voice tale. Perhaps if we got a more convincing sense of time passing (eg. cut to a clock revealing the hours they’ve spent talking together), their bond would’ve been more prominent. The bits of chemistry that was there, though, worked well. A testament to the leads and the moments of dialogue that shined.

Guess Who?

This is insensitive to those with mental disabilities. Jokes. I chuckled in this. Especially that gag with the second tye-dye shirt. Ace. I feel there was a better story you NEARLY told in this, if only you explored why he wanted to be a Guess Who? champ. This could have been an interesting development if he was somehow good at the game. Or if he took pathetic pride in beating a little girl. Or just something that saw our lead actually overcome something. As it is, he's a guy with a stink condition who tries to face his issue head-on only to end up worse - the end. As a punchline to one joke, I can appreciate that - and that might be what you were going for. But we spent a bit of time with this character only to end up nowhere, and that can be a bit frustrating.

Con Troll Alt Delete

I'll get my main issue out of the way: we don't see enough of the lead's face. In terms of his hatred for his co-workers, the only thing we have to go on is his internal monologue. There's that rule - "Show, don't tell" - that applies here. While the story does demand you "tell" us his specific frustrations in his mind, you still need to "show" this to us through his expressions. It would allow us better access to this character, especially given what transpires. But holy hell, what does transpire is great, and the way things keep escalating is superbly done. The final moment doesn't quite work - it seems quite tame given the violence we just saw - but that's a minor point.

ESP

A sweet film that finds a good excuse not to raid a makeup department to make the lead ‘alien-ish’. I felt the narration to be overbearing, bluntly telling me how the character was feeling when the actor was already doing a decent job of that. There was also an aspect about her magnified ability to hear that was a cool concept that wasn’t made the most of. Part of it was technical which is understandable - we’re not all studio teams - but the film would have been far more effective if it pulled more focus into this area. Specifically, more pleasurable sound design at the start to give the ending more impact and the indoor scene more contrast.

Salvage

The production is off the damn hook. The costuming, locations, props and effects boost this short up a lot. It's as if you chose to make a sci-fi film. The performances also kept things lively with nicely defined characters that beg for more screen time. The big thing that limits this short is its world building. It has great ambitions, perhaps more than a 5min short would allow. It's evident in the dialogue, which is really heavy in exposition and could have benefited from streamlining it further. As it stands, it feels more like we're being told about a world rather than experiencing it. Having said that, what there is to experience is very solid.

Merci

This is bloody slick in the technical department - the music, the edit, the acting, the camerawork, all on point. The pace as well was mightily impressive, showing urgency and restraint at just the right moments. For a five-minute film, that's hellishly skillful. However, the tension created by the filmmaking isn't all that reflective in the characters. Neither of them felt like much of a danger to each other, removing most of the suspense a cat-n-mouse film of this sort relies on. It feels like there are arcs missing, or something specific about these characters that we never see. This lack of malicious motive means we recognise the beats of tension but don't feel it. Two moments feel especially jarring: the part where he picks up the wrench, and the ending. Perhaps with two added minutes, those particular character traits could have been hinted at. Nevertheless, this was great to watch. Also, THAT shot. Holy wow.

STARSEED

Great costumes, makeup and acting in this piece. I'm semi with the Jodorowsky comparison mentioned before, though it seems more like his 5min adaptation of The Scientology Bible. You were obviously going for something "out there", so that's a compliment. The choice of music felt out-of-place and a bit overbearing at times. The chirpy, mainstream tunes worked against the outlandishness of the concept. I also couldn't quite place the surgical scene near the end or why it was stretched out for so long in super slow motion. But even if I couldn't make some sense of it all, the ending was satisfying and a solidly bizarre use of The Scream.

7PM On a Saturday Night

What a great way to incorporate the character Nicky Brick into a horror, making his horrible luck turn him into an accidental serial killer. I really dug the middle of this short and how it cut between different time-stamped scenarios, plus it had a great lead. There are only three things that disappointed me: 1) It really could have used an event that triggered Nicky's stroke of deadly unluckiness. 2) The date scene could have brought out some great tense situations but it only hinted at it. 3) That it was disqualified, because I enjoyed this one a lot.

Positive

This film's big trick works really damn well for the mystery genre, and it certainly kept me fixated throughout most of it. The fantastic music had a really cool, foreboding, sombre, elusive sound to it which really suited the situation. My only big problem with this short is the first scene. Had it not been for the match cut element, it could have been cut entirely and made the whole piece tighter. As it is, the switch is tonally awkward.

Hard To Read

Solid, well-written, witty musical wrapped around love and YouTube sensationalism, carried by a very good lead performance. This easily wins the award for Best Psychedelic Use of Green Screen. There wasn't much to the romance itself, making the end feel a tad weak. But that weakness only stands out because the rest of the short was so damn strong. EDIT: I saw it again. Had to give it another star.

Macy's Mind Writes A Song

My favourite film of the heat. A mature, understated, bold interpretation of both 'Musical' and 'Monster' that successfully gets inside the character's head. By having this examine the everyday life of its lead, the film justifies a common 48hours location (i.e. someone's house) and pulls of a thought-provoking ending that doesn't explode with drama, but simmers on a sombre note that stuck with me. If there's perhaps one thing that could have amplified this short, it's the design of the monster itself. There's nothing wrong with what's here and the performer does a lot of the heavy lifting, but the simplicity of the design did leave me wondering what could have been. It's a minor quibble for an otherwise great short that I expect to see in the Auckland finals, along with a nomination for its superb lead.

My Flatmate is a Monster

Neat film, well produced and boosted by some very good lead performances. Especially liked the makeup: nothing that demanded studio professionals but for what was needed, couldn’t have been better. Perhaps the only limitation was how the existence of the vlog played into the ending in a fairly obvious way. But that’s a minor quibble. I liked this short a lot.

Barry's World

Every entry from Dogs Breakfast Gobsmacks me - making a functional stop-mo LEGO short in 48 hours is a work of warlocks. 'Barry's World' is a notch above amusing, animated and paced better than their entry last year. But with an ending that puts a harsh handbreak on the plot, I just don't think it really went anywhere. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, for you could argue that it's a slice-of-life story from an alternate dimension.

Booze Clues

Although I didn't feel the lead characters had much... well... character (aside from the missing man and the suspect), the story was sturdy enough with a reasonable and funny explanation to it all. The whole short was fun in parts, but it could have been a whole load of fun with tighter pacing and writing. I'm still a bit unsure how the blood got on the knife - that might be a plot-hole or perhaps I missed something.

Tonight On Extreme Quickfire Trivia

Nicely done. Good concept. Solid animation. Especially liked the casual brutalness of the show.

If you were able to show even more expressions in the eyes/brows, it would amplify the characters' reactions and emotions. It's key to a concept where people hate each other. Also thought the idea of digging up someone's past to find someone they hate didn't really play into the main story, which is a shame because I really would've liked to have seen that.

Nevertheless, this made me chuckle. Wicked stuff.

May I Suggest

Beautifully shot with an iron-fist edit (you might be up for an editing nomination) and other nice production touches like the simple but effective VR Package prop. Also presents a solid take on the Holiday genre, but the idea could have done more to stand out in this Black Mirror era. The concept of stress being a prison could have been fleshed out and used more foreshadowing to give the film the impact it’s missing. As it stands, the ending seems a bit too sudden. Nevertheless, there’s some excellent craft here that was a pleasure to witness on the big screen.

In Sensitive

This story didn't feel complete, which is the biggest letdown this short has. Aside from that, the acting's great and that final pregnancy gag was too damn good.

My Friend Liam

This is the kind of homegrown 48 film that makes these heats fun. It's constantly silly, throwing in a trolley and instant cancer just to keep the plot moving. Hopefully the sound can be tuned up in this team's next entry. It really helps amp up your film's overall quality. The strongest aspect of this film is the lead. She's manic, but not wild, and does a lot to carry the film/dead body.

Glasnost 2: Blood Moon

It’s cool to see this sequel is an improvement over the first film. Having masked characters is a clever way to cut down on animation time and I personally love the movement of spaghetti arms. Works especially well for a space setting. Moon nazis aren’t quite an original idea, but it helped up the stakes and the film didn’t linger. My big criticism is that the lead buddies don’t really try that hard to solve the issue together, something that could have made their friendship sparkle even more, and is instead solved by convenience. But it was a funny end, nonetheless.

Bread Winner

If you ever wanted to see a healthy Zach Galifianakis and Cillian Murphy lead a Les Miserable revenge musical about the last loaf of Vogels at Countdown, Chess Club headed straight towards your request like a fired bullet. Superb songwriting, tightly paced, on-point comedic timing from the actors and a match cut I wanted to give a standing ovation to.

The Delivery

There are a number of cool things in this short (I'm a big fan of multiple versions of one dude in the same shot), the lead did well, and the concept introduces a good problem with having too many Charlies exist for the sole purpose of trying to say the right thing to a pretty girl. It just feels like the multi-Charlie thing doesn't go anywhere. We see heaps of them descend from the sky as a suave Charlie laughs at his former self in the face - but then it cuts off. Maybe the intent was that space-time collapse, but there's no solid reason why. If this danger was acknowledged at the start, it would add a lot of tension to the situation as it plays out. Just how desperate is this guy? How close to universal destruction is he willing to go to get this girl's attention? These are questions that could have been asked. But don't get me wrong: what we've got here is still entertaining.

Gluten Free

This was cunning. Liked it. Lovely song too, and I think it's smart to set the whole film to it. Keeps the storytelling pace tight and well-suited to 3min.

I think if you were to have added some movement to the flour people, it would have added even more character to the short. Doesn't even have to be flash either. Some simple fishing wirework can do wonders or even some crafty puppeteering like this moment from The Artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DflRty3nxo

Look forward to see what you can do after 104 hours of premiere pro experience. VERY good arc shot, too.

Friendship with a Vengence

Z-grade is a genre that can seem like a curse, but can be turned into a blessing for teams who don't have the production capabilities of studio teams. This film proves it. Faking 'hilariously bad' is deceptively difficult, but this team nails it with purposefully hestitated line readings and inserted continuity mess-ups in the edit. But what's most impressive is the pace and the action. The actors really commit to the fights as does the cameraperson. And the gags fill everything in between. If we're not seeing a punch, we're seeing a punchline. This is a gem in my glowing eyes.

What Kind of Day Has it Been

I really like the idea, especially in the context of real-time, but like the other reviews have stated, the audio really sinks this one. From what I could pick up though, the lead gave a sturdy performance as the interviewee. I also thought the reason for the rush was pretty damn funny.

In bread, love

Well, if anything, this film did jolt me into a blushing, chuckling "oh, hell no!" response with its big twist partway through. Unfortunately, that's all that this short had going for it as the gags and complications that could have risen from this situation simply didn't surface. Instead, we're shown some pretty ineffective scenes of a church and a counselor simply reiterating the one joke. The resolution also came out of no where and felt way too convenient, even for a comedy. Kudos to the lead duo though - their performances were the strongest aspect of the film.

Polly

You got musical, your lead can't sing, and you bloody went for it anyway. You automatically have my respect. Some cool creative moments in this one. Though drone shots are heavy in this comp, I smiled big at this one. For a film that ended up being about a guy trying to impress a girl, there's a lot of filler that could have been cut down - mainly the dialogue when they first met and established that they knew each other from high school. Given how it ends, it didn't add anything to the film. That ending though. Wow, may have been the heartiest laugh I got from the heat.

Rift

This film very, very, nearly achieves what it sets out to do, and given its ambitions, I was rooting for it all the way. Unfortunately, it falls short, which is a damn shame. The script needed to be tighter in order to feel properly invested. The BBQ flashback was one of the biggest sags: it was a bit on the cheesy side and the couple's relationship isn't wasn't highlighted very well, which was the supposed purpose of the scene. There was also a lot of mcguffin talk about data, devices and news networks that lacked context - it all seemed like jargon to me. Perhaps I'm wrong about that, and if I am, I would recommend directing the actors with a bit more verve to put emphasis on more important pieces of exposition. A lot of the delivery bordered on monotone. It bums me out to say all this because I felt the rifting mechanic, with all its simplicity, was really well done. And I mean every single time it was used. The first jump looked convincing as hell (with appropriate sound FXs to boot). Then there's the casual 'throwaway' jump which really sets the tone that these 'rifts' are an everyday factor to these characters. But it's the ending jump - and what happens to the jumper - that really impressed me. It was cool as hell, and it made me wish that this short achieved more with its idea.

Stand Up

This film is polished like a fresh bowling ball. The sound, music, edit, grade, cinematography - all on point. The acting from the two leads is also pretty great, doing the difficult balancing act between dramatic and comedic. I liked the way it subverts the 'survival' genre, initially going from 'save your life' to 'save your failing relationship' - the jokes surrounding it were mostly solid. Though some gags about their flawed relationship felt like they've been recycled from old TV series, mainly the "I always faked it" line. The scene where they sneak down the stairs stood out in a sort-of negative way (the exit was in plain sight and yet they chose to go for the golf clubs instead). To keep this kind of survival story in tune with its genre, I feel you need to keep cornering your protagonists until they've got absolutely no way out but to fight. That end punchline was ace, though. The actor bloody nailed the delivery.

A Bad Goodbye

Damn, this was funny. Really liked the domino effect of bad luck that kept the comedy rolling in this - the theft, the trolley, the hilarious Siri - culminating to a banger of an end gag. It's a pity about the sound mix, as it was hard to hear some of the dialogue and the super soft music didn't quite mesh with the edginess of the black comedy. Nevertheless, a very strong, inventive short had had me laughing more than most 48Hours shorts.