APRIL 2012 FIRST FRIDAY SHORTS (FFS)

I arrived soon after 9pm and quickly got my hand stamped (once you pay for your ticket to the FFS, you get a stamp on your hand like in a bar or a rock show) and looked around for Max to ask him about entering our Cowtown Gypsy Cinema sketches to FFS; hence my delay in getting my seat.  The theater was almost completely full (about 5/6th’s).  I got my seat just as the show began.  Max Cannon and Michael Sterner were both in attendance.

Filler: An Honest First Date (Tosh.0)

QUESTIONS, (sequel to Questions?) by Ray C. Merrill, was much like the first “Questions?” documentary, only this time, the answer is “Facebook.”  We see Ray in the Tucson's Hurricane Hooka Lounge and all over downtown Tucson, asking young Tucsonans, questions that have the obvious answer, “Facebook.” I found this episode cleverer and cuter than the first. Kudos to Peter Gorritz who did the music soundtrack.

THE CORN by Casey Numetko is a charming and very short documentary about Steve Shaw’s Cowboy Kettle Corn booth at a fair.  Somewhat educational and artistic with very red lighting.  Would like to see this one again.

Z-DAY by Daniel Ramirez, at first looks like a typical locally made action zombie flick, but has a great twist at the end that lifts it far above the average.  Good gun-shooting special effects, good audio and editing.  Michael Sterner said the zombie killers’ Toyota Camry, was a badass car! (ha ha)

Filler: Fresh Guacamole - Pes

SQUEAL by Ron Trujillo is an extremely short film, very reminiscent of Deliverance. The analogy sets up the tension and gives way to a funny cliffhanger ending.  Great dark suspense lighting and audio.

WW (?) by Matthew Sisson – a violent interrogation that ends up with the ultimate question, “Where’s Waldo?”  Not funny to me at first due to my growing sensitive nature, but that famous question certainly broke the seriousness of it.  This violence-loving audience really liked it.  Effective!

THE HORROR by Greg Lyons was a thriller showing two guys outside at night, looking for a cat, I think?  Some good FX moments with ghostly figures assaulted the viewer against grainy video.  The audience was gonging, but Max let it play.

BATTLE, by Daniel Storm, looked like a fun home movie of a father (?) and son (?) having a light saber fight at night against a Star Wars-type soundtrack.  The ending was abrupt and Michael Sterner made an intentionally incoherent comment about the short.

Filler: External World (first half)

INTERMISSION (From what I could find):

Cat takes revenge on kid

Good Books Great Writer Series – Metamorphosis

Beetlecam is Back

Zombie Ass – Toilet of the Dead – Trailer

The Most Astounding Fact of the Universe

Filler (after Intermission) External World (last half)

4 ACES, by Al Graham, showed a professional magician (Gary J. Husson) doing a card trick called the Four Aces.  This appeared to be part of a documentary series called, “Stars of Magic” which will showcase Tucson magicians. The FFS audience comically feigned their amazement, even though it was a good card trick. Good cinematography of the trick. 

THE WEEKND- HOUSE OF BALLOONS (Fan Video), by Ryan O’Sullivan, is an animated music video using kind of a stop-motion technique with 2-D paper cutouts of bunny men characters.  The story about bunny people at a party with a live band had some good writing.  The audience tried to gong it, but Max let it run.  Afterwards, he strongly suggested shortening it and I have to agree.  Animation lighting needs work, but the short has potential, especially with the writing.

Filler – Jedi Cat VS Pitbull

SEX, DRUGS AND JUMPSTYLE, by Ari Grabb, was even better the second time.  The first time I saw it was at the WHAT’S UP DOCZ student screening in Dec’11.  There’s not that much to add, except that on second viewing I really appreciated the cinematography (camera work by Gabriel Acosta and CJ Sundstrom) and editing even more.  Great work and the WINNER OF THE APRIL FFS!

THE FRENCH WEDGE, by Owen Rose, is another hilarious infomercial staring “Steve Climber, the Ultimate Outdoors Enthusiast.”  This one is about durable French-cut underwear suitable for hiking.  Excellent!  I’m sure Owen Rose and his filmmaking partner, Noel Rhodes could sell lots if they made a “real” infomercial.

A GRINGO LIKE ME, presented by Andrew Foster, is a music video to the song, “A Gringo Like Me” by Ennio Morricone.  We see a cowboy who doesn’t really have the feel of a classic cowboy, acting out artistically with his gun. The actor was fantastic.  The credits are not very complete on this short, so I’m not sure who did what.  In any case, the cinematography and editing were great.

SPENCER SPENCE, by Grant Hunker, is an audience-participation short where the audience can pick one of three endings for each section.  The FFS audience was only allowed one choice per section and predictably picked the most extreme of the choices.  The star of the show, Spencer Spence, was great.  I found the stories themselves a bit over-the-top to the point of being grossly silly, but the cinematography and editing were very good.  I want to see it again so I can experience all the endings.  Fun concept!

CLEAN DAT SHIT, by Mike Williamson & Tad Sallee, was a parody of sexy girls washing cars.  The difference is that two (not-yet-but-soon-to-be-beefcake-looking) guys acted sexy while washing their trucks to a hip hop soundtrack.  Great shots of the guys playing with hoses spewing water and striking sexy poses by their muscle trucks made this a hilarious music video.  Nice cinematography and editing. Need better credits.  Who were the guys and who did the camerawork and editing?

Until next time!