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The Accidental Sea (2011)

June 29, 2014 0 documentary

Written & directed by Ransom Riggs
Music by Michael Picton

The Accidental Sea is a short documentary about the Salton Sea, a large lake created artificially when a 350 square mile section of the Colorado desert was flooded by accident over a century ago by a man-made irrigation canal carrying water from the Colorado River. The Salton Sea now constitutes the largest body of water in California, a basin lying several hundred foot below sea level.

In this engaging short documentary, narrator Ransom Riggs explores this ‘Accidental Sea’ which fascinates him and leads him to ponder whether the place is a heaven or a hell. Once popularised as a holiday retreat, with hundreds of holiday homes and permanent residences lining the banks of this ‘riviera’, the Salton Sea is now a ghostly, deserted place. Like the town of Pripiat close to Chernobyl, there are clues and signs everywhere that the area was once inhabited, but now it’s barren, an eerie and vast wilderness populated by nobody. Well, almost nobody….

The Machine (2010)

June 23, 2014 0 animation

Directed by Rob Shaw
Animated by Rob Shaw and Sarah Hulin (Bent Image Lab animation studio)

The Machine is a story about a mechanical being built and released into the world by a bored human. Like a malevolent Pinnochio, greedy with power, the Machine takes everything he finds, destroying obstacles and people along the way. From a lowly farmer to a mighty king, the machine asserts his superiority and power over everyone he encounters. The film is a stop-motion animation using puppets, with backgrounds and cut shots of moving parts designed to appear like the interior workings of a nickel slot machine.

This short film is highly allegorical and carries various potential warnings about developments in today’s world – the risks posed by giving machines too much power (drone warfare, autonomous killing machines, the increasing automation of everyday life and functions). The consequences are borne by humans and the planet we inhabit. Andrea Schuch provides the nicely stylised voiceover. The composition was done in Aftereffects.

Jacked (2012)

June 22, 2014 0 comedy

Director – Aaron Kheifets
Written by Lenny Platt, Jamie Falkowski and Aaron Kheifets

Jacked is a comedy short film about an underconfident man (Greg, played by Daniel Silver) looking for a girlfriend in Brooklyn. When a sassy friend encourages him to stop being a ‘pussy’ and talk to a girl in the street, Greg ends up with more than he bargained for as the mystery female repeatedly takes advantage of his gullibility,  naive kindness and desperation for love.