How To Take The Best Short Videos For Social Media

Making Videos That Resonate And Are Poised To Go Viral
The best computer-generated imagery in the world isn’t compelling if it isn’t of anything interesting. If you have a CGI eyeball so perfect it’s impossible to tell whether or not the footage is real, that’s only interesting for a few seconds. Two hours of that eyeball is boring—who would watch it? The point is, even “A-list” production is useless with poor subject matter.

For your videos to resonate on social media, they don’t have to be of the best possible quality; they just have to be relevant to the audience watching. Remember the progenitor to “fail” videos, “America’s Funniest Home Videos”? The actual content didn’t have much production value, but it was candid, and hilarious.

With social media, funny videos go viral all the time, but so also do those which have a provocative quality to them; especially as regards physical beauty. Young ladies have been making a living with such videos for a few years now. The “Instagram Model” represents a true class of income generation.

If you are popular enough in videos, companies pay you to endorse their products in those videos. Essentially, they’re capitalizing on your following. But to make a following, you must produce content which properly resonates with target demographics. This can be complex, and making the best videos helps. Here are some tips to optimize such videos.

  1. Make The Videos About Content Users Want To See
    This was alluded to in the introduction: you’ve got to have videos about content that is sharable, and could potentially go viral. This means you have to cover subjects that may be relevant, or may be titillating. You want something that’s funny, something that’s salacious, something that’s frightening, something that’s astonishing; in a phrase, something of value.

If you know who you’re catering to, that can be a big help. Teenagers tend to love rudeness and non-sequiturs. Guys in their forties are going to drool over videos of construction best practices and hardware specs conforming to their preferences. Meanwhile, humor and sensuality have a universal element, but may restrict you from certain audiences.

  1. Use The Right Social Media Outlets For The Right Content
    Something else you’ll want to do is align the content you produce to the right sort of social media. Longer videos may do better on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Rumble, or some outlet like that. Shorter videos may do better on TikTok or Instagram—though there is room for “long-form” videos on Instagram; they just don’t tend to be the norm.

Normally, you’re looking at a video length of about a minute. Three minutes tends to be an average “upper limit” on modern attention spans to aligned content. Five minutes is also a decent length if your content is engaging enough. For much longer than that, you’ll need to carefully cultivate a following who wants to see such content, and it’s still smart to divvy it up.

  1. Employ Known Best Practices For Selfie Shots, Video Or Still
    Something else that makes sense is learning from the most successful social media influencers out there. Certain poses and subject matter are more likely to approach “organic” virality. If you’re trying to make your selfies more visible and sharable, check out these selfie poses for girls. You’ll find similar best practices for a variety of content.
  2. Lighting And Sound: Control Them As You’re Able
    Bad lighting will “spike” good content, so will bad sound. As you can control either, do so. Shoot videos in locations that aren’t overrun with background noise that will be louder than the sound of material you intend to share. Try to be well lit. Ideally, lighting should come from above you and to your left and right.

Lighting that is head-on can be very helpful, but it can also make it hard for you to see. This is one reason circular lights are used for varying social media videos. What you want to avoid is lighting yourself from beneath; that makes you look like something out of a horror movie.

  1. With Some Content, Forget Sound, Put Music Over FootageWith some content, all you really need to do is put music to your video. Granted, you’ll want to be careful about monetization concerns on YouTube regarding copyright infringement, but that isn’t as much an issue on TikTok or Instagram—here are Instagram’s guidelines.

If you don’t need there to be sound, use music to cover unattractive noises. Try to match the music to the video in terms of aesthetic.

Developing A Strong Social Media Game
Music being used to accompany footage, proper lighting, using best practices for poses, calibrating content for the right sort of social media outlet, and assuring whatever videos you make include content that people want to see represent key tactics in maximizing visibility of social media videos.

Short videos on social media are a form of communication that is increasingly prevalent today, and has, for all intents and purposes, gone mainstream. It’s a strong tool that you can use to your advantage. Accordingly, you might as well make the most of it.

Bring on the Popcorn, and Make it a LOL Kids Movie Night! The Emoji Movie includes the original Hotel Transylvania Short “Puppy!”

Available on Digital October 10 and On 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray + Digital, & DVD on October 24

CULVER CITY, Calif. (September 12, 2017) – Be the movie night hero and bring home the film that kids give two thumbs up to for the ultimate kid’s movie night! It’s time to express yourself when Sony Pictures Animation’s THE EMOJI MOVIE arrives for the first time on Digital on October 10 and on 4K Ultra HD+ Blu-ray + Digital, Blu-ray + Digital and DVD October 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The animated comedy unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.

THE EMOJI MOVIE features an all-star voice cast including T.J. Miller (How To Train Your Dragon) as Gene Meh, James Corden (“Late Late Show with James Corden”) as Hi-5, Anna Faris (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) as Jailbreak, Maya Rudolph (Big Hero 6) as Smiler, Steven Wright (Louie) as Mel Meh, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde) as Mary Meh, Jake T. Austin (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) as phone owner Alex, Grammy® Award Winner Christina Aguilera as Akiko Glitter, Emmy® Award Nominee Sofia Vergara (The Smurfs) as Flamenca, Rachael Ray (“Rachael Ray”) as Spam, Emmy® Award Winner Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) as “Devil” Steven, and Emmy® Award Nominee Sir Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Poop.

THE EMOJI MOVIE is filled with interactive bonus materials on the Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, DVD and digital releases that are fun for the entire family to enjoy including the “Good Vibrations” Dance Along and Lyric Video, where you can join along in the dance party. You can tell that they don’t spare any expense with video production either. Learn about the amazing dance moves from the film’s celebrity choreographer in “Choreographing Emoji with Matt Steffanina.” Get creative with step-by-step tutorials on how to draw your favorite Emoji’s with two “how to” videos. Go behind-the-scenes of a real-life coding school with the “Girls Who Code” featurette, and get to know everything about the all-star cast in “Express Yourself: Meet the Cast.” Fans will also get to unveil more of the story behind their beloved character in “Jailbreak Decoded: The Untold Story.” Additional featurettes include “Creating the World Inside Your Phone,” “Bringing Emoji’s to Life,” and the very exciting “Puppy! An Original Hotel Transylvania Short.”

In addition to extra content above, exclusive to Blu-ray, fans of all ages will be able to give it their best shot at the “Gimme a Hand! Guess the Emoji Game,” where Hi-5 and Smiler give you clues to help you guess the mystery Emojis. You will also have the chance to get creative with your Halloween Trick-Or-Treat candy with “Sweet App-etite: Make Your Own Candy Crush Inspired Saga Cake.”

THE EMOJI MOVIE is directed by Tony Leondis, with screenplay by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White and story by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel. The film is produced by Sony Pictures Animation, with Michelle Raimo Kouyate serving as the producer.

DVD and Digital Bonus Materials Include: 
• Director & Animators Commentary
Puppy! An Original Hotel Transylvania Short
• Jailbreak Decoded: The Untold Story
• “Good Vibrations” Dance Along
• “Good Vibrations” Lyric Video
• Express Yourself: Meet The Cast
• Girls Can Code!
• Choreographing Emoji With Matt Steffanina
• Creating the World Inside Your Phone
• Bringing Emojis to Life
• How To Draw Poop
• How To Draw Gene

Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Materials Include:
Everything listed above, plus:
Gimme a Hand! Guess the Emoji Game
• Sweet App-etite: Make Your Own Candy Crush Inspired Saga Cake

THE EMOJI MOVIE has a run time of approximately 91 minutes and is rated PG: for Rude Humor.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies—with the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village available on digital and Blu-ray now; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie in July 2017; the inspirational The Star in November 2017; Hotel Transylvania 3 in July 2018; and an animated Spider-Man feature from the minds of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018. The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. In 2007, Surf’s Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film; a sequel entitled Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is now available on digital and DVD. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new Open Season: Scared Sillynow available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, was founded in 2002. Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.

CD Review: Dropkick Murphys “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory”

“11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory”
Dropkick Murphys
Born & Bred
Producer: Ted Hutt
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Everyone’s favorite Bostonian punk band Dropkick Murphys are back with a brand new studio album titled “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory”. The album (the bands ninth) is being released via the groups own Born & Bred label and features 11 tracks which were produced by Grammy Award winning producer Ted Hutt.

With a four year lapse since the release of 2013’s “Signed and Sealed in Blood” fans of Dropkick Murphys have had a bit of a wait for new material however with the release of “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” DKM has made up for that lost time. The album opens up with a mostly instrumental track titled “The Lonesome Boatman”. The track which features gang like chanting serves as sort of a rallying call announcing the bands return. I found this to be a fitting way to open the album given the gap between this album and the last. As you make your way through the albums 11 tracks you get a spattering blend of traditional and non-traditional instrumentation mixed with vocalists Ken Casey and Al Barr’s signature Boston snarl. Tracks like the upbeat “Rebels with a Cause” and the rawkus “I Had a Hat” are classic DKM in their subject matter and approach while the 1945 Rogers and Hammerstein show tune “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is given a folk/punk makeover that is new and fresh while still paying homage to the original. Another track worth mentioning is the somber “4-15-13” which is the bands heart-felt tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

“11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” is everything fans of Dropkick Murphy’s have come to love about the band and their music. The only negative I really found was as the title suggests the album is a bit short. Clocking in at less than 40 minutes I seemed to be through all 11 tracks before I knew it, the upside is the albums diversity makes it easy to listen to multiple times through without it getting stale or redundant negating its short run time. No matter if you are a long time fan of the boys from Boston or a more casual listener the latest release from Dropkick Murphy’s surely has something you will enjoy.

Track Listing:
1.) The Lonesome Boatman
2.) Rebels with a Cause
3.) Blood
4.) Sandlot
5.) First Class Loser
6.) Paying My Way
7.) I Had a Hat
8.) Kicked to the Curb
9.) You’ll Never Walk Alone
10.) 4-15-13
11.) Until the Next Time


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Film Review “The Big Short”

Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale
Directed by: Adam McKay
Rated: R
Running time: 2 hrs 16 mins
Paramount Pictures

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

They said it could never happen. That any financial institution could do so poorly that it could affect the world. But that is what happened in 2008 when the housing industry imploded. Thousands of people lost money and even thousands more lost their homes. Yet, even in the toughest times, a fortuitous group of investors bucked the odds. Such is the story of “The Big Short.”

The year is 2005. We meet Dr. Michael Burry (Bale). Burry is not your typical money guy. He spends days in his office, sans shoes, and is more apt to have a pair of drumsticks in his hands then a prospectus. However, his uncanny ability to read upcoming trends in stocks and banking has made him a valuable asset to his firm, where he is given carte blanche to invest the firm’s money as he sees fit. And he’s seen fit to invest $1.3 billion in home mortgages. Rather, in home mortgages that will fail. Is he a genius? Or did he just blow a lot of people’s college fund?

Smartly written and skillfully directed, “The Big Short” is the last film you’d expect to see from Adam McKay, best known for his long association with Will Ferrell. But McKay delivers here in spades. He is helped by an amazing script, based on the book by Michael Lewis and co-written by McKay and Charles Randolph. Here we are introduced to the key players, headlined by Bale, Carell, Gosling, Brad Pitt and others. The dialogue is sharp (“who the hell doesn’t pay their mortgage?” one character asks early on) and the actors are up to the challenge. Characters sometime break the fourth wall to explain things and the film also contains some very funny cameos who also keep the audience up to the minute on the events unfolding. As the film progresses we learn more about the characters and what motivates them. Each has a reason they’ve arrived at the same conclusion and no two are the same.

To say any more would equate to “spoiling” the film so I’ll leave you with this: make an investment in “The Big Short”…it’s a sure thing!

First official trailer for the short film, “Kadence”!

A few weeks back we had the privilege to interview Jacob Johnston, who works for Marvel on their Visual Development team. He has worked on films like “Thor”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and currently on “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”. Jacob is also a writer and director and recent funded his short film “Kadence” via Kickstarter. Read our interview with him here. Media Mikes is happy to present you with the first official trailer from the short film “Kandence”! Check it out and spread the word!

“Kadence” stars:

Max Lloyd-Jones
Alyson Stoner
Zane Holtz
Bailey Chase
Jaime Gallagher
Annette Westwood

Still reeling from the loss of his mother, a damaging and complex relationship with his father, and a relentless battle with his own inner demons, Kadin’s grip on reality is loosening by the day. Amid this struggle comes an enigmatic and brazen new neighbor, Marissa, who, along with the promise of a budding new friendship gives Kadin an ancient voodoo doll. Her reassurance is seductive and the promise of a brighter future leads Kadin to make a sinister choice.

Written and Directed by: Jacob Johnston

Produced by: Jonathan Back, Rachel Walker, Nicole Hendrix and Jason Rostovsky.……

Marvel’s Jacob Johnston talks about his short film “Kadence”

Jacob Johnston has been working at Marvel Studios with their Visual Development team on films like “Thor”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and currently on “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”. Aside from working on superhero movies, Jacob is also a writer and director. He is currently trying to get his short films made “Kadence” via Kickstarter. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jacob about the short film, what we can expect and how can you help get this film made.

Click here to become a backer for “Kadence” on Kickstarter! At the time of posting, there is only 23 hours left! So don’t miss out!

Mike Gencarelli: Give us some background on how “Kadence”, came to be that you wrote and directed?
Jacob Johnston: It all started when I was driving to a friend’s birthday party last spring. It was just a visual of a young boy lying helpless in his room with a voodoo doll within arms reach – but it all felt so far away – something we saw by the pinning look in his eye. Following that: Kadence was a project that took me about 3 months to even form into words. For the most part, it started as a series of visuals – highlighting certain story elements – but finding a unique and compelling through line was something I didn’t want to force. As I began writing the script out, it evolved from a more supernatural based story into a more character-driven drama with horror elements. Which, to be honest, was far more interesting to me. I wanted a project that brought back the terrifying elements of visceral human interaction and unraveling – evocative of movies like The Haunting [1963], Silence of the Lambs and Let the Right One In.

MG: Give us the one minute pitch on the story?
JJ: Still reeling from the loss of his mother, a damaging and complex relationship with his father, and a relentless battle with his own inner demons, Kadin’s [17] grip on reality is loosening by the day. Amid this struggle comes an enigmatic and brazen new neighbor, Marissa [19], who, along with the promise of a budding new friendship gives Kadin an ancient voodoo doll. Her reassurance is seductive and the promise of a brighter future leads Kadin to make a sinister choice. [laughs] Was that a minute!?
MG: Well, I am sold man! For sure!

MG: Tell us about your Kickstarter campaign or your goals?
JJ: The Kickstarter campaign was launched for a couple of reasons: to help raise crucial funds for the production budget and for building an audience. We have brought on a lot of industry professionals to help bring this story to life, most of which who are donating their time for little or no pay – however, the cost of permits, locations and equipment adds up incredibly fast. More than raising additional budget money, we launched the campaign to create a community long before the movie was even finished. The horror community is huge and very tied together – we wanted to network with them and get those who we could reach as excited about the project as we were. Kickstarter really granted us the opportunity to do more than raise money, it really is a wonderful platform.

MG: You recruiting any of your co-workers at Marvel to assist with the film?

Production keyframe by Anthony Francisco

JJ: I work with a number of extremely talented artists who were graciously willing to use their nights and weekends to illustrate the crazy visuals in my head so the rest of the world could see. Jackson Sze, Anthony Francisco and Andy Park have been working as professional illustrators in this industry for quite some time and definitely brought both a legitimacy to the project and look to the film that went above and beyond what I ever envisioned in the beginning of the process.

MG: After the film is completed; what are you plans to distribute?
JJ: Ha. Let’s have that conversation after the film is done! Just want to focus my attention on telling the best possible story for now!

MG: “Kadence” is a short film; any chance to develop into feature?
JJ: Another good question and one that many people have asked. It’s hard to say. I think there is definitely a potential for a feature. However, I never wanted to see the project that way – for fear that I may compromise the story I was trying to tell in the short.

DVD Review “Life’s Too Short: The Complete First Season”

Actors: Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Rating: TV-MA
Studio: HBO Studios
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013
Run Time: 280 minutes

Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you are fans of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the comedy duo behind BBC series’ “The Office” and “Extras” and “The Ricky Gervais Show”, then “Life’s Too Short” is definitely for you! The series stars Warwick Davis (“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” and “Harry Potter” franchise) playing a fictionalized character of himself.  I love the fact that he is able to poke fun at himself and in a very tongue-in-cheek style. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant also pop in from time to time through the episodes for a good laugh. The show is also ace with cameo celebrity appearances like Liam Neeson (my favorite) and Johnny Depp They appear completely out of their typical context and will leave you on the floor laughing! Can’t wait for season two! Bring it on HBO!

Official Synopsis: Shot faux-documentary style, Life’s Too Short gleefully charts Davis’s every move as he tries to jumpstart his waning career by opening his doors to a reality TV film crew while trying to maintain his pride and self-respect in a series of uncomfortable, often-humiliating situations. Along the way, he seeks advice from his old pals Gervais and Merchant (playing versions of themselves) in hopes that their A-list celebrity connections including Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson, Sting, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Carell, Cat Deely (who all cameo) will aid his career.

The DVD is jam-packed with bonus features. To start there is a short featurette (get it short?), well not that short called “Making of Life’s Too Short”.  There are ten behind-the-scenes clips from the series.  There are also various deleted scenes and outtakes.  I feel the series works the way it did but I welcome the extra footage, as parts of it were indeed hilarious.  Lastly, there are previews for each episode.  Did I mention that I love Liam Neeson’s episode? I am surprised that HBO is not giving this series a Blu-ray release since in the UK it is getting one.

Short Film Review “Familiar”

Director: Richard Powel
Cast: Robert Nolan, Astrida Auza, Cathryn Hostick
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 24 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Before I got approached to review this short horror film, I was unaware of it.  But after watching the trailer for “Familiar”, I couldn’t help but immediately plug in to watch this short.  The trailer is really sets the stage for one hell of a fucked up ride.  but only gives a taste of what to expect. The film’s star is Robert Nolan delivers such a fantastically unsettling performance. Definitely not the squeamish but I highly recommend this for all horror fans.

I don’t want to give anything away but here is a brief synopsis for the film:  “Through a series of tragic events a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own…”. Most of the dialogue spoken over the film by John’s voice in his head (or maybe more than that…gotta watch) and really seals the deal on John Dodd’s insanity.  The inner torment for John is so intense, it literally leaves you forgetting to breath. The film itself is simple yet completely devious and rather disturbing. For a low-budget short, the make-up effects are extremely impressive and add a lot to this film.  I couldn’t help but relate this film to the earlier works of David Cronenberg with “Dead Ringers” and Naked Lunch”.

Personally, I feel that the poster gives away some of the shock factor but still ends up throwing you for a complete loop. I was unaware of the fact that “Familiar” is actually a sequel to the director’s previous short sequel called “Worm”, which stars the character John Dodd’s brother, Geoffrey. I look forward to seeing that short next. Richard Powell is hot on my radar now and I can’t wait to see what he has planned next.  I also hope that this short gets the attention that it deserves but people need to see this!


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Blu-ray Review “Pixar Short Films Collection: Vol. 2”

Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Disney-Pixar
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Run Time: 75 minutes

Shorts: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Disney/Pixar, the Award-winning studio behind Toy Story 3, Up and WALL•E, they are the best when it comes to short films.  I get to the theater early for everyone of their films just to catch the shorts.  This Blu-ray release includes 12 short films, which are together for the very first time.  Obviously, this is the second volume of shorts and is a real step up from volume one.  The first volume includes the classics but these include some of my personal favorites.  If you are a fan of these shorts, then this a must purchase to get all these shorts in one place.

The following shorts included are “Your Friend the Rat” (2007). “Presto” (2008), “BURN-E” (2008), “Partly Cloudy” (2009), “Dug’s Special Mission” (2009), “George & A.J. (2009), “Day & Night” (2010), “Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation” (2011), “Cars Toons: Air Mater” (2011), “Toy Story Toons: Small Fry” (2011), “La Luna” (2011) and “Cars Toons: Time Travel Mater” (2012).

“BURN•E” is based on characters from “WALL•E”. “Dug’s Special Mission” and George & AJ” are both inspired from “Up”. “Air Mater” and “Time Travel Mater” are from “Cars Toons” featuring Mater. “Your Friend The Rat” features Remy and Emile from “Ratatouille”. The last two that are related to a franchise are  “Toy Story Toons” including “Hawaiian Vacation”, which was shown in front of “Cars 2” and “Small Fry”, which was shown in front of “The Muppets”. Original shorts included are Day & Night was shown before “Toy Story 3”. La Luna is the newest and was just shown in front of “Brave”. “Partly Cloudy” was shown before “Up”. “Presto” was shown before “WALL-E”. These areall previously on the respective Blu-ray/DVD releases. This is the first time that the shorts “George & AJ”, “Small Fry” and “Time Travel Mater” have ever been released on Blu-ray/DVD.

This release comes as a combo pack including both a Blu-ray and DVD included. There are several commentary tracks, as well as introductions for the shorts included. But the real draw for this release besides the shorts themselves are seven rarely seen student films from John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter. These are worth the purchase of the disc alone. The student films that are included are “Nitemare”, “The Lady & The Lamp”, “Somewhere in the Arctic”, “A Story”, “Winter”, “Palm Springs” and “Next Door”. These just show where these creative geniuses have come from and how far they have come since their early days.

Susan Graham talks about new short film “Quiet”

Susan Graham stars, co-wrote and co-produced the new short film “Quiet.” Some of her other work includes co-producing the web short “2 Girls 1 Cop” (seen on Comedy Central) as well as the award-winning series “Natural Hazards.”  Media Mikes had a chance to ask Susan a few questions about her short film.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your latest short film “Quiet”?
Susan Graham: “Quiet” is inspired by a true story. I play a woman named Ali who is forced to lie and say she is her partner’s sister in order to be with her in the hospital.

MG: Where did you come up with the story and was it always planned as short?
SG: It is based on the real life experience of Janice Langbehn, who lost her partner Lisa Pond in a Florida hospital in 2007. Despite having all the legal documents, neither Janice nor the couple’s three children were allowed to say good-bye. “Quiet” is currently being expanded into a feature film.

MG: You also take on the role of producer, do you have plans to produce more?
SG: I love producing. I find it intellectually and creatively fulfilling (and at times
frustrating!). I hope tohave the opportunity to produce more films.

MG: What was your biggest challenge on this project?
SG: We were so lucky to have the support of an amazing group of executive producers to see us through to the end of “Quiet,” so we are extremely grateful. Major challenges included casting and locations, given that it is a longer film set in a Texas hospital. However, I think we prevailed.

MG: Where can people currently see this short “Quiet”?
SG: “Quiet” is currently doing the rounds at festivals nationwide. For updated screening info head to

PJ Byrne Wrote and Directed New Short on Funny of Die

PJ Byrne had a busy year last in 2011 with co-starring in both “Horrible Bosses” and “Final Destination 5”.  Stealing the show in both film’s easily. PJ is heating up the small screen in 2012, recently joining up on Martin Lawrence’s CBS Comedy Pilot and also voicing Bolin on Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” spin off “The Legend of Korra”.

Check out his directorial debut below for Funny or Die called “The Last Supper”.  PJ also wrote this short film as well.  Check it out below and enjoy!!

Click here for our interview from last year with PJ Byrne.

Premise: Jesus and the Apostles fight over the check at The Last Supper and end up stiffing the wrong waitress.


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Short Review “Slash-in-the-Box”

Directed by Nick Everhart
Starring: Elizabeth Masucci and Tyler Hollinger
Aweso Entertainment
Running Time: 5 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Immediately when I heard about this film, I pictured Will Ferrell winding the jack-in-the-box in the movie “Elf”. It is a scene that always makes me laugh but also jump. There is just something about a jack-in-the-box that leaves you on edge. This short is suspenseful and also a lot of fun. They should most definitely enter this into some horror festivals because it deserves some major attention.

It is only 5 minutes long but is extremely clever and really makes every minute count. It is gory, yet not cheesy at all.  The score is really great and sets up a few decent jumps. This film was shot in only one day plus another week for post production. The budget was just $2000, which nothing but the production does not look or feel cheap. Each shot feels is very polished and well directed. Even though it was shot in one day, I have a feeling that a lot of planning when into pre-production.

The films stars Tyler Hollinger and Elizabeth Masucci, who have both worked with writer/director Nick Everhart before in the recent “Dororthy and The Witches of Oz”, read our review here. I have watched many, many bad horror films and I this is a setup above the rest.  I was satisfied yet wishing for more. Who knows maybe one day, this could make a interesting feature. Weirder movies have been made…ever see “The Gingerdead Man”, one of my favorites by the way.

Watch the short below, come on…what’s five minutes of your time? You watch all those stupid videos on YouTube, this is much better.  Spread the word!

The Film Society & IndieWire’s Special Screening/Q&A of “Mary Last Seen” (Martha Marcy May Marlene) with Director Sean Durkin and Cast

“Mary Last Seen” was the short that Durkin wrote and directed prior to the full feature. It introduced the world of the film while also working as a standalone story. Fortunately it didn’t have to stand alone and now it makes for an eerie precursor ‘Martha’. The short screened prior to the “Martha Marcy May Marlene” Blu-ray release at New York’s Lincoln Center. In attendance for the IndieWire sponsored event were director Sean Durkin, producer Antonio Campos, cinematographer Drew Innis and actress Alexia Rasmussen (Mary).

In discussing the short, the filmmakers emphasized that if ‘Martha’ was a feature about exiting a cult, ‘Mary’ was about entering it. The connective character between the short and the feature is Brady Corbet’s Watts. Here we get to see how he goes about luring the cult women onto the isolated farm, cutting them off from the world. It’s disconcerting just how much damage the loss of a cell phone can do. “It’s the numbers” Mary laments, accentuating the modern reliance on automated contact lists. If nothing else, the short serves to help understand how Martha in the eventual feature film could have fallen off the face of the Earth to her family.

Click here for our DVD review of “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

Short Film Review “Frankie”

Directed by: Francesca Zappitelli
Starring: Francesca Zappitelli
Running Time: 15 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Frankie” is a short film about Francesca Zappitelli’s road from wanting to join the WWE to professional wrestling. Francesca tries to show that there a lot of challenges in the world of female fighting. With a mix of testimonials from wrestling industry and a match, she is somewhat able to convey this message. The narration in the film starts off strong in the beginning but missing during the match. I think it would have been a lot more clear to include background what was happening throughout.

The film is based around the fight “Frankie vs. Christie”. I would have liked to seen a little more of the road she took and a little less of the fight itself. After watching the film I am still not sure the relevance of the fight itself in her career. Don’t get me wrong though, it definitely was a tough fight. Francesca succeeds for her in proving her closing statement “Life is a fight and I fight back.” Overall, I feel that Francesca did a good job but film just needed more direction.


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Short Film Review “Sailcloth”

Directed by: Elfar Adalsteins
Starring: John Hurt
Disturbed by: Berserk Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 17 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

This a beautiful wordless short film with wonderful acting. John Hurt is such an amazing actor, which he has proved over his career. He further proves this by starring in this amazing short and without speaking a single word. That is something that very few people can do well. He simply nails it. The film is lead by an amazing score, which takes us on this beautiful visual journey.

The story follows an elderly man (John Hurt) who sneaks out of an assisted living home to head to the sea. He sets out on a sailboat with his self-made sail and sets out on a mission. Once he gets on board, he reveals a picture of a woman (probably his past on wife or lover) and there is a dance scene with the two, which is so well depicted behind this sailcloth. He then begins to set the boat on fire and send himself overboard attached to an anchor bringing down himself and the boat. It is the story of a man has lead a good life and is lost without his love. It is very touching and well done.

It is very smartly written and directed by Elfar Adalsteins. He tells this amazing story so well in such a short period of time. It has some really beautiful cinematography courtesy of Karl Oskarsson. I have to say though since this film is wordless besides the acting, the credit needs to be go Richard Cottle for creating the original music that drives this short. Overall such a beautiful and touching film. Must see! John Hurt better win many awards for this film.