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\"If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn\'t need to lug around a camera.\"

-- Lewis W. Hine (1874-1940)

Unforgettable: City of Lakes (HD)

July 7, 2010

I want to share something really special with you. I don’t say that lightly; this is an unforgettable piece of work. What if you were to take a planned event, like a wedding, and while documenting it, weave in a narrative storyline that expands the depth and meaning of the event, propelling it forever into the realm of a romantic feature film?

Kevin Shahinian has done it. First, I want to present the amazing trailer for the film, and next, the full feature, which runs a little more than 28 minutes. It’s got love, adventure, mystery, and just a touch of wonder…now enjoy: City of Lakes.

3-minute trailer:

28-minute feature:

See the film, photos, commentaries, bios, behind-the-scenes, etc., featured on a dedicated mini-site at

This is a small piece of cinema history. I’m not aware of any time anything like this has ever been done: turning an actual event like a wedding into a reality-fiction narrative. And, it was all shot with DSLR cameras using traditional film cinematography. As a producer and consumer of web video, this one kind of has me stunned… Read more…

First iPhone 4 Short Film: Amazing Trains

June 30, 2010

I got an email from Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy today with an update on their upcoming training course in how to achieve the “film look,” and he included a link to the following piece on Vimeo: the first short film shot and edited entirely on the new iPhone 4…

This is a great example of the fact that compelling content is not just about the gear; it’s about imagination, skill, and heart.

“Apple of My Eye” is a great little piece, nicely shot, with amazing visuals, great camera angles and motion, a nostalgic theme, wide appeal, a sense of wonder, characters, and a definite beginning, middle and end, all the components of great short web content. The nice thing is, after the piece is over, you get a really neat behind-the-scenes mini-documentary about how they made it!

When you see the care and skill that went into making this little gem, as well as the serious production gear they used to take iPhone 4 cinematography to a professional level, you have to be impressed not only at the capability of the new device, but also at the ingenuity and creativity of the filmmakers.

Read more…

WWII Short Film: “The Return”

June 28, 2010

Click Here to View The Video Titled:

Click the photo to go to the short film “The Return,” created by a Polish filmmaker, about a soldier in WWII facing a crisis in his life. Apparently Polish soldiers were drafted into the German army. The actors are speaking Polish in the film; there are English subtitles, and the film is short and very watchable. It’s a meditative kind of film; it’s more about the impact of war on the human psyche than anything, with no shooting or battle scenes. For most of it, there are only two characters. But it has a cool twist that makes you think at the end. Who was the soldier’s benefactor?

Read more…

Valentine’s Day Special (short films)

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day! I found a couple of great romantic short films for you to help get in the spirit of the holiday. The first one is about attraction across language barriers:

“Nice to meet you” was shot on the Canon HV30 HD video camera with a Letus 35mm lens adapter. This was the best solution to get the film look with video before the explosion of DSLR cameras that shoot video.

And the second is from Croatia; the title “Bespla” means “Free” I think. The sign in the film translates “Free Hugs.” A girl unsatisfied with her relationship takes to the streets to offer free hugs to anyone who wants one…

Read more…

Turtle Hero (Funny Short Film Series)

February 2, 2010

A real turtle (no animation this time!) is the hero of this great little short film series. Life starts out pretty tough for a turtle in the city… he seems to be a “born loser.” But in the last two videos, he finds his way out of town, and out of trouble, with a happy ending at last in number five. This series was shot entirely on the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR, using fast-aperture lenses. Great humor and visuals, well worth your time to watch!

“Overcoming Tough Times,” Parts 1-V, by Donald Kilgore:

What I really like about this series is the great story arc…

Read more…

Stop the Nakedness! (short film)

February 1, 2010

A clothing company has a creative campaign to sell T-shirts and contribute humanitarian aid. This short film shot entirely with the Canon 5D Mk II  full-frame 35mm still camera features musical groups participating in the innovative program called “Stop the Nakedness!”

Pretty clever title: attention-grabbing but no actual “nakedness” in the video. I thought this was a well produced piece, except for the audio…

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Lexus meets The Twilight Zone: “Rift” (short film)

January 19, 2010

This is going to sound like a Twilight Zone episode just describing what the video is. Apparently Lexus, the car company, a division of Toyota, has gotten into the short film/web video business. They have a site called “L Studio,” and one of the videos there is a really interesting short film called “Rift.” It’s got pretty high production value for a short film: really good special effects, cinematography, lighting and sound. It’s also very much like a mini-episode of the Twilight Zone all by itself…

Click the photo to watch the film:

Click the photo to watch "Rift" at L Studio

The good folks at Lexus put an explanation for their L Studio site way down at the bottom, on their “About L Studio” link, which releases a pop-up that says this:

Read more…