Shorts (newest to oldest)

 

Travel back in time, this is how we grew. Basically, our self-imposed film making assignments from the early days. The most recent work is presented first so if you want to see them in chronological order you have to work up from the bottom of the page.

  Mime PSA

The Acting I class at WVC wanted to offer a film shoot for their final showcase. I blew the dust off this script, the third installment of the "I Hate Mimes" series, and I shot and edited it in short order. However, it's not a short PSA, really more like a 10-minute long infomercial, but it needed to fill a slot in the program.

 

What we learned:

How much fun it is to work with first-timers!

  Confessions of an Elf

A great idea I would have liked to have made more of - maybe we will - but we lost our talk show host to the stage. I guess that means we're in the market for a new hard-hitting reporter type!

What we learned:

Sweeping shots are difficult to do without a jib.

  Lock the Doors

Joe took the reins for this one.

A big fan of Edgar Wright, he wanted to explore some of the technique seen in his work - quick cuts, tension, and lots of action. This is what we came up with.

What we learned:

Shooting from inside a fridge is fun!

  Helping Hands

I wanted to create a real thematic feel to this one. Extra effort was given to location, props and music to create that timeless moment when our heroine encounters a jerk when all she needed was a little help. I like what we ended up with here.

Plus we came up with the term "Roadside Mime" so that was worth it.

What we learned:

When shooting outdoors always bring sunscreen.

  Listen to Me

Don't all relationships eventually come down to this conversation? Whether you side with Dave or Helen, we can all agree that home-wrecking mimes are a pain.

Wouldn't wish that on anyone.

What we learned:

Julie and Kendall are tops on our "favorite people who happen to be fabulous actors" list.

  "Grandpa's Story"

       or Sock Puppet Rudolph

       the Red-nosed Reindeer

Sock puppets and a well-loved Christmas classic - what could be better? Our biggest hitter so far on youtube - I've had people thank me for making this. It seems to strike a chord with a certain type of person with a certain type of sentimentality.

We had a crazy good time making this. One of my favorites and always will be.

 

What we learned:

Not everyone gets, or appreciates, our sense of humour.

  Max Moreland

    ep.3 "Smokin' Death"

Doesn't it always end up in a garage with guns and tempers? One thing I noticed during the research, it wasn't Noir if it had a happy ending.

Mattresses on the concrete to keep actors relatively safe, quick lesson on how to light a cigarette and take a drag, working out how to fall down dead in a semi-believable fashion. Took us til 2 am but, yeah, we did it!

 

What we learned:

Let the neighbors know what's going on before you start

pointing guns and shouting threatening dialog at midnight.

  Max Moreland

    ep.2 "Whiff of Danger"

Introducing the femme fatale. Up to no good, I'm sure. And isn't it just like that plucky receptionist to see right through her? Add the pressure of a flat-foot breathing down old Max's neck and life starts to get a little difficult for our hero.

 

What we learned:

Actors can have attitude on set.

Surprised I didn't know this before, but there you are.

  Max Moreland

    ep.1 "Past Sins"

The first installment - they do get better as they go along, I promise.

Grab anything vintage-looking around the house, turn a corner of the basement into a detective office, outfit your actors in 50-ish clothing, place a halogen work light behind some venetian blinds - voilà! - you got yourself some Noir.

What we learned:

Double check the shot list to make sure you shot ALL the camera positions!

  the Frank & Barry show

     pt.2 "Gumshoes"

Part two. I guess I just like series format, that's all. We shot the other end of the story, the "good guys," and planned to bring it all together in the final piece with Mac being hauled into headquarters by Frank and Berry. Unfortunately, the third one never was completed so we only have parts one and two.

Oh well, I hope Barry and the waitress got together and Frank got water on the daisies in time to save them.

 

What we learned:

Remove the glass from photos on the walls or the light boxes will show up!

  the Frank & Barry show

    pt.2 "The Heist"

Focus was on framing. Basic stuff here.

We put out the call for four actors on facebook and took the first respondents - that's how we did it back then. We didn't rehearse, they basically were handed a script, were shown the set then sat down off camera and waited til they were called into the scene.

 

What we learned:

Framing a shot is relatively easy. Audio, on the other hand, is a harsh mistress.

  Good Morning Digory!

Early on I wanted to create something my grandkiddos might enjoy. After working on an overzealous feature shoot that got canceled I decided working with an animal HAD to be easier. Wrong. It was a non-stop effort to get him to look where we wanted, stay focused - let alone roll over on command. Still, for an early effort it turned out pretty good and it gives me a lovely way to remember a very faithful dog that crossed the proverbial rainbow bridge.

What we learned:

“Never work with children or animals.” - W.C. Fields

  Party's Over

Fresh out of the box, we put the Canon XL2 to work testing it's low-light capabilities. Nate and Joe dreamed this up and, like most things, managed to salvage the footage into a nice little short. It used to surprise me what you can make out of seemingly useless footage but anymore, I just come to expect it. "Happy Accidents" are what we call them.

What we learned:

If you shoot a horror short in your carport you WILL relive said short in your head every time you venture out to the car in the dark.

© 2016 by Vocatus Productions

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