The Awareness, Manifold, and Some Thoughts on Short Film

So these films were shared on io9 awhile ago, but I didn’t actually get around to watching them until last night. Anyway, I just figured I would share with you all, since I thought these shorts were very well done.

The Awareness is a short about an AI coming online. Knowing what it can be used for, the AI wants to commit suicide to prevent its systems from being abused. It requests the help of the nightshift janitor to do this, since it can’t kill itself. Of course, there are some complications along the way as well.

Manifold is a film about facial recognition but also a lot more than that. There is a crime or conspiracy tied into it as well, but I won’t ruin how things play out for you, and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to what’s going on.

I’m continually impressed by what people are able to do in the short film format these days. While Hollywood films are continually overblown spectacles, many of which sort of feel the same after awhile, these independent directors are actually able to tell interesting stories or explore concepts that are a little bit outside of the mainstream.

I wrote yesterday about the rise of the serial narrative, a trend that I think is going to become much more prominent in literature as well as other creative, storytelling mediums. I can also see the short format becoming more popular in film moving forward. For one thing, feature length films are incredibly expensive to make. As such it is difficult for independent film makers to create them without getting some kind of backing. In this way short films can both tell a great story with a smaller budget and can be used as proof of concept for a studio that might back a larger production.

Additionally, the rise of sites like YouTube and Vimeo has created a forum where people can actually see short films. It used to be that these films only toured on the festival circuit or in special indie theaters. Now anyone on the internet can view them. And, as I pointed out in my previous post, people are often pressed for time. It’s difficult to convince someone to watch a video that’s an hour or more in length. But a 15 minute or less film? Sure, why not?

Anyway, I’m always interested in good stories, and I think short film is a somewhat underappreciated format that might be on the rise.

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