My top 5 Superhero Shorts
I can’t believe that it’s been a full year since I decided to reach out to my first filmmaker who created a fan film based on a podcast of all things, but he did give it a superhero spin and I thought it was a fun little short. But it grew from there and since then I’ve talked to over two dozen filmmakers, each one as interesting as the next. From college students to animators, from Great Britain to Los Angeles, it’s been a fun year and this has become one of my favorite features to do on this site. So since I’m in the running for this year’s Lammys blog awards for best running feature, I thought it was a good time to share my five favorite editions of Superhero Shorts with you. If you’re a member of the Lamb, be sure to keep me in mind when making your nominations next week. I hope you enjoy!
This is one of my favorite editions of Superhero Shorts not specifically because of the flick itself, but because of the interview behind it. Garrett Gilchrist gave a great interview going into so many interesting details. It’s a great insight into the filmmaking process when you have no money to work with and have to work around people that are helping out of their own goodwill. On top of that is the fact that he’s had his hand working on so many different projects, not the least of which is putting together essentially a director’s cut of the famously over-budget and over-schedule animated movie the Thief and the Cobbler which has never been released in any sort of proper form. He’s also a brony (and I’m not saying that like it’s a bad thing) and puts out some pretty amazing My Little Pony fanart. And as for the actual movie, based on what’s done so far, I’d love to see it completely finished.
This short makes this list for a couple different reasons. One is that I’m a fan of animation, I’ve been lucky to be able to feature a few different animated shorts and it was so hard to choose between the other animated fan films. I ended up choosing this one again because of the interview itself, it was both fun and informative hearing about an aspiring voice actor as well as an animator. Not only that, but the voice acting itself is top notch. I haven’t even mentioned the actual animation which may not be as impressive as someone creating something from scratch, but I’ve only seen a couple motion comics, and this one was just as good, if not better. It really worked with the story and the voice acting and added something more than just reading the comic by itself.
I chose this one as one of my favorite editions because I grew up watching the Captain Planet cartoon. Even though back then I realized it’s inherent cheesiness. Matt Kohler and the rest of those responsible for making this fitting tribute to the cartoon really got what it was all about and managed to put together a perfect storyline to make that concept work in today’s world. Even though it was originally a cheesy little cartoon meant to educate children about ecological issues under the guise of a superhero show, it has an interesting concept at its core and the guys behind this concept trailer really understood that and made it work. They even managed to make a guy wearing a weird half-shirt look pretty badass.
Out of all the superheroes out there, by far the one with the most fan films is Batman. There’s just so much source material out there, and besides that, there are no super powers that require a lot of special effects. The biggest hurdle to making a Batman short film is just coming up with some costumes. There are a lot of fan films out there that are great, and there are a lot out there that are not so great. But out of the many that I’ve seen this year, this one is by far the best there is. It has got an amazing presentation, it really captures the look of a Batman film. And even though I just said that Batman doesn’t require a lot of special effects, this short created some brilliant looking effects for some of Batman’s high tech gadgets. One of the hardest things for a fan film to get right is the acting. When you’re dealing with actors who are willing to work for nothing… well you get what you pay for. But in this case, the acting is as impressive as everything else. The writing is great, and the look and choice of the villains are also great. The Riddler as portrayed in Puppetmaster is handled beautifully, and Scarface is a brilliant choice that fits thematically with the rest of the story that is going on here. I just can’t say enough good things about this film.
But after all is said and done, there’s nothing quite like a fan film made by professional filmmakers. Seeing Thomas Jane take on the role of Frank Castle again is a sight to see, not only that, but he does it in the right way. It’s a fitting tribute to the Marvel character that has yet to get a film release that’s treated him with the respect he deserves. But Jane managed to pull the right strings with the right people to put together something special. Not only that, but he was willing to give his time to talk to a little superhero movie blog. It’s still one of the biggest surprises of my life to get a phone call from a celebrity, and he tells some amazing stories about what he went through to bring this version of Frank Castle to life, not only that but you can hear the passion in his voice in the only podcasted interview I’ve done here. It will likely be a long time coming before I’m able to top this one, but I’m truly glad to be able to share it again. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.