By Andrew Haas Frog Baby Film Festival 2015 was recently held in Pruis Hall at Ball State University. This was my first time attending this event and I enjoyed what I saw, given the number of impressive short films this year. Here are my brief thoughts on some of the films. Note that I’m only covering fourteen films out of the twenty-four showcased at the festival.
Ink – This film was one of the more professional-looking entries at the festival. It delivers a well-handled spy action vibe. The pacing and cinematography were excellent and brought a sense of excitement. Unfortunately, the story was not that interesting and confusing toward the end.Speech Meet: A Comedy – A student is ready to give her presentation at a speech meet, but is caught off guard by an attraction to a competitor. As a comedy, it didn’t get much out of me other than some small chuckles. Overall, it was an average short.
Ode To Oysters – This was the first music video shown in the festival. The song by Mark Binas and Jon Engel was nice and the video itself tells the story of a relationship that changes overtime. It was well put together, but more or less average.
Tone – This was a nice experimentation piece. The way it used an eerie score over silent black and white footage showed the impact music and editing can have on, well, the tone of a film.
Protect Your Environment – It was an environmental public service announcement focused on stopping litter in the forests. The video was well made and I liked the slow motion shot of the bottle being thrown. The intended message was conveyed, though seeing Garfield at the end was rather jarring.
Sirens – This was one of my personal favorites. This music video used themes and ideas from the Odyssey myth. The song by The Gray Havens is good, but the video grabbed my attention, as it complemented the song very well. This video showed off remarkable animated images from Bobby Bennett, who also did great work for other films in the festival. What made this film amazing is that it is now the official music video for this song – an impressive accomplishment for a student film.
Immaterial – There is one word I can think of that best describes this short: haunting. This is a story about a man haunted by his deceased wife. The film never revealed if the wife was a ghost or a figment of his guilt-filled mind, but that factor only added to the eerie tragedy. The performances and writing were great, making it an overall chilling experience.
Cell Mate – A tough man in prison gets a new, overly happy cellmate. It was a humorous and entertaining short. The cellmate was grating at times, but that was the point. Sometimes annoying, clingy people are worse than the toughest of convicts.
Luke’s Game – The film opens with two guys that Luke, the main character, summoned to interrogate and find out who took his stuff – food, belongings, etc. What follows is a strange, unsettling set-up, which leads to a humorous punch line which makes this an enjoyable short.
Little Things – This is a music video for the Hoyle song. It’s a decent song with a well-made video that goes from sweet and romantic to tragic and bittersweet.
Beyond The Shelf – Two siblings find themselves in a library as they comfort each other in dealing with a complicated family issue. This one had great writing and relatable characters.
Whole – This short depicts a metaphorical theme displayed in a literal way, as it focuses on people with holes in their torsos trying to fill the emptiness. The holes themselves were very bloody and graphic, so people with weak stomachs may not like this one. I found it to be a charming film with impressive prosthetics.
Game Of War – The story starts off on a serious note as wounded soldiers seek refuge in an abandoned shed. However, much like Luke’s Game, the twist at the end makes it more comedic, but is more effective than the same twist in Luke’s Game. The film as a whole was very impressive.
Eternal Respiration – This was another music video, this time for the song by Mayfly. This story involves a captured man being tortured and interrogated. I liked the song and the video itself was well edited and ended on a passage that adds a bit more depth to the story and the song.
I enjoyed many of these shorts and I look forward to what next year has in store. Many of these can be found online, so check them out. If you want to know more about the festival or the remainder of the films, look for more articles here on The Reel Deal.