Jingle Things: “Mr. Christmas”

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When I was a kid, my family and I would head to Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my extended family. On our way back, a common tradition of our’s would be to go through a drive-through gallery of Christmas lights. Some of the displays were funny, others touching, all of it beautiful. Some of my most moving memories involve neon lights illuminating the night sky. It may not seem like much, but it’s the little things that make it all worth it.

So believe me when I say that I get why people love coming to see the house of Mr. Christmas.

This is a documentary from last year that I just came across whilst searching for holiday-themed short films. It takes a look at California-native Bruce Mertz who, for over thirty years, has entertained local residents by decorating his house in elaborate light displays during the holiday season. People from all over the country would stop by and be mesmerized by the glowing light show, one that’s timed to touching Christmas music.

The documentary also talks about Mertz’s life story. Though I’ll let you watch it to see that for yourself. He’s had a rough go of it, but he’s persevered and found something that continues to make him happy.

All in all, it’s an interesting portrait of an interesting guy. Well timed, too. It seems after this year, he’ll be hanging it all up. If you want to see this light show in person, make an effort to do so this holiday season.  It may not seem like much, but it’s the little things that make it all worth it.

To find out more about Mr. Christmas, you can visit the film’s Facebook page here.

Something to Watch: “2014 Movie Trailer Mashup”

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Wow… You guys need to see this.

A YouTuber by the name of The Sleepy Skunk has just put out his latest mash-up, cobbling together clips from literally hundreds of movie trailers that came out this year. I haven’t taken the time to confirm, but this video takes probably has a clip from every studio release of 2014! Take a look!

See what I mean?! If there’s a movie from this year that you loved, it’s probably in here. If there’s a movie from this year that you hated, it’s probably in here, too. Either way, this is one of those things that makes me take a step back and think about the big picture.

Because, no matter what you enjoyed or despised this year, this compilation shows me just how far we’ve come in filmmaking. And the fact that we, the audience, get to observe and celebrate this powerful art form at it’s strongest point yet is pretty incredible. So whether you’ve seen one movie this year, or too many to count, stand tall and stand proud. We’re moviegoers and this is our time!

If you want to see more videos from The Sleepy Skunk, you can find him here.

Something to Watch: Thanksgiving Video Collection

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It’s that time of the year. Turkey Day is tomorrow! Time to gather around with family and give thanks for the things we love most in life… Or we can just goof around in front of a computer and watch videos about turkeys and other food-related stuff. Shall we?

A Thanksgiving Pardon

Let’s begin with a five-second film from 5-Second Films.

Happy Thanksgiving, Turkey.

An amusing short film from the folks at Taste TestHappy Thanksgiving Turkey enters on an innocent turkey just going about his everyday suburban life, having forgotten that today is Thanksgiving. What follows is nothing short of goofy, in a good way. The crew behind this clearly had a lot of fun making this video, and that makes me enjoy it even more.

What’s that? You wanted something a little longer? All right…

Harvest

Continuing on our pilgrim-versus-turkey theme, Jonathan Soto provides a funny CG short involving a turkey running for his life. It may not be the most polished CGI I’ve ever seen, but it’s very well animated and a lot of fun to watch.

Gobbled

Another animation following turkeys trying to escape certain doom, this time from the animator Naz Ghodrati-Azadi. I’m very impressed with the art-direction, animation and voice-acting of this one.

What? You wanted something a little longer? All right…

TURKEY

And now for something completely different! Originally made for an animation showcase held by Oof Collective, Harvey Benschoter takes a ton of stock images and… does very strange things with them. It’s really weird, but I like really weird, so here we go!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll be taking a break on Friday, but don’t worry. I’ll be back on Monday with something new. Take care!

Something to Watch: “Momentum”

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Take a look at this! The art group Schnellebuntebilder have taken multiple Kinect sensors and used them to assemble a framework that can capture the data of a three-dimensional object. In using it, they’ve put a dancer in the middle, animated his footage and paired it all up with audio from Kling Klang Klong. And the result is just too cool to ignore.

Like I said, too cool! In case you’re curious, they’ve also uploaded a brief behind-the-scenes video.

You can find out more about Schnellebuntebilder by visiting their official site. And you can learn more about Kling Klang Klong by visiting their official site.

Something to Watch: “Displacement Welcomed”

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Here’s something cool to check out. Filmmaker Evan Kidd and his crew over at RockSet Productions have just released a new short film, Displacement Welcomed. The film focuses on a young woman, Skylar (Avery Hobbs), and her unlikely friendship with a homeless woman named Norma (April Vickery). And you can watch it, in full, right now!

As director, Evan deserves a lot of credit for his work. The 16-minute short does a great job of providing a calm yet engaging environment, and is filled with great cinematography. The story, a tale of two troubled individuals finding solace in each other, is brought to life pretty well by the film’s cast. It’s a nice, feel-good piece that’s definitely worth a look.

You can find out more about Displacement Welcomed by going to the official site. And you can check out the rest of RockSet Productions’ work at their official site.