Virgin Media Shorts Awards evening

a stage full of talented people with Danny Wallace

Last night I went to the Virgin Media Shorts awards at the BFI IMAX in London. There were some superlative films on show, a lot of them done by people who had no film background or prior experience in making film. What struck me particularly, aside from the masterfully stylish Handuken, was the cinematography complemented the story rather than dominating it. With Handuken, the style over substance approach was I think entirely intentional due to the genre that was being parodied.

The big overall winner, Touch, was very worthy but dare I say it, if they’d have stuck the name of an insurance company on at the end, it could have easily passed for an advert. Still, what do I know eh? My favourites were as follows, in no particular order:-

A brilliant send up of Hong Kong/John Woo action films that managed to tread the fine line between spoof and credible action really well:

Spring Clean
A great concept that had a real sense of humour to it and used camera trickery rather than special effects to realise the central motif of the film. The final pay off made me laugh out loud too:

This is just two lads talking on a roof top but the script is funny. It’s only when you re-watch it with the sound off that you realise how well put together the short is. I can now do credible Marlon Brand AND Robert DeNiro impressions thanks to this one.

Just Say Hi
This won the two other awards that Touch didn’t and was frankly miles ahead of all the others in terms of professional feel. It was really quite charming, using only a bus stop for location and a couple of really great performances from the two actors in it. It was written and directed by a wee Scots fella and I have to say he’s got a real talent.

If you’ve made it this far, well done, even if you haven’t watched all the films, but if you only take one thing from this, take away that literally anybody can make a short film- you don’t need experience, or tons of swanky equipment, just have some fun! Several of them were made in a day and at 2 minutes 20 (for the actual short) none overstay their welcome either.


just had a knowing nod from Jarvis cocker as I finished zipping up in the gents
— Daddacool (@daddacool) November 7, 2013