Short films have always held a special place in my heart. The very first movie I ever saw in the theater was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which was preceded by a short Roger Rabbit film called Tummy Trouble. After this, I always wondered why all movies weren’t coupled with a short film, but as I grew older I realized that Honey was the exception to the rule, and outside of film festivals and Pixar releases, this type of programming is not common at all. My love for the format continues to this day, and be it through an anthology film or an Oscar nominated shorts program, there is still an outlet for short form filmmakers to make quality entertainment on a meager budget.
That’s where Shoestring Gold comes in. Shoestring Gold is a Philadelphia-based production company which prides itself on the ability to make a solid film without breaking the bank. Recently, Shoestring Gold completed their latest film Dead Giveaway which premiered last weekend as part of a triumvirate of shorts at Philly’s own Trocadero Theater. Let’s take a look at the featured films:
Running the Gammatar (2013 – dir. Joe Kramer)
Breaking up is hard to do under any circumstance, but doubly so when there’s a giant, phallic kaiju attacking your city. Following a small group of twenty-somethings as they focus inwardly during a situation that demands strictly the opposite, Running the Gammatar is a romantic comedy first and a monster movie second. It’s also extremely funny and wildly bizarre, even by schlock standards. The effects capture the same lo-fi magic of a Toho production while the script conjures shades of Woody Allen. I wish I had a shirt with the Gammatar on it.
You too can watch this film here.
My You (2014 – dir. Timothy W. Stevens)
Two old friends meet for dinner at a surreal, bougie restaurant and declare their love. It’s as simple as that, but much more as well. There are design touches reminiscent of a David Lynch short, although the flourishes are used to evoke a sense of light fun as opposed to paranoia. I don’t want to say to much about what happens, as there’s not much to the story, but I will say that the charm is undeniable, and the design striking. My You does in under 10 minutes what some movies fail to do at full-length: convince me that the two main characters are in love.
Dead Giveaway (2015 – dir. Ian Kimble)
We’ve all woken up after a bender and thought, “What the hell did I do last night?” An empty bottle here. A suspicious Arby’s bag there. All clues as to what terrible shenanigans occurred while inebriated. It’s a terrifying moment for anyone, but as long as there isn’t a dead body somewhere, all will be well. But what if there is? When Jill wakes up to find she’s sharing a bed with a fresh corpse, she and her best friend embark on a quest to ditch the body and the blame. Dead Giveaway is drenched in blood and laughs, and as our heroines continue digging themselves deeper into trouble, it becomes more than a fun-house of horror, but also a tale of friendship. Note: if any of my friends are reading this and you wake up next to a dead body, don’t call me. I won’t touch it.
For more information about the film and filmmakers, check out ShoestringGold.com. We are told that future screening dates in and around the city are coming soon so check back often and support short film!
Author: Dan Scully
Dan Scully is a film buff and humorist living in a tiny apartment in Philadelphia. He hosts the podcast I Like to Movie Movie and is the proud father to twin cactuses named Riggs & Murtaugh. Also, he doesn’t really mind when Batman kills people. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.