September 6, 2015 at 7:55PM

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Short End - a film about the end of film

This short was supposed to be submitted to a contest, but I missed the deadline by a mile because we got going quite late. So I applied to scores of festivals (BTW I strongly recommend FilmFreeway), but only got accepted to 2. It's not everyone's cup of tea. In hindsight, it probably would not have done as well in the contest anyway.

I'm happy to have made the film and to have worked with the cast and crew. But I've learned that when it comes to hard deadlines, it's important to have a realistic cutoff date for starting principal photography and stick to it. So many shots were cut because we were rushing. It's a miracle it cuts together. Of course, as an out-of-pocket production, financial pressures also had an effect on the schedule, as well as the regular struggles of budget filmmaking.

Either way, I'm glad to have a finished film and to drop the link here. I wanted to make a comedy about the decline of film vs. digital, in a way that regular folk could relate to it as a changing of eras... with some constants - in this case, storytelling - remaining intact.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it! If not, well... sorry. Better next time :)

https://vimeo.com/87878634

6 Comments

Also on YouTube: http://youtu.be/lXFSw2hkvtY #bump

September 13, 2015 at 11:44PM

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Jon du Toit
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Trust me when I say in full honesty when I say that this was probably one of the most aspiring commentaries on modern cinema that I've seen in a long time! It was a paroxysmal satire unlike any other, and even though the whimsicality of the story was often used to soften the brutality, the dark undertone of it still came through. I mean, imagine a future where the last reel of celluloid is an over-exposed tragedy of a cinematographer blasting a hole through his head. Trust me, that's not only a cinematic dystopia, but an aesthetic dystopia as well! Not to mention the outsanding cinematography in your work as well (killer opening shot), but in general, I think you found a really entertaining way of warning us about the future (and don't take it seriously that I called it 'entertainment,' art should be your primary destination in all of your films, which I bet it is if I saw more of your work). Nevertheless, I'm currently in the state of producing a video essay on the future of film, why it's not dead, the superficiality of digital, the beauty of both film and digital, and whether it actually matters if film were to die. So I was wondering if I could use your short as a reference in my project, and to also get your personal output on what happens when (or if) film dies out? Anyway, it's fundamentally optional if you want to or not. But have you ever thought about submitting Short End to Short Of The Week?

November 4, 2015 at 4:34AM

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Jimbo Jarbo
Guy who just wants to delete their account
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By the way, I also wanted to ask you what defines an independent filmmaker? I'm trying to start up this discussion on one of my post:
http://nofilmschool.com/boards/questions/what-defines-independent-filmmaker

November 4, 2015 at 9:54PM

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Jimbo Jarbo
Guy who just wants to delete their account
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Wow, I only saw your comment just now - I thought my post ended up slipping through the cracks. Your thoughtful response is right along the lines of what the aim was, and you even noticed things I hadn't realized (aesthetic dystopia :-), so thank you for this! Of course, feel free to reference Short End in your work, though I'll have to get back to you on my thoughts. Are you still producing your video essay?

And yes, I did submit it to Short of the Week, but was turned down.

November 14, 2015 at 2:37AM

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Jon du Toit
Writer / Director
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Sorry it took long to get back to you on this, but yes I'm definitely still using this in my video essay, and I'll be sure to reference your work in it.

Plus, I know how it feels to get turned down by Short of The Week, my first music video that I had written a completely original song for was turned down by them as well. But it happens to the best of us. Nevertheless, this one brilliant story of yours alone got into 4 different international festivals while I only got into one that I wasn't even able to make! Anyway, I'll send you the link when it's done, but in the process of writing it, I was going to ask you what your thoughts were on iPhone filmmaking? Because I plan on mentioning it by how this is just driving us further into a less human-era of filmmaking, and further more into an era where celluloid is obsolete. And like I just said, there is no human touch to this form of filmmaking, and that's how I think fundamental filmmaking is becoming. But as most directors, and audience members alike say, is that story prevails, which I'm having an EXTREMELY hard time conforming to (with statistics to back myself up).

Nonetheless, comment back your ideas so I can get another filmmaker's input on such a controversial topic. And by the way, was this your first short?

November 27, 2015 at 9:19PM

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Jimbo Jarbo
Guy who just wants to delete their account
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Well, one gets constantly turned down in this business, it's good to just get used to it and decide to either learn from it or ignore it. And then move on. Being on SotW would obviously be nice, but they have valid reasons for rejecting shorts.

I'm pro film and pro digital. It would be a shame to see film fall into disuse. I think film is great for shooting period pieces or big epics, generally. It has a nice, tactile texture that makes a story feel authentic and lived-in. Digital is great for comedies, etc. where you shoot lots of takes, or something that should feel clinical. But then there's always someone who uses format in unexpected and interesting ways. So much of it is intuitive (barring budgetary constraints). I don't like rules and certainly don't want to limit myself to format in telling a story.

A skilled DOP is more important than format. So I totally agree with those who believe that story prevails. And the more tools we have to tell our stories, from iPhones to IMAX, the better. Short End was shot on c300, 35mm and an iPhone :) They were all needed to make the story work. And at the end, that's the underlying message. If you see something else in it, that's cool too.

The potential danger I see with digital is perhaps a diminishing level of discipline or respect for the craft in the next generation of filmmakers. But we shall see...

And no - this wasn't my first short. You can click through to my Vimeo page to see some of my other films. Thanks for your thoughts, very interesting to hear! Looking forward to your video essay. All the best Ryne!

November 28, 2015 at 7:33PM

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Jon du Toit
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