Another round of Storyhive is drawing to a close, with voting for the newest round of Telus produced digital shorts ending at noon on Monday. Before then, we want to highlight the amazing Alberta talent putting their hat into the ring, and remind you that you still have until Monday to cast up to 5 votes daily.
The 30 most popular projects will receive grants to develop their projects into full short films, with the top project of that subset going on to receive additional funding on top of that. Alberta is becoming a new hub of Canadian filmmaking, and we want to make sure that the local talent gets put front and centre.
Log into Storyhive and give our local talent some props for their hard work.
#10 – GHOST FARMER
A somber elderly farmer motivated by loneliness to become a collector of dead souls is about to complete his collection.
Filmmaker Grant Cooper presents this unsettling pitch video for Ghost Farmer, a story about a lonely old man approaching the end of both his life and a morbid obsession.
It’s pitched as a drama but the combination of bleak Albertan winter, discordant sound design, and music courtesy of Nok Novum give this trailer the menacing air of straight-up horror. The moment those pick-up truck headlights illuminate that old barn, I’m filled with a feeling of intense dread, and I want to see more.
#9 – LONGHORN WINTER
Delve into life on an Alberta ranch dedicated to Texas Longhorn cattle, following the herd through the Winter season.
Brendan Kane wants this 8 minute documentary to bring on one of the most iconic, yet under-appreciated, cattle breeds in Alberta into the limelight. A refreshingly simple pitch that (unfortunately) jumps awkwardly in and out of silence, these gentle animals are front and centre. Alberta is known for its’ cattle, of course we need to be telling their stories.
Much like Ghost Farmer, Longhorn Winter takes advantage of Alberta’s natural beauty. Big skies, crisp colours, and unforgiving winters create a breathtaking backdrop. But where Ghost Farmer creates an atmosphere of isolation and fear, Longhorn seems primed to contrast this environment with the hardy nature of these beautiful animals.
#8 – OUROBOROS
Five strangers trapped in a room realize that their darkest secrets have brought them together.
This is essentially “The Breakfast Club” meets “SAW”. I like both of these films. Will I like Ouroboros? Probably!
A ten minute drama from Frederick Wong of Calgary, Ouroboros looks like a tight little locked room mystery. Like all mysteries, it’s a film about secrets and the power they hold over us, and the decisions we must make once the truth comes to light. A very effective and cinematic pitch that does a lot with a little, this digital short could be made well, even on a small budget.
#7 – GARY’S LIVING ROOM
Perspectives and understandings are questioned in this slice of life story revolving around Gary’s living room.
A five-minute drama from Calgary’s own Paige K. Boudreau, Gary’s Living Room is a quick slice of life that shows what the end of a relationship looks like for one man.
Using only a single location shoot with a great visual gimmick, this digital short cleverly takes advantage of Calgary’s enormous alley spaces. It’s also one of the quickest stories being pitched to Storhive, a welcome reminder that not every story needs the full ten minutes available.
#6 – MONSTER SPACE BUNGALOW
Monsters living in a bungalow adrift in space burn time as they wait to run into a planet they can call home.
The pitch video for Edmonton native Jordan Bloemen’s Monster Space Bungalow gives nothing away besides tone, but that’s more than enough to sell me on this quirky comedy. The catchy drum-machine music and casual improv feel, both of the lyrics and follow-up sketch, are an extremely endearing way of communicating this concept.
Sesame Street meets Lost-in-Space, the film follows a family of puppets in a surreal floating bungalow as they amuse themselves on their (theoretically) endless voyage through space. Practical effect puppetry? Cute hand-made puppets? Self-produced quirkster score? Sign me up!
Absolutely, this is a show I would watch, but I wonder why it’s being pitched as a digital short instead of as a web series? Without a clear idea of the self-contained story being told, this short feels more like a back door pilot.
It doesn’t matter. I’m charmed, and I want to see this get made.
Good luck to all the local Alberta talent involved in Storyhive, and remember to check back tomorrow for our TOP 5 favourite picks.