Paraphernalia

Today, I have for your viewing pleasure a short but very sweet film by , or Sabrina Cotugno, entitled Paraphernalia as part of her third year at Calarts. The film is about a young and reclusive girl whose life is suddenly and completely changed as a remarkable person and his invention crash land into her life. The Steampunk in this one is subtle but still certainly there.

Here’s the story behind the film, and how this short piece works as a prologue for a larger, more grandiose story, via Sabrina’s deviantART:

This is a slightly non-canon prologue to my Jekyll and Hyde story. Or rather, it’s part of the backstory, the part about How Rachel, the Loyalest and Most Lascivious of Maids Met Dr. Jekyll.

When Dr. Jekyll was somewhat younger, let’s say mid-twenties, he took a tour of Europe and Africa through various steampunkish means of transportation. Why? To seek out a friend he lost a long time ago, who may very well be dead….. He never finds that friend, but on the way he sees the world and has adventures and meets Miss Rachel, an anemic, twitchy recluse of a girl holed up in her house filled with dusty old treasures.

If you liked Sabrina’s work, be sure to check out her YouTube channel, her deviantART page, and her blog, Loli and Yesterday. Not everything she does is Steampunk, but her creations are beautiful and do a beautiful job of telling a compelling story in a short amount of time.

The Candy Shop and Blood on My Name

I’ve been a longtime fan of Whitestone Motion Pictures based out of Atlanta. The short films they create are positively fabulous. Their films often have a beautiful retrofuturistic feel to them, and they are so well written and executed.

Recently, however, I’ve been a bad fan and hadn’t dropped by their website, and while I was looking the other direction, Whitestone came out with two amazing short films that you absolutely should not miss.

The first film is entitled The Candy Shop, and is a film initiative to help fight against child sex trafficking. It’s set during the depression, and therefore a Dieselpunk film by strict genre definitions, but it’s sure to appeal to Steampunks as well. Here’s the description for The Candy Shop:

Jimmy Balcom’s new job selling newspapers is a God-send to a kid working hard to help his family survive during the depression. But then Jimmy figures out what’s happening in the candy shop across the street. And he is confronted with a choice that no twelve-year-old should ever have to face. Giving his family a better life, or keeping his soul.

You can watch it below:

The second film came out just a few weeks ago, and is entitled Blood on My Name. This film is a short film musical narrative in the style of Americana folklore. Here’s the description:

On the run after a botched robbery, Erwin, who’s experienced a change in heart, tries to take advantage of a deal he’s made for himself and fellow thief Thomas. Instead he calls down the agents of a malevolent supernatural force who will hunt him to the ends of the earth rather than see him escape.

You can watch the full film here:

Be sure to also check out The Candy Shop and Blood on My Name pages at Whitestone for all sorts of goodies including a free download of the music, behind the scenes footage,  and a ton of other goodies.

Slightly Steampunk: Inception in 60 seconds

Last summer, the film Inception hit theaters across the nation causing an upsurge in reports of bewilderment and confusion among moviegoers. Despite this, the film has generally been well received and continues to receive favorable reviews from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

As someone who doesn’t watch a lot of television in any form, I’ve never seen the film myself (I prefer novels to film anyway), but an abbreviated version of the full length film executed in a decidedly Victorian style was brought to my attention a few days ago. The execution of the art is really impressive… I love how the dreams are shown.

This film was the result of a competition by Jameson Whiskey in Germany to shoot a remake of a film within 60 seconds. To see more entries for the Done In Sixty Seconds Competition, head over to their YouTube channel.

The Invention of Love

Today’s topic is a wonderful short film about love in a Steampunk world. It’s beautiful, but terribly sad, so grab those tissues and enjoy The Invention of Love.

The Invention of Love was written and directed by Andrey Shushkov. You can visit his website here. I’d love to also bring your attention to his blog, which you can read through any online translator service that will translate  the post to English (or if you read Russian anyway). Click here to see all his posts tagged under Steamfilm and see Andrey’s progress through his diploma project.

The film was inspired heavily by the style of Anthony Lucas, the creator of The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello.

Watchmaker’s Son

Somewhere between a tock and a tick,
When a boy became a man in a day.
The Watchmaker learned that his father was sick,
Years after inheriting his trade.

Whitestone Motion Pictures is one of my favorite film companies. Based in Atlanta, Whitestone excels at capturing much of the Steampunk aesthetic in their productions in a beautiful and subtle way. I’ve covered other productions of theirs including Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man and That’s Magic. If you haven’t seen those films, do check them out. They’re both really well done. I especially love Heartless, and that’s saying something for how many times I had to watch the Wizard of Oz growing up. (It was my little sister’s favorite.)

Tonight’s short film features another of Whitestone’s outstanding work. This one is called Watchmaker’s Son, the story of a young man’s efforts to win his father’s affection through the mastery of the watch making trade he learned from his father. It’s a story to which many of us can likely relate. And the watch making goggles are epic, so watch it for that, if nothing else.

You can download the iPod version of this film, along with the soundtrack, from Whitestone’s website here. Both are free, so do download and enjoy. If you love their work and would like to tell them so, you can easily shoot them a message through their Contact Us section. I’m sure they’d enjoy hearing from you.

Adventures of the League of STEAM – “Full Moon Fiasco”

Today’s post is of the League of STEAM’s latest video! In this one, Crackitus and the League try to hunt down a fearsome werewolf… but not everything goes as planned! *gasp!*

Oh no! What will happen to the League after these developments!? Will they live to hunt again? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out! Dun dun dunnnn!

Be sure to subscribe to the the League of STEAM’s channel for the latest in their escapades.

That’s Magic

Tuesday’s blog post about the recreation of the Tin Man’s suit from Heartless reminded me of the film company that produced it, Whitestone Motion Pictures. It turns out they create a lot of short films with a Steampunk flair to it.

Today, I’ve got another Whitestone release for your viewing pleasure. This time, it’s a short film called “That’s Magic.” That’s Magic is the story of a magician who comes face to face with his own self doubt about magic in the world.  It’s probably what would happen if Moulin Rouge! and The Prestige had a celluloid offspring.

You can read more about That’s Magic on the Whitestone site. You can also download the film’s soundtrack free of charge and watch a behind the scenes clip on the making of That’s Magic.

I really love the work that Whitestone Motion Pictures does. They do an excellent job of not only capturing a beautiful Steampunk aesthetic, but also a beautiful story.

League of STEAM – “Big Trouble”

My favorite team of Steampunk supernatural and ectoplasmic eliminators just released another video! Hooray! Observe as they confront a dangerous troll under the old bridge!

And they all lived happily ever after (I guess?). Who would have guessed a pair spectacles could solve so many problems?

If you enjoy these crazy videos and wish to stay abreast on the League of STEAM’s latest adventures, consider joining their mailing list. Doing so will allow you to receive emails about upcoming League appearances, and receive the first look at new webisodes! To join, email Gail at gail@leagueofsteam.com with the subject line “Sign me up for the League of STEAM newsletter!” You can also follow them on their Facebook page and get more information about their wide array of services on their main website. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel here.

Mr. Bojagi starring Brian Blessed

I have for you all another very special short video, Mr. Bojagi. This award winning short film is enjoying a brief run on Dailymotion.com were you can view it for free, but only for a short ten days. I don’t know when the ten days started, so I suggest you visit the site straightaway to see this wonderful short film.

I really enjoyed this film. The universality of its themes is what really struck me. I think that there is hardly anyone in the world who doesn’t have a family member who doesn’t and won’t try to understand him or her on their own terms. For me, it is my grandmother. We’ve never seen eye to eye on anything, and I think it would be wonderful if there were people like Mr. Bojagi to open her eyes to the way I truly am, rather than the way she wants me to be.

I thought to cinematography, acting, and costuming were all superb. Apparently, there’s been a feature length script of Mr. Bojagi written, and they are waiting to judge the initial reception of the short film to determine if a feature length film would be a wise venture. So, if you loved Mr. Bojagi, make sure to drop them a note telling them you enjoyed it. You never know, we may see a feature length film in the future if the reception is a wholly positive one.

You can read more about the short film on Mr. Bojagi’s webpage, found here.

EDIT: As of right now (May 25th, 2010) you can still see the short film on their Facebook page by clicking on one of the embedded copies of the film via DailyMotion.

Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man

This evening, I have for you a wonderful story about how the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz came to be: Heartless The Story of the Tin Man by Whitestone Motion Pictures. It’s a bit of a tearjerker, though, so have a well-stocked box of tissues nearby when you watch this wonderful short film. Make sure to turn up the sound… some of the dialogue was a bit quiet for me.

Part Steampunk, part fantasy, this film is fantastic and very well made. It restores my faith in short films after the disappointment that The Anachronism was. I really enjoyed the costuming for Heartless, and the whole concept of the Master Tinner is just brilliantly Steampunk.

I feel that this could have easily been a feature length film and still kept my attention. And oh dear, it was so sad… at least it ended on a good and hopeful note.

You can learn more about the film at Whitestone Motion Pictures on their website, where you can watch many production videos and also download the soundtrack for the film for free (yay!). You can also follow Whitestone Motion Pictures through their Twitter feed here.