Craig Bickerstaff

About me: 
Director and Team Leader of Team Spielberg.


Member for
1 year 8 months

Quite a charming little Ultra short which is a sort of live action/animation hybrid. I quite liked what they did with the rounded corners on the split screens as it added to the social media theme of the story. I will say this though, coming of age is a bit of a stretch here if I'm honest. Basically the story follows a Banana who is bought up by a social media food photographer and he spends his life in the food bowl hoping to become a delicious meal ignorant to his fate in the trash after he is made for the sole purpose of getting likes on social media. It's an enjoyable film though maybe it needs a little more punch pace wise and in terms of voice acting and there isn't much else to say outside of that.

The short opens on a man, floating face down in a pool presumed dead and poses the question, how did he get there? Flashed back in time we are shown this man carrying out his every day, mundane routine as he wakes at the same time, cleans, feeds the cat, prepares the coffee, and then drinks it at his window creeping out the children walking to school each day. One night there is a storm which takes his alarm out and he awakens out of schedule and begins to panic as he rushes through his routine only to slip and fall into the pool, presumably hitting his head on the bottom rendering him unconscious. One of those children however having picked up on his pattern of being at the window every morning decides that there must be something wrong and they end up saving his life.
The whole film is fairly polished though the sound isn't perfect, there was a hint of noise reduction in places. The movie sells the everyday repetitiveness of his life really well but I'm not sure it really nails the emotional climax of the movie that it's trying to achieve. Perhaps if the children weren't so indifferent in their conversations about the man in their daily travels to school one of them deciding to make sure he's okay would have played better though I think the ending plays off a little rushed.

Free as the wind is a film about growing up, and by growing up I mean getting a job because if you don't your girlfriend will leave your lazy ass. Declaring that he is "Free as the wind" and just wants to relax he is approached by none other than Wind himself with an offer, why don't you be the wind?
The team have defiantly found a good way to use the wind element here, I thought the scene of Wind's arrival was really well done and the makeup work they did for wind was pretty good too. It's the sort of effort that makes it stand above the average 48 hours film in terms of production quality.
I would say this though, after it sets up the film the rest of it story wise isn't all that interesting, they chatter for a bit and some random guy crashes his bike before Wind gives him some goop to eat in order to become Wind so faced with this dilemma he decides to finally grow up and by grow up I mean get a job... and have a baby. I think that the conflict could have been more compelling but I think a lot of 48 hours teams tend to move towards a light hearted and easy story solution instead and er on the side of gags.

This is the second Ultra film I've seen that opted for a picture in picture approach rather than a split screen interestingly also a reaction video however where that reaction was more tacked on this was actually relevant to the story of the short. I'm always really impressed by animations in the 48 hours knowing just how much work goes into them but the pacing is always so pedestrian that the pacing starts to hold back the film. Perhaps that's a personal gripe on my part since none of the other reviewers are all that bothered.
Going with the genre you've got this guy doing a live stream reaction to a music video about mensuration and the song written for it is pretty catchy though I didn't actually catch on that she was singing "Oh, Aunt flo" until I saw the title of the song. Naturally being a male of the human species he just can't take it despite his boasts that he'll get through it easily. It works well enough it just doesn't have the polish, intensity of performance, and the pacing that it needs.

I think I will always be impressed on some level by animated films that compete in the 48 hours. There is a tendency towards a more simplistic aproach however the ammount of work that goes into them can be intimidating to think about. Especially if you are doing a split screen film after opting for ultra. This film, if you haven't already watched it in the screening room is an animated Ultra film. It's an interesting premise, you've got a secret agent doing a halo jump into an enemy base or something for his secret mission when he gets a phone call from his wife and being the diligent husband that he is, he answers the phone to have a conversation about the more mundane side of his life.
I think if I were to say anything it's that the pacing was kind of slow and the performances didn't really have the energy that an animated film calls for. Perhaps this is to people's taste and reflects a laid back kiwi asthetic or something but I'm not really into that I guess. The opening shot was pretty incredible and the use of split screen seemed pretty solid to me.
Good stuff.

Sort of a post apocalyptic short film where... well I didn't really know what was going on apart from that there was this smoke which aparently killed everyone or something. The atmosphere was incredible and I really enjoyed the pacing of the film, it really took that show don't tell phylosophy and ran with it. That said I came out of it thinking "and?". It just didn't go anywhere and I found that to be frustrating.

A room full of flatmates who all have a "holiday" on an anual basis (I think) are getting ready for their next adventure. Problem is they haven't packed yet and there is a bit of a rush to get everything done. It's a pretty good concept for a 48 hours short really, keeps everything in a single location and allows you to focus on character and production values. Had a bit of a refresher in the screening room before writing this and it does seem to be pretty good on the production values front. Their over head shot was really good and the editing was mostly pretty spot on though I guess the cinematography wasn't as good as the editing. Mostly if something let this down I'd have to say it's the performances, you sort of get the feeling that they are holding back a bit with the delivery and it hurts the drama of the piece. The part where the guy breaks the ice with the coffee and the toothpaste joke doesn't play at all because it's just not big enough.

A film full of innuendo and with some interesting effects on the side. I thought the thing could have been a little more snappy and the lighting just about makes up for the choice of location for the majority of the film but it's an enjoyable film to watch and you can find it over at the screening room so check it out.

A short film which plays on a pop culture refrence, except that this time it's comedic instead of shock inducing. The whole thing starts off as 2 guys both reach for the cookie jar at the same time. Low and behold they get their hands stuck in it and proceed to spend the rest of the film in wacky situations as they go through various visual gags involving this seemingly indestructable glass jar. It induced plenty of laughter but it was kind of thin and the audio let it down a bit. The prop of the dynamite worked pretty well though.