About me: 
Hi I'm Stu, AKA Mista Teas. I've been lucky enough to attend and review all the Christchurch heats since 2010 (only did three heats in 2015 though), but I've have been writing up my opinions on 48HR films since I first entered a team back in 2008. It's a lot of fun, hugely entertaining and I'm constantly amazed at what gets produced. The thinking that goes into these shorts is remarkable. In my book, anyone who enters and gets their film in on time has my respect and admiration. In 2011, I was fortunate to be awarded National Winner of the Best/Most Prolific Reviewer. Steelpotato, Wellington legend reviewer, is my hero.


Member for
7 years 12 months

I really like the idea of this - as mentioned above the concept of innocent child play going really wrong in an adult setting is terrifying. I think this would have made a excellent horror if played straight but alas...Splatstick, so you didn't have too many options around that. So, as a film I liked everything about it - well shot, edited, acted, funny and executed as a whole. As an Ultra film it raised a few questions for me. Is the dad a main character? Do we see enough of the little girl for the film to really be her story? She seems to pop up from time-to-time but we see a lot from the experiences of others. I've certainly seen worse "Ultra Greyness" this year and it's not a criticism of this team or their film - just an observation :)

Nice work and one of only a handful of films from this year that I'd watch more than once.

I was really, really enjoying the suspense/terror in this right up to the point we saw the monster, fully lit, in the house and I immediately thought Sweetums from the Muppets - which kind of ruined things. Great direction of the dog, clever editing and good pace but I wasn't a fan of the ending. Not sure where you would have gone but I wish the action had kept up and you'd played it all straight. I thought you where a shoe-in for a top three so bad luck on that!

Out of all teams in NZ I look forward to and indeed go searching for this lot every year. So, it'll never be an objective review from me. Loved the typical humour, gross outs, musical opportunities and clever one liners. Never too long to outstay its welcome, simple in its execution and delivers a lot more then many yawn-fest, judge-friendly shorts that typically go further in this competition.

When a couple of robbers mistakenly get into Terry the Luber Rideshare driver's car they only need him to do one thing..."Drive, Terry, drive!"

A lot done really well here in all of the production categories. Also solidly acted and easy to see why it won so many awards in Taranaki. The story itself - one of mistaken identity essentially - is a well-trodden path but Currie Street have injected some nice touches of awkward kiwi humour that mostly sticks. The reality is that not a lot happens and while all the characters are likable there's not much they have to do and even though we have a ticking clock the stakes seem rather low.

A class of students at Heist School need to pass their final assessment to earn a "License to Heist".

Ambitious effort this one by electing to do Musical! I liked the concept, it was filmed well and the song recording was also solid. The stage set was a nice touch and worked well for that scene. The songs themselves demonstrated plenty of effort and to your credit the music was sustained throughout. However, the songs did lack a bit of punch that is needed to really pull the audience along with you in the experience. Overall, a solid, ambitious effort that I'm sure played well with a live audience.

Nice animation here in a style that has become synonymous with Toowit Toowoo. It's an educational film and on that point it delivers extremely well with a rap that is packed with information. So, the conflict in my head will always be does one song a musical make? I understand why they've cleverly done that here but it does mean that variety suffers especially if the solitary song isn't that catchy. Again the content is excellent and so well written but the flow and delivery are a bit repetitive and not as strong as they could be with the backing vocal perhaps a touch late at times. If I was a Science teacher I'd show this in a heartbeat to my class to explain this era. It's educational and fun which is a perfect match.

A misdirected H-Bomb has caused some societal havoc in NZ and authoritative mannequins seem to have taken over.

I think this had a number of elements that could have really struck on something fantastic. A solid lead actor, good comedy, good production and an antagonist similar to a Dr Who episode. A few things drew me out of the film though. Firstly, the 4th wall breaking - who was filming and why? And why didn't the mannequins attack the camera-op? This switching from 4th wall breaking to not therefore confused me as to what sort of style you were looking for. I think you should have stuck to one. I wish this had explored more about the mannequins and how they had actually achieved their world dominance as this would have increased some of the tension. As it was we kind of just got a lot of running around. I enjoyed the lo-fi effects - especially the explosion noises so I do believe you delivered on your concept! And is "Take Me Home, Country Roads" out of copyright?

When a clowder of singing cats lose one of their own, they ban any singing until 10 years later a young cat ignites some tunes.

Ultra entry so people dressed up as cats and this would also count as a musical given the singing! Taking some inspiration from Cats, perhaps a bit of Footloose and maybe a bit of Grease, this was an ambitious effort. Nicely lit and shot with unfortunately only what seems a bit of camera noise letting down the audio. The story itself is a bit slow and the songs didn't really get me rocking along but heaps of fun seems to have been had and this team went for it 100%.

An imaginative take here by establishing a human/PC relationship under the threat of all the hysteria around Y2K. I wish this had actually been further explored as the main story-line rather than the twist at the end as, in my opinion, this would have injected a bit more pace and indeed greater stakes into the film. Loved the start and the scene with the grandmother and her dial-up partner. Nicely shot, edited and mostly well applied effects for the PC. Overall, a very solid film but just a little slow for my taste.

I think this might be my favourite film from this year - largely because it's just so freakin' intriguing. A literal trip through the mind it's hard, at times, to distinguish what's real and what's imaginary, which means rewatching is compulsory. Great tone, impressive visuals and it all makes me want to know more. Excellent work.

A recently deceased man chats life and death with his grave neighbour.

Not a bad approach here to have our two leads stuck in a kind of limbo. It's nicely shot and giving a bit pf depth to the audio suited the situation. Some of the humour seemed a little forced at times, especially when you felt the need to add some tired kiwi jokes - thankfully we didn't get a "nek minute". The grave site was a slight problem for me as it was very obviously at the border of a park and even more obviously not freshly dug for someone who had died so recently, so it may have been better just to stay under the surface once you'd established that setting. The main issue is that story wise not a lot happens. There isn't really any goal for the characters and we're not really given any hope that their is anyway for them to get out of their situation & cross-over. Enjoyed the ending though so well done!

A young girl is well aware of her mum's warning about eating sweets, but does that stop her?

Some nice camerawork and editing in this. Really liked the silhouette use too. The story is simple with our lead having a clear want and there was a good attempt to deceive the audience and then have a twist ending. Probably not quite enough Splatstick to really nail the genre and we also didn't get much of an opportunity to really invest in the lead character.

So, a young lad runs away to avoid doing his homework and comes across a time-traveling witch? I think.

Plenty of youthful fun and energy in this. Loved the shot in the water with the witch and the rain falling - very cool. And the DIY soundtrack - nice work! Next time, try and sync your audio a bit better and work on your story...the bones of it were there but it did need to be a bit clearer.

So, as has been mentioned above a radio DJ succumbs to the social media beast inside.

Cleanly shot, edited and nice use of on-screen graphics for the Instagram pics and likes or lack there of, which along with text messages popping up on screen, seem to be the go to these days for showing the audience these social media. Personally, I'm not a fan of this as I think it really does say "we're watching a film here" and can become intrusive. That said, once the transformation begins we don't get too much more it. Make-up is effective and I'm sure the comedy worked in front of a large 48HR audience. Again, personally I wish you'd played it straight instead of falling into comedy as I didn't really buy into his personal turmoil. That or really going bigger with the monster aspect.

I imagine this came very close to the Auckland shortlist and given a recent forum post it is definitely one of those shorts that will have its loyal supporters. It may have missed due to simply having a similar tone to others in the shortlist which is why, once again, it is sometimes good to not play it safe.

When two young children are denied their protein bar supply, they hatch a plan to get it back.

Cute story that takes a common family situation and turns it into an elaborately planned heist. Overall it is pretty well executed and obviously the kids had fun. I too wondered why the kids didn't just go for he bars given just how distracted mum was. The film hints at other plot points that were left unexplained - the very obvious exit by the plumber where he checks out the front door mechanism for one. Was he hoping to return for something nefarious? Had this actually played out we might have had a more engaging story overall as the stakes would have been raised significantly.

A couple of dudes are stuck coming up with an idea for their film. Luckily a third mate just finished his time machine.

I only really kept watching this to see how the time-travel aspect was going to come in as films about making a 48HR film...man, I hate them. That said, I enjoyed some of the camera work in this and the couple of guitar songs were nice to listen to. The story really is weak though and the acting not really completely convincing - although some of it may have been deliberately awkward. The ending was just lame too. I do think you had some of the tools to go a bit harder at this genre - your guitarist could play, sing and had an interesting look so why not base the film around him?

Wellington always seems to produce these kinds of animated films and I guess, in a good way, Squint Eastwood is to blame. "Sweet Child of Time" (great title) is an unapologetic, raw, in ya face animation that wouldn't work if everything was drawn cleaner & prettier. The style suits the content. Loved that the tears of the baby fueled the time-travel and even the fact they kept it in a cage! Vibrant colours, solid voice acting and yeah, always going to contain some gross-out content. The only thing I found really jarring in this was that default font you used on signage! I do think that you'd set things up nicely going into the ending but I was hoping for something bigger than where it ended up.

Great to see Dave back making films in the competition after a couple of years judging/doing other stuff.

A woman is hunting bartenders.

Great start to this, with a montage of bloodied black body bags being disposed of and even burnt! When we move inside the bar (the most empty of bars) it all gets a bit lower in quality; especially with the story. It would have been great to see more variety with the shots and using the edit to ramp up the tension. It's also the little things - your "10 Bartenders Missing" looked more like a flyer than a news report - was that the intention? A decent enough effort that if it had sustained the opening would have really been on to something.

Izzy walks to school by herself - warned by mum not to talk to any strangers. I think she wants to be a rapper?

Nicely shot and the rap was good. More of this would have improved this film a lot!

Nimble has provided an in-depth breakdown of the synopsis above so read it!

Easily the most polished and cinematic short in CHCH this year. It's a relentlessly disturbing piece that gets you asking all sorts of questions (most of them covered by The Nimble already) so that is also a real strength of the film. Sound design is excellent and equally relentless. I too was waiting for "the rug to be pulled out" as Strang traditionally tend to lead you down one path and then you suddenly find yourself in another place. Didn't happen here so maybe the shock is that everything happened as expected - SPOILERS: he's kidnapped, beaten down, gimped up and then becomes the play thing for the rich. A note I had was that one of the torture scenes that was in profile played a bit too long - seemed pointless to do it that way. Small quibble though.

Strang Entertainment play things pretty close to their chests before screenings. I had expected them to go big, an epic sci-fi physical monster film straight from the 50s and 60s. Didn't get that at all! This film will polarise an audience as the content doesn't sit nicely at any stage. I like that approach so I'm a fan of this short and look forward to seeing it again in the finals.

PS - is it wrong of me to wonder whose gimp suit that is? Nevermind.

Noah's Ark has come to shore and on board there are all the animals happy in their twos...and then there are The Spares; a duck, a beaver and an otter? who only have each other.

So, if we move past that this was nicely shot, edited and in general, produced what else do we have? An expert trio of actors in a single location setting up a punch-line (albeit clever) through a bit of back-in-forth in ho-hum, "I'm sad" dialogue. And also a scene played for humorous WTF value. So, I think Ultra screwed this particular TBALC team up. For once, the costuming really didn't sell the idea - the animals looked more like homeless people and so it felt confusing even if it was plainly obvious what they were supposed to be. Elements of this short work but overall it feels as if the synergy is missing this year.

A mockumentary/realty TV episode about the effect of a new student coming to PC High School.

I think the concept was solid but didn't need to be a mockumentary...which really did feel like a cop out. I also think that Ultra screwed you up. Having adults play the lead teen characters really didn't work as everyone just seemed a bit old. The teacher too was really featured as a main character so not sure how that goes with the Ultra rules. I think if using adults to play teen characters you have to almost do it as a flashback with the adults seeing themselves back in the day but looking as they are now. I guess difficult to do what I'm suggesting with the zombie aspect though! Some good jokes, sight gags and lots of un-PC lines which went down pretty well with the audience. I was just hoping to see something more than a mockumentary from this team.

We take a journey with the life of a couch over the course of 10 years.

This was a nicely crafted story that completed an arc for I guess both the character and the inanimate object (the couch) that was the lead in the film. There were some nice sequences, especially the flat party which was full of energy. Visually you did well in keeping the framing of the couch consistent during the film. I still can't decide if the audio was deliberately quiet on occasions or not, in a kind of the people are not the important ones here approach. I also wonder if there was just one too many recyclings of the couch to new owners but I wouldn't have missed the flat sequence for anything. Spoiler, but it was clear that the tooth would be found at some stage, otherwise the opening scene was irrelevant, so the reveal was a little ho-hum. There are quite a few of these "journey of an inanimate object" films (usually involving money or rocks) out there on the web so the only note for "Cushy" is that it's not an especially new approach. That said, I'd be surprised if this wasn't a finalist. It's the sort of cleanly constructed short judges go for.

The story of a gang committing a heist and the security guard trying to stop them.

With songs like "I'm a Guard" & "We are here, here we are". this was always going to be an on-the-nose, simple but effective musical. The best thing is that you didn't wimp out and really went for it. I always love seeing your acting playing the guard - such an interesting face and delivery. If you ever decide to go 100% dark/serious he'll be a great asset. Nice masks and technically pretty solid. The audience also enjoyed this so great work once more Squire Films.

A guy is murdered, comes back. Is confusing.

All a bit unclear and rife with technical problems which doesn't help with comprehension. It was a strange place to insert you competition title card too. Some of the effects inside the house did work well but sadly that was the only highlight.

A guy finds a teapot with a genie in it. He'll get some wishes but has to go through the Ts & Cs first.

Good humour in this (Toot Toot are making a habit of this) and the edit & acting created some effective comic timing. It does perhaps labour the joke a bit too long and so the flashbacks get a touch tired. I just would have liked something else to happen in the story as it was all about the genie.

Synopsis above so read it! A serious short that goes nicely into the perils of experimental technology. Definite Matrix vibe to this with the technology. The good thing is that the tech in your story is plausible and their was a genuine reason for it. I would have liked a bit more variety in some of the camera work but as a two-man team that can be tough.

A quiet, timid receptionist fantasizes about her dream date.

Liked the limited dialogue and your use of shadows/silhouettes as a major part of the narrative and indeed character. I do think it could have been shorter as we got the point pretty early and some of the scenes therefore felt a little repetitive. What I always admire about Upshot is that they can do comedy and can do serious - and they do both well. Solid acting and technical work all-round.

A guy is trusted to look after a bag of coke to be picked up in 30 minutes time.

Whale have a great intro that ties in with their rivalry with team Dolphin. They're also establishing themselves as a really good team who aren't afraid to push boundaries of taste. Nailed the splatstick requirement in one scene in the kitchen and also successfully carried out the whole "things are getting worse" trope. Played for laughs and effect which you duly received from the audience. I couldn't hear the final line at all so missed whatever punchline it was.

A guy keeps messing up a marriage proposal so visits a company that offers a 24hr rewind.

I made a film in 2010 called "The Replaya" that used a similar loop-hole of going back in time a short while to try and gain an advantage so I enjoyed your take on this. Good moments of humour, well acted and a nice reveal at the end. I felt the "going back" moments perhaps went a few too many and you lost some continuity when your background actors disappeared in a few shots. Well received by the audience so good job!

Two guys go on a quest to obtain the Ancient Duck.

Easily the most strange/bizarre/effed up film in CHCH this year. Mad, intense, insane and random. Needs to be experienced. Great commitment to the cause from the cast.

"We need to get the duck, Chad." I might just put that on a t-shirt.

The Nimble Marmoset has gone into detail with the plot above so read that one. Nice fly puppets, well keyed green-screen and an overall good looking and sounding short. I agree that more could have happened but you went dialogue heavy and I'm actually pleased you stayed true to that. Nailed some deeper meanings/understandings and I took from the musings that in life, often the simplicity of it is the best outlook. Great voice acting too so well done.

A guy does on a tinder date and thinks he's found his perfect match.

Some nice touches of humour in this, especially at the cafe where there was some great comic timing. Loved that velociraptor is a star sign! Interesting musical montage at the end. I did have a feeling on what the twist was going to be given the anti-romcom was going to be but that didn't diminish the reveal when it happened. Nice work.

When a guy wins $4000 in Lotto he faces pressure from his girlfriend to spend it on him.

Serious or a comedy? I was a bit unsure at points. The cafe scenes were a bit noisy and it got a bit disjointed overall which can happen when you are creating different time-lines.

Two girls explore an abandoned house and discover some nefarious characters already there.

Some nice visual effects in this, especially a wonderful blood smear and some other nicely executed kills. Shame about the DQ.

Despite his best efforts a guy just can't find a place to take a much needed poo.

From some of the minds that brought you "Second Skin" a few years back (Oh, you Sneaky Horses) this is a very stylistic, well made albeit weird & wacky short. Largely you believe it's about nothing but because of how it's made, you are forced to ask yourself questions about what deeper meaning there actually is. A brave performance by the lead (Elliot Syme) because it was very cold that day. Great locations found too.

A man's online and real worlds seem to collide.

Started strongly during the exterior shots and then kind of fell away when you had to record audio indoors with some harsh buzz and also quiet bits. Did you have an external mic? Also hampered by what appeared to be a lack of a script as some of the improvisation lurched into people talking about nothing. Loved the skateboard character reveal and in general the premise of the film was good. More tension would have really nailed this premise though.

An animated tale about a sad little duck looking for some respect from his family.

Done in the style of a child crayon drawings, this short was put together by former CHCH manager Andrew Todd and creative buddy, Johnny Hall. Nicely written, smoothly animated and richly voice acted. It delivers a nice message and hits on the key beats of a deliciously dark, children's story. My only note was that it didn't need to be as long as it was. We pretty much new the direction it was taking early on and who the real villain was so some of the "Utka gaining respect bits" were maybe unnecessary. I think you can expect to see this in the city final and it is the only animated film made in CHCH this year.

A flat interview run through a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

A novel concept I guess that would have appealed to fans of the game. A lot of shots were repeated and so it did become kind of tedious. Would have been nice to see the characters actually move beyond the kitchen table, and for this to be played out in a fantasy world before coming back to reality. Work-on for next year: audio.

A series of interconnected stories I guess - one following a young teen, another the conflict between a couple of teachers. There's singing at the end.

Enjoyed the principal in this - very creepy and a far cry from your actual principal! There was a tendency for a few too many one-shots/long takes which didn't give us anywhere near enough variety. LAthough it wa very sweet I didn't really get why the song was there at the end.

A swiss ball with a mind of its own terrorizes a young boy left at home for the night by his parents.

For the most part a fun wee ride that is strangely relateable - those swiss balls do come back to you regardless of where you are in the room. Some good camera work (also some tripod noise) and tension-building but then it kind of just stopped. Unfortunately, we couldn't see what was going on in a couple of scenes and there were some odd jump cuts in a few places. Solid effort though!

Three woman torture a man in order to extract a rape confession.

Nicely lit, well edited and good audio. A bit of a stretch to say this is a musical though with the the man singing nursery rhymes before and after being tortured much to the frustration of his accusers. Creepy and intense but needed to be more of a "Sweeney Todd" than a talky, chainsaw massacre.

A couple of boys imagine what they'll get and do when they are grown-ups.

Nicely shot, edited and acted this was short and too the point. Good humour too which went over really well with the audience. Is there much of a story? It's really just a series of skits but I guess that is its magic.
CHCH FINALS EDIT: Played well, plenty of laughs, did raise questions over if the story spans 10-years or is just two bookends - the kids at one end and then as adults 10 years later with nothing inbetween.

Assassin parents encourage their daughter to make her first kill?

Set up quickly but then the film slows right down, becomes harder to see in bits and gets the focus wrong in other points. Just kill her already!

A girl watches the vlogs of two Tubers covering there last days distraught by their dropping subscription rates.

Good humour in this and some committed acting from the Logan Paulesque vlogger. It did get a bit tedious and was the reason subs were dropping because of people dying or because they didn't want to watch the vloggers die? Loved the under the bridge shot.

When a new male student teacher arrives in class, a reciprocal relationship begins with a female student.

Umm, to be honest this made me very uncomfortable; it just seemed very awkward. I can't believe I'm saying this but to really sell this story and drive any intended message home you probably needed to show the relationship as or at the least imply that it was more intimate and emphasize more of the personal turmoil behind it. The film was also presented in a weird aspect ratio and overall was rather disjointed.

EDIT: Apologies about the aspect ratio comment if the play-out was the issue. Didn't see this happen on any other shorts though and I call it as I see it.

When a girl trips and falls into a puddle she finds a time-travelling device that lets her fix up a few of her bad experiences.

Loved the simplicity of this - single location, couple of actors, no dialogue and it was all nicely executed with a sweet, sweet ending. Great job!

Babysitters/older siblings encourage the younger kids to share spooky stories.

A decent idea here but unfortunately it takes a bit of time to get to the good stuff. The first couple of stories we only hear about rather than see. These are also delivered as a long take/one shot of the four girls sitting on a bed and it goes on and on. When we do get to see one of these stories in action it's good and we get some funny dialogue as well! Needed more of this.

Really need a team synopsis for this one but I think a couple of teens get annoyed with a boy, then people start wearing horse heads.

Good twist at the end. Horse heads are always a winner.

The lives of people are controlled by an ever hovering drone.

Good crack at the genre. Played it straight which I admire. Some nice match cuts - especially at the end. I think you could have even ramped it up a notch further - making the tone even more sinister.

A couple of girls put on make-up, go for a slow walk through school. There are angry faces and then a complete narcissist takes over the story.

Really confused about what was happening in this mostly because it was hard to make out much of the dialogue.

A group of girls find a pink-haired alien at school.

Seemed to lack a script for most of it and much of the sound was poor. Fell into the trap of shooting and then editing in long takes which in this case gives you less story-telling power. Get your camera in closer and get more shots! Come back next year and nail it!

A couple of teachers discuss the behaviour of Veronica Malkin and later so do some students.

Very glad that you used adults in adult roles. Nice job. Very talky in parts and lacked a bit of variety in your shot selection. The set-up was actually OK though and the twist at the end nicely delivered.

Spooky stuff happens in a guys room.

Probably the shortest film in CHCH this year; it maybe just checks in at over a minute. Not much else to say.

A news report tells us that after 15 years Brandon the Busking Bush has returned.

Yeah, not much of a musical which is a shame because you had some good lyrics that were spoken by the brother during that sibling conflict scene. I did enjoy the music waves from the trumpet - it was a nice touch. As always, musical is tough. You gave it a crack, landed some nice camera chots and had some fun.

Under the shadow of a broken city, two people from different backgrounds met at a bus stop. Stuff happens.

Very, very abstract in nature and in fact there's a term for this type of film - Arthouse Wank. Out of all the school entries this year, Abberyne's is by far the most cinematic with some nice compositions and thoughtful editing. Speaking with the team, the also created an original soundtrack so really put some effort in beyond the normal school entry. Loved the bus stop match cut and your actors also did a fine job. Thomas Julian has such an interesting look that people should be lining him up for their projects. You have to say that this was a mature effort, that made deliberate, stylistic choices. I did think some of the audio, cars in particular, was too loud and assaulted rather than enhanced the film. You also committed the 48HR sin of inadvertently leaving off-screen direction in the finished film. Oh, well. Be interesting to see how this does in the big picture of school entries - it's certainly not one of the "feel-good" shorts but that's what makes it stand-out.

A girl has been trying to kill "her friend" quite a few times. Over 12,000 times.

Good humour, technically better than most and a really good job done at aging. Liked this and it was one of the stronger films in the heat. Nice job.

A voiceover tells us that our lead has stage 4 lung cancer and only a day to live and spend $10,000 on whatever they want.

Gave us a sweet tour of CHCH and it would have been great to have had more of this culminating in an ending that pulled our heart strings more. Had a wonderful, natural feel to it and captured some very natural and candid performances.

We meet a group of teens with their own special abilities. They are "The Team".

Some nice chunks of humour, good blood and a fairly well-constructed short. Good performances from the cast and plenty of potential for the future if you stick at it.

Do two girls have a falling out here and there's a time-travelling puddle?

Nice idea, but the actual cause of the falling out remains rather cloudy in my mind. Some good effects and passable acting in parts. Keep making films and don't be swayed from tackling serious issues. Wacky comedies are a dime a dozen in this comp.

Completely lost me. I think it's a mockumentary about killing? Very dark for the most part and lots of other random events. Will rewatch when you upload.

So, an experiment with an alien(?) is considered too dangerous so when the plug is about to be pulled our hero escapes with said alien.

Scientist type was a bit young for the role. Yes, boom in shot and in general audio issues. Had the potential to be a good story but we didn't really understand the issue or get to know anyone really. Chalk it up to experience and keep practicing.

Three teens go to a techphobia support group run by the loveable Gareth.

Support group films...kill me now. That said, your flashbacks (and this is how they usually go) were good ideas and funny! Overall, things were a little slow and predictable; I wrote the ending down when I first saw the group form. Well done on your audio quality though.

Boy orders a woman in a box to improve his life.

Seen a few of these story-lines over the years but they always make me curious to see how a team will play with it - especially a school team. It's the little things that can improve it - for example the box was already open when he went to get it. There was also no need to cut back to the ad for the woman when he'd already bought it. You have to concentrate on the dynamic between the two characters and make us care but things felt a bit awkward in this short for the most-part. Loved your 80s production logo though.

When a guy plans to go cold turkey from his girlfriend he starts seeing her everywhere.

Good use of split-screen, excellent transitioning between shots for all the girlfriend seeing stuff and some really solid acting. Agree with comments above (again) that you spent too much time setting up. It was a great story so get into it!

A teen gets ready for school, he's late, he gets bullied. Welcome to his life.

Maybe I missed something but this started in the style of an old VHS tape and I'm not sure why. I agree with some excellent comments above about your battle between serious and comedic tones. To do either we really need to have some empathy for the character. The problem was the bullying wasn't really convincing in its execution. So, tell a story and let us get to like or hate the characters. Show us some emotion and keep practicing.

A group of actors and film-makers go into the bush for a film they're making.

I wish you'd made a choice to do this vlog style or not and stuck to it 'cos the drone shots while beautiful, took me out of the film - especially since most of the rest seems more vloggy. This is especially the case when you see the end. Lots of talking over each other, very little in the way of a script and not much tension. For next time, limited the amount of long takes you edit in or at least move the camera around if you do vlogging again so we're not stuck with long periods of the same shot. What you did do well was the false-reveal. That is evidence of your ability to plan and execute.

A behind-the-scenes look at a troubled rap music video.

The idea behind this could have good but really there was too much faffing around for this short to have any lasting appeal. Doing one rap was a smart way to get around the musical "issue" but it wasn't a good enough rap to carry the film.To your credit there were some funny lines and the guy playing the manager always delivers in whatever role you throw at him. I have to say though for a team that has been around awhile this was a step backwards in terms of story and tech. Loved your roasting of Rowan Strang in your intro though. And you won the audience vote - good to have friends.

A guy relates to his mates a few of his dates and his monstrous behaviour in the lead up to a school ball.

Acting was good...from the lead. The story you went with was well set up to a point. I wasn't necessarily a fan of the flashback story-telling device and would have preferred these to actually play out in the natural flow of the narrative leading up to the final date. The mates were largely irrelevant characters apart from adding slight comic value. In my mind, the most interesting character was the date at the end and the entire film may have been more engaging if set around her character rather than this being the twist. A bit of dodgy audio aside this was technically strong although your love of a real shallow depth of field is perhaps making some of your shots too oil painting looking.

Yes, it's a cruel world.

A couple of teens are on a crash course due to their wild, drug-filled lifestyles.

So, obviously looked good and achieved a fairly consistent tone. However, one classroom scene and a school uniform doesn't really a High School film make. Little in the way of character development meant I didn't care less about our female lead. Relied heavily on shock scenes of drug taking etc and the gun was so foreshadowed it might of well had a sign on it saying "Use in the third act". An attempt at something hard-hitting that doesn't quite get there.

Synopsis above so check it out!

Certainly achieved the 60s Batman-esque TV show feel and look. Good effects, mad-cap and crazy, doubled-down on the ULTRA with a kid and dog. Aside from that there's not a lot here in terms of story and I think it went on a touch too long and bordered on repetitive. Loved by the audience though.

A guy dies but in order to leave limbo needs to complete a task to free his soul.

This was very slick, contained nice touches of humour, was well acted and managed to sustain its tone throughout. Was really well received by audience and clearly would have been a finalist if not for the DQ.

A news report fills in exposition that the Robot vs Human debate is an issue. Our hero is an robotics engineer but who is he working for?

Obviously a very slick production. Great location, editing, camerawork - all very professional. However, it's very easy to get caught up in that and overlook a pretty conventional, uninspiring story that revealed its predictable conclusion at a very early stage with a tropey piece of attempted misdirection. I also didn't buy that the male robot couldn't have just entered the property when he wanted to. Sure there was a defence system but it didn't seem to scale any great height and the robot was certainly enhanced so easily could have jumped over. I didn't really care about the lead human character's plight at all as there was little reason to get behind his survival. So overall, high in style - lacking in substance.

Once there was a war to end all wars but since then dying of natural causes has not been a problem. Overseeing all of this is a baby boss.

Mad Scientist have the best props, costumes and 100% into their concept attitude of any 48HR team. It's always a wild ride and loads of fun. My favourite bit was the pissed off look on the baby's face. Was this short really about anything? No, not really but huge feeling, big action films within 5-minutes is what Mad Scientist do...and they have no peer.

A radio report warns that drinking V is making people violent.

Not sure how clever it is to mock one of the competition sponsors but anyway it looked like you had a lot of fun. Some of the effects were good but overall the story was pretty weak and it felt like it was a long 5 minutes.

A woman's partner is a real jerk so she obtains some "Future Projection Pills" to sort this out once and for all.

I love that this was a serious short and that the tone was sustained throughout ,as this had the potential to lurch into a dumb comedy. Fortunately, you managed to establish some good tension especially through your music choices. The acting was committed and the bath scene well executed. My main note is that the pacing could have picked up a bit earlier as it took a bit too long to get into it - so maybe a shorter film overall. Meme Teme have been in this for a few years now and this clearly is their best effort to date. Nice job.

A Reality TV show about amateur robbers competing to be the best.

So another one of these but at least it did stay consistent to its format. Unfortunately audio was not synced in some scenes and even plain missing in others. On screen titles were cool and the tasks the robbers had to do were interesting enough. We didn't get to know the characters outside of their various descriptors so it was hard to root for any of them. I wonder if you could have ditched the game show idea and still run this as a comp between gangsters competing for their boss's approval? The actor playing the host of the show would have made an excellent boss.

A guy tells us about the great relationship he has with his "girlfriend". Unfortunately, that's not quite reality.

So another mockumentary/Reality TV short that doesn't always apply the conventions of that consistently - for example, how did the camera get into the cupboard when he got in? Some good lines (You know how they say men don't listen? Well, I've never been close enough for her to hear me!) and as a result some good humour. Solid acting too from the two leads and overall a solid looking and sounding short.

Mockumentary/Reality TV special about a religious cult leader and her husband/partner preparing for the rapture and subsequent last day on earth.

Hmmm. Nicely shot, edited and acted but that's easy for this team. A few years back they made a mockumentary about a guy with dance tourettes and so it feels like a bit of a cop out to make one of these again when they have the ability to make edgy, creative, finals-worthy stuff. There are a few sight gags, some one-liners, plays on the c-bomb (which seemed like the point of the film) and really just a lot of tedium leading up to a confusing container scene. As has been mentioned above why was crew even in there?

Sorry, but I found this tiresome.

A woman is murdered in the forest but gets a chance to earn a second chance by doing her time in a tedious job.

Good take on the genre. I thought that the scene with the two guys complaining was going to turn this into Cabin in the Woods but it never really eventuated. Some of focusing in the interview scenes was not on the right subject so a bigger monitor might help in the future...or just more care. The ending was pretty predictable but that can happen. Overall, a solid effort.

A group of people act out (albeit with low enthusiasm & maximum awkwardness) the adventures of Banana Chick & Cat Girl.

Maybe I'm just old, or don't have a sense of humour but I really didn't get into this. An obvious piss-take or as has been mentioned 11th-hour project that I guess you can argue delivered on what it was hoping to achieve. On the plus side - the majority of the audience loved it. For me, I'm completely over awkward kiwi humour so I'm a tough crowd for something like this.

The earth has a problem - a virus is raging which is taking out all but the most special of people.

This surprised me.., a lot. If you concentrated on the technical side of the film then you might say it's a bit lo-fi, with the audio in particular needing some work. However, the relationship between the young girl and her grand-father was excellent as was the whole premise of the film. I felt for the characters and also the actors who did a great job. The grandfather going off into the fields - why did you do that to me? It really hit my heart-strings and given how usually that's a cold, cold place I was suitably impressed. Of all the films on Friday night this one stayed with me the most.

When the pizza girl arrives at a group of teens house, one of them falls for her in a big way and does his utmost to see her again.

ripfocus have been in city finals over the last couple of years and as such have forged themselves a bit of a reputation. This short is probably not as sharp as their previous efforts– editing is a bit clunkier and the audio a little messy in places. There’s some good writing, some more cliched bits and also what I’d term a bit of “Classic TBALC Back and Forth” which...worked. Every year my Year 13 film class make “Updog – the film” as an early filming exercise so was highly amused at your use of the ageless internet pun/meme. I believe your music was original? Kudos for that.

The world and its people are dull and lifeless. We go back three weeks to find out what went down.

An interesting set-up for this short that takes you to one place, puts some questions in your mind, and then initiates a heist for an unexpected prize. Enjoyed the Avengers style circular tracking shot even if it did go a touch too long. As with many Heist films this year I was taken out of it slightly by the character titles/labels (eg The Muscle) coming up on screen. I guess this is a trope of the genre and is the Oceans series to blame? Good music in this one.

Opens with a man strapped to a chair awaiting a "cure for his madness" from a nasty looking doctor and evil woman.

Nice initial setting but I would have loved for there to be more intimate shots in this first sequence to show more of the emotion of the lead. We were often stuck in a wide 3-shot which, for me, took me out of the action. Not a bad take on the genre but the ending was largely unsatisfying.

So, a guy is quite paranoid about being killed so has a dubiously motivated bodyguard protect him. (Perhaps.)

Given the poster, I thought this film was going to be animated so I was quite disappointed right off the bat. In 2017, PlanetFoxFilms impressed with their Alien film and demonstrated a real skill in make-up. Thus, they must have been rubbing their hands together when they drew Splatstick thinking of all the blood and gore they could apply. And they did and it looks really good. However, this great strength in FX is also a weakness as this film relies heavily on that, at the expense of a story.

A guy has a note containing a partial address of a woman he met at a bar. He tries to find her.

Delivered in a 4:3 aspect ratio (for all of the film I think) this was kind of odd, kind of creepy but kind of effective as well. The lack of dialogue did add to the mystery of it all but given the nature of his task it was rather repetitive. Good take on the genre though and certainly different from others seen this year.

A young man wishes his virtual reality tutor/woman/entity was real.

This was played serious throughout so I liked it. Nicely shot with good coverage to add variety even if some of the overhead shots were a tad misplaced. Great switching between the real world and the V/R world. A bit Blade Runner 2049 mixed with Lars and the Real Girl. Dark ending too...which I liked. Nice job!

Our lead needs to meet someone, so when a genie appears the wishes he's granted may just help him find what he's looking for.

A sweet little story here that is well acted by our leads and develops into a nice twist. You kind of fell into the trap off doing long takes and wide shots in some scenes which impacted on your audio quality. Next time, try and get in close for these scenes, capture the emotion and get better audio. Also watch the 180-degree rule. Break it on purpose; not through carelessness.

So, a fish returns to murder its owner who flushed it a few days ago. However, life is pretty lonely for this fish.

Sort of a mockumentary in parts? Make-up was good. Had a sweet ending. Overall, a bit tedious though especially during the montage of getting into weird situations. I think more could have been made about the fish terrorising the owner rather than killing them off early which might have made a more engaging story line.

A support group for people with High School phobia meet to share their issues.

This looked good and the flashback sequences were nicely integrated. Plenty of good humour and the cast were 100% committed to their roles. Personally, I'm kind of over these support group films (and I've done one myself in 2010) but the audience got into it. Well done!

Two women go camping and eventually scary stuff happens.

Nicely acted and under the light of the fire, nicely shot. There were some interesting choices to linger on a couple of shots - the No Access sign and the spilled can for example. The ending could be considered a bit comical but does deliver an important message.

When a mum doesn't have time for her daughter, the girl raps about it and seems to keep revisiting the day.

Yes, musical is tough and even though the rap was good it was the only song in this short, whic his always disappointing. That said, given the time-travel combo this was actually a clever move. A good twist in the end of this too.

A man and his daughter bury a box on the beach that contains an important message.

A grim, serious short that details the trauma of serious sexual assault. It's all done respectfully however and delivered in fine style with some nice camerawork and editing. The use of a drone can sometimes be token but in this film it has a natural fit with the story. My main note is that early on this became a PSA. The stats shown as text on screen early on in the film kind of took me out of it. I think the film could have played without them (or inserted at the end) as the story was clear enough. It was also a brave choice to have the rapist addressing the camera in the way he did, essentially breaking the 4th wall but again this ties in to the PSA nature.

Impactful and stylistic. A great debut entry for the captain of this team who has ruled the quantity of school entries in CHCH since 2011.

When a guy finds a magical jacket he discovers how it can change lives for the better.

Well shot, in fact, it looked great throughout and slow-motion was applied with effect rather than just 'cos. My only other note is that it plays out like more of a motivational video than a short film and as such it borders on corny/cliche. Still, if feel-good, positive mindsets are your thing then you'll love this and the team has executed it perfectly.

A group of lads sit, drink and do the tasks as written on the Red Cards - a set of binge drinking challenges.

Great excuse to get on it this film with it's high energy and alcohol fueled themes. I was pleased to see the challenges progressed in difficulty from beer pong to some gruesome dares that noone said no too. Effects were great with the car a real stand-out. Audio let this down quite a bit but it didn't stop the audience getting along for the ride - and it was quite a ride. Love ya work!

Stan, an alien is facing his last day on earth and possible a horrible death from his superiors as he hasn't completed his assigned task.

Great start with the alien hands, good humour and I liked the lack of dialogue for most of it. Slapstick in nature and an inventive take on the genre. Well done!

High Water Mark made the CHCH finals in 2017 with their low-fi but high energy action short "Rough Trade". "Ghosted" has a similar vibe to the tech aspects but because it's so easy to engage in the story it doesn't detract from the enjoyment. Yes, we could have more light thrown at the darker scenes and maybe more variety in some of the shot choices but as the humour works so well it barely matters. I was quite jarred by the change in the film at the half-way point and did wonder if I was still watching the same film - not sure if that's good or bad! Don't change; you're doing great in this comp.

The world is monochrome but people can see colour if they have the money to buy the right pills. A thoughtful man wants to treat his sibling so must complete a heist to earn it.

Nice tracking shots and a story that has a clear want for the protagonist. Overall, kind of slow paced even in the action bits but as mentioned above a reasonably tightly made short.

Foreign Objects always go for it 100% and make the film they want to make and seem to enjoy the experience. I always respect them for that. For the longest time I thought we were getting the opening sequence to "Up" with this, then we got a sweet salvation story and then the carpet was totally ripped out from under us. Love how we were kept guessing. Really well received by the audience. Keep rocking it!

When getting pizza delivered proves problematic, a young woman goes to collect it and meets with series of accidents.

Good effects, solid lead performance and some funny lines. The reveal at the end was nicely executed too. Tech let this down a bit with audio being an issue at times.

A (young?) man sets up a new programme (Claire) on his home system that doesn't quite operate as he expected.

Dystography have made a habit of doing stylish, slick films and so I expected Tech Thriller to be right up their alley. And for the most part it was. Great on-screen displays that conveyed information to the audience although I believe I missed quite a bit so a rewatch is in order. Like others have mentioned the catalyst for the ending seemed a little weak but at least you tried to move away from the typical massive meltdown. In terms of Ultra I guess the Claire system was in its infancy so cleverly gets in as one of the main characters and the teaching of it further establishes this. I wasn't convinced that the male lead was a child though. However, this may have been covered by some of the on-screen graphics and I simply missed it!

Another strong effort from Dystography. Should make the 25 cut and beyond.

A girl wishes she had her dog's life. Guess what?

The dog does an excellent job in this, so well done the team in keeping that under control! Likewise our lead throws herself 100% into the role jumping from one zany dog characteristic to another. The audience loved the humour from the beginning to the end and this is a good example of how you can incorporate another genre (Body-swap) into your give one. A bit grainy at the start but otherwise technically sound without going crazy with the creative. Certainly created an impression and it's great to see Drakonian back year after year.

A baby, in a car, narrates the significant moments of the previous 5 minutes of his life and the dubious character of his parents.

Yeah, this is pretty good. Very slick, well-paced and full of laughs. It certainly carries a Boss Baby/Baby Herman type vibe given the voice acting...and it works. Plenty of "Awwws" from sections of the audience swept up in the cuteness of the lead. The flashback sequences were entertaining and such a great job at capturing reactions from the baby to match. This is the type of film that makes CHCH finals and does very well. My only note is that over the last couple of years Dragon V Mouse have made a habit of poking the 48HR bear. This film is quite self-aware and gives nods to the competition which is risky. I started to write down "why does the baby have this voice?" and as my pen hit the paper the baby told me why! Clever or giving the audience the middle-finger?

Deserving of the audience fav but points off for making the kid cry. :)

During a final exam a student freezes time in order to draft the perfect love note for the one he loves.

Technically very, very good this is well-paced and spot on with its humour. The leads carry out their roles with aplomb and I was super excited to see a classroom scene that actually had a decent amount of students in it! This short carried the audience along with it and landed a satisfying ending. I did wonder how/why someone would physically write in Comic Sans but it was a funny line regardless. I'd say this will easily make the shortlist and indeed play in the CHCH final. Nailed its genre.

Three vloggers go to the forest in search of a monster.

Vlogging, so shot in that style with shaky cam to the max in parts. Some good humour (eg the puddle use) but most of film is walking around in the dark waiting for something to happen and then the inevitable running. This doesn't make the film particularly unique as Blair Witch came out in 1999. However, the actors carried out their parts well and had a natural chemistry. Great too that we could see what was going on despite the night filming.

@Brodie - did you miss the bit about "reviewing" your own film? Stick it in the team comment, dude.

A young girl wishes she was a penguin and gets some musical insight into the life of one of them.

CRAB CRAB CRAB must have been rubbing their hands together when they drew musical - they've basically included some sort of musical number in most of their previous entries. Like Zac above, once the girl wished to be a penguin to her soft toy you just knew it was coming to life. Catchy tunes and a variety of styles which was sustained throughout. Yeah, not much of story here at all but lots of fun, the audience got into it and it was a great way to start Heat 3. The penguin was kind of scary though!

A bloodied young man finds himself dealing with Satan who will trade the man's soul for that of another if brought to him within five days.

A bit too dark in places and the audio was also a bit inconsistent with some scenes completely without any sound! 180-degree rule was abused on occasions and while I really loved the execution of the initial fiery door to Hell, one of latter ones clearly showed lighting and an office space which spoiled the illusion. Potential with this team though moving forward.

Please add a team comment as I got a bit lost as to what was going on in this. From what I did gather, our lead keeps getting badgered via various radio devices that the end of the world is coming and as it intensifies how worthless he is.

I found this quite aurally assaulting which may have been intentional. Overall, kind of slow but a solid attempt at doing something serious in tone.

I'm a little confused as to what this was about. From my notes a guy is getting left strange notes - potentially from himself?

Nice time-lapse and I enjoyed the limited use of dialogue which was well-handled by the lead actor. Hopefully you'll add a synopsis so I can clear up my understanding as I really need to watch it again.

Synopsis provided above so check it out. CHCH On Air always produce thought provoking stuff and "Alter" is a very clever short that nicely intertwines two different perspectives on a relationship. I like how it reminds the audience not to jump to conclusions in life. Pretty well filmed with the silhouette shot particularly effective. I did wonder who she was talking to in the church and I guess that is always a hard decision to play things out in a character's head or not in this case. Effective and well-received by the audience.

A guy having relationship issues seems to be able to rid himself of his past when he discovers a time-travelling dimensional puddle.

A novel idea that was executed pretty well. I liked how the person on the "other-side" of the puddle was kept a mystery for a while. I noted that I could hear camera noise during some of the zooming so that's something to consider for another time. Shame about the DQ.

When a couple disagree about the merits of an artwork, the husband/male uses a couple of thieves to get it out of the picture.

Nice to see a film including another language and this sequence was really well acted. Overall, this short was technically proficient with my only note in this regard being that some of the titles (eg: Next Day) were irrelevant when the images told us it was clearly the next day. A very Pink Panther feel too it, I did think that the breaking in montage went a touch too long and focused too much on the male being the dumb one. I think too that we didn't really get to know any of the characters to care too much about if they could pull off the heist. That said the pay-off at the end was great!

In the vein of Punk'd and other prank shows this short asks what happens when these worlds collide.

Great set-up for the first show but the coming of the second was rather predicable and the third even more so, therefore the overall joke was somewhat diminished. The audience loved it though with some of the largest reactions of the night. Light on story but huge on fun and entertainment.

A cat that stars in a series of commercials becomes the centre of a question about love vs ownership.

This started strongly with some excellent advertisements, then showed us behind the scenes, a lot of cat cuddling before everything gets ripped away and wrapped up abruptly. As a result, nothing really is developed to any great heights and the impression we get is that it all became too tough to do what you perhaps wanted to do. And, this is all very unfortunate as everything in this film looks really great.

A doctor/scientist invents a product that he trials on his wife/daughter.

I've seen a bit of this already in 2018 where text on screen is used to show the passage of time and this short seemed to have a bit of over-reliance on it as a device. Likewise, the film became a bit telly with the news reports given a lot of exposition. Well acted though and an ambitious effort to slot into five minutes.

A young boy reflects on what sort of hero his dad is.

This was one of the better films from the entire first night. Very well planned, shot, edited and acted - it's got it all going on. It certainly had an impact on the audience with its serious subject matter told in an honest, brave fashion. My only note is that films like these often play more like a PSA - the kind of hard-hitting family violence advert that plays on TV. It doesn't diminish from its quality or impact - it's just an observation! Should make the cut for the finals and do pretty well at that event.

When a coven of witches are threatened, they take action to protect their kind.

I really liked the style of this - it was consistent and really suited the story you were telling. Well edited, good music choices. Overall, an effective short and personally witches terrify me, so it had impact. A shame you were disqualified!

A trio of students are interviewed about an incident they were all witness to.

Simple but effective in execution albeit a little talky. Much of the camera-worked was well controlled and the acting was convincing. The ending did seem like a bit of cop-out. I would have liked to have seen a bit higher stakes presented there as the rest of the film was well set up.

So, a cooking show featuring rock legends (although they could be cats) sharing their culinary skills.

This team has a proven record of madness within the CHCH 48HRS scene. A script is certainly optional when they start shooting and as a result you get a combination of funny improvisation and other bits that fall flat. Plenty of energy and silliness that the audience loved. What I love and respect about this team though is that they ALWAYS make the kind of film they want to make and make zero apologies for it. Keep rocking it, gents.

A guy wishes he could sing better in order to impress a girl.

Really good crack at the musical genre here. First song was nicely timed but then it seemed like we waited awhile to get another one. It's so tricky to do but the music needs to be sustained. Overall, the songs did lack a bit of punch but that may have been due to the overall sound being a bit low (maybe not your fault!) Great tracking shot at the start to lead us into that opening number and a bitter-sweet ending. I do wish you hadn't gone karaoke style by putting the lyrics in the lower thirds for that opening number - trust that we can understand the words as they were clear enough!

A young teen records a personal message for a relative to view years later.

Loved the serious tone to this that was sustained throughout. Love seeing a school team tackle serious. Really good acting from the lead and a nice message delivered. I agree with Zac above that the shaky pan to the newspaper at the end just wasn't needed. You'd set the story up so well that it was clear not only what had happened but when it had happened too. Overall, well done!

When a experiment is discarded it causes the dead to rise and cause havoc.

Looks like you had a heap of fun here being zombies and playing with blood. Loved the two boys who eventually cause their own havoc and they had some great lines given to them - such a good touch too to have one of them get ready for battle by removing his shirt. Funny!

The Earth is in trouble and a girl is running out of time. (Terrible summary - I need to see this again!)

So, my notes for this one aren't flash - please upload when you're allowed and I'll do another review! I did observe that your anamorphic cropping cut off some of your shots too much, which meant we couldn't fully grasp what we were seeing at times - especially character heads. The audio was a bit variable but I did think the door slamming was effective!

A teen girl badly wants a relationship and when she spots the perfect match, obstacles keep getting in her way.

This was well acted by the lead and had a good twist in its tail. A bit quiet in places, so audio is a work-on for next year. Taking a holistic viewpoint this was up there with the best of the heat.

A couple of teen girls find out a friend has a boyfriend so they set out to sabotage the relationship by kidnapping the young man for themselves.

Good humour, good use of music and nicely acted. Maybe not your fault but it was very loud and noisy at times. I did have to wonder why the girls went full black masks/heist gear in broad daylight though - not suspicious looking at all! I believe there is some solid story-telling talent in this team so keep it up!

A teen has problems being late to class and making a good impression on a date. Fortunately, he's stuck in a groundhog day where he can change things.

Good little story that mostly plays out well and delivers a nice message at its end. My main gripe is with the empty looking classroom - always an issue when filming at school on the weekend. Your audio was a bit patchy in parts but maybe not all your fault. A complete narrative managed here so good job!

When a couple of teens arrive home late, mum wants an explanation. Cue flashback!

This starts reasonable well but gets a bit confusing when we go to the sleepover as to whose flashback it is. We seem to be in places our teens are not. Camera direction is heard at one point and then it all ends rather abruptly!

Two teens share an increasingly frustrating relationship via virtual reality.

Second year in for "The 5 Musketeers" (formally Guardians of the Galaxy S9) and they've crafted together a sweet little story here. Loved the awkward tension that developed and the timing at the end was excellent. You have some awesome locations and your V/R effects were well-executed without going over the top. Credit to your two leads who committed themselves to somewhat uncomfortable roles. And to the madness at the castle - the audience loved it.

One of the better films from the school heat, so great job!

A phone takes possession of and then installs itself into a teenager which has wider consequences.

Good idea here and it was well-executed for the most part until it seemed to run out of story 2/3 of the way through. The SFX were effective and unlike many school films the actual plot was easy to follow. Plenty of potential here.

Hating on his life, a teen is visited by a genie who grants him three wishes. Things don't go as expected though.

Second year in for team Swordfish and I think this film is an improvement over their 2017 effort. The actor playing the genie was super committed to his role and added plenty of laughs. There was a slight reliance on long takes which does help save time but cuts down a few of your story telling options. Would have been great, for example, to get in close on some of your actors' reactions. Pretty well received by the audience who got some chuckles out of it.

When Cousin Jimmy turns up unannounced on his relatives' doorstep, it shakes their peaceful existence.

A series of skits really, where Cousin Jimmy does increasingly gross things. It played for laughs and was successful with it! Not really much of a story here though but it did hit some genre points and the actor playing Jimmy was super committed. Lights and white balance would have been handy to have but these are things you can look at next time.

In voice-over, a teen tells the tale of her History teacher, Mr Morris, and his relationships with others.

This was an interesting little black comedy that was nicely shot with clear, consistent composition. It seemed very well planned and as a result, managed to sustain its tone throughout. Audio was also consistent although you could argue that the voice-over was rather mundane (but maybe that was the point). A well-written story that was up there as one of the better films from this school heat. Well done!

With a tip of the hat to Kenny from South Park, a stressed young man's sister keeps dying and coming back to life.

Story-wise this was pretty well-executed in that the team seemed to achieve what they set out to. The various deaths were great and nicely acted by the lead playing the sister. Technically solid from this team even if though the audio was a bit hard to comprehend in places (maybe not your fault). My big question mark is why was there was a laugh track?

This starts with a confession cam that relates the story of a monster that appears in the forest and terrorizes a group of teens.

I appreciated that this short maintained a serious tone throughout which is no mean feat in 48HRS. There was a HUGE scream which pulled most of the audience out of their seats, so well played. That scare, however, was the most frightening aspect as the Black Phantom itself kind of lurched along behind our teens for most of the film. In the future, try and get a bit more coverage. There was a reliance on a few too many long takes which is a good way to save time but can cut down some of the variety and necessary intimacy of a film - especially if a wider shots is used.

Following on from the events of the first film, our astronaut & cosmonaut besties find they are not alone on the moon.

Toowit Toowoo always have very clean looking animation with decent voice acting supporting the visuals. If I have a criticism of this film it is that it seems to spend a bit too much time recapping the first one - maybe 50 seconds out of its 2:36 run time. I liked the introduction of the new character but that arc seemed to come and go too quick. So, I would have liked more story.

Animation is tricky to do at the best of times let alone in the 48 so great to see you still doing well with it!

Two detectives/PI's abandon a stake-out in order to check on some other, more innocuous jobs.

There were plenty of nice touches of humour (even if awkward kiwi is not my thing) in this and the buddy aspect of the relationship between the characters was well-played. The car was a more than useful prop and did its best to help drive what was a pretty limited story along. The camera work and editing were solid but I did find the constant hiss of the background audio distracting - what was that cicadas?

Obviously did well regionally so great job!

A woman struggles to fit in.

An interesting take on the Alien genre. This short was well-shot and reasonable well edited despite containing a bit of camera/tripod noise & some variable audio in places. The voice over was understandable given the situation that was established but it did become a little monotonous. The central premise was to emphasize a lack of interaction but I actually think this hurts the film somewhat as our lead spends much of the time telling us she doesn't fit in rather than showing us why she doesn't.

Still, a successful year for this team. Nice job!

The dangers of VR gaming!

Loved the switch in this from animation to live action & the scream worked pretty well inside the VR gaming environment. I also enjoyed the Ring-esque threat that eventuated. My attention was certainly held from that point but not a lot then happens once the stakes are raised. Rather, the issue is quickly resolved and we're left with a bit of meaningless chit-chat that borders on tedious as the credits roll.

Overall, great potential that doesn't quite hit it.

A rock enthusiast stumbles upon a potentially grave situation.

Short & (mostly) to the point this film looked great, taking full advantage of a fantastic location & it's hard to argue that the technical side of things was anything but top-notch. I think the narrative perhaps struggles with making some wrong choices on whose point-of-view things are happening from. Would it have upped the stakes if the story had been from the rock enthusiast's POV instead of Mary's? It might have helped given that we had no idea who Mary was, why she was involved with the two (other) criminals and why whatever they took needed to be buried. Too much felt a little convenient, especially the enthusiast's lack of awareness of the two crooks making all sorts of noise up the hill and then standing right behind him towards the end. And the point about the Wilhelm Scream has been covered in other reviews already.

A Christian band practice causes some uneasiness with the next door neighbour.

This a very slick production with strong performances and superb comic timing. The song is awesome and was certainly a surprising addition. As such, it really is the dominating factor in the film and it could be argued then that its impact distracts as from what is, in reality, a fairly limited story. High replay value though as the song is just that good - up there with the best ever produced in comp (Chess Club's "Two Long Years" from Bread Winner being the other). Amazed too that you managed to get Skeet Ulrich to play the Jesus band leader.

*Viewed from Screening Room*

A young girl gets a realistic, life sized "doll" for Christmas.

Loved the creepy start to this ruined only by the Wilhelm Screen. Nice blood splatter and other visual effects. Lacked a bit of pace in parts and also a degree of ambiance which left some scenes a bit flat. As others have mentioned it does come to an end rather quickly and therefore the story isn't that strong.

Sorry, had no idea of what the plot of this film was. Was hard to see what was going on in some scenes and complete bonkers actions in others. Balloon was a nice touch. Good attempt at this genre but was probably too deliberately bad.

A troubled girl is bullied after seeing her friend die.

Some good stuff here in places. Nice full school look that was cleverly sustained. Some effective shot choices especially at the end. There was some obvious ADR in one scene - very deep and rich. Then when the film shifted outside we got some very average audio - that would have been the time for ADR. Story-wise, it started well then sort of meandered along and lacked coherence.

Still, a nice looking film and the boast you made about winning this competition in a few years might just come true if you stick with it and polish your craft.

A group of guys get the munchies and have visions after getting high from confidence potion. (That's what my notes say!)

A nice opening shot. Letter-boxing cut off some shots, especially the tops of heads a little too much. Audio was up and down in places.

Good effort!

Guys and a girl hang out. Someone keeps trying to upset/scare them but who is it?

A bit hard to hear at times especially with everyone talking at once at some points. The homage to "Lights Out" at one stage which was a nice touch.

A group of teens tell some spooky stories & things get weird.

Well acted and edited. Not much else on my notes!

A guy has an alien for a girlfriend and she wants to take him to her home...planet!

Good stuff this from PlanetFoxFilms. Nice opening shots, good acting, makeup and twist. Your dialogue is still a work on in places as it come across as a little forced/corny. Probably the best school entry this year - certainly in terms of consistency of product. And if there's a place for a school team in the final PlanetFoxFilms should fill it.

A guy transitioning just tries to be himself.

Very topical and a great commitment to the part from the lead. Singing & music had plenty of potential but was not really strong enough to carry the film. Funny dance sequence at the end had the audience laughing.

Well done on not wimping out with this genre.

When taking a break from band practice, a teen gets locked in the bathroom.

Well acted by the lead even if the dialogue at times let her down - there was a lot of talking to herself explaining what she was doing/needing to do. Shots were pretty well-composed and something to work on in the future is buying a microphone!

A mockumentary about Logan the Bogan.

Plenty of laughs and really well acted by the lead. Not a huge amount going on story wise but I enjoyed the really trippy ending, man.


A few years on from the original film, our bomb squad duo are reunited in another tricky situation.

In my mind this has quite a different aesthetic from the first film. Nothing wrong with that I guess but it does lack the intimacy that had been established. Sure, our leads are estranged and so a feeling of separation might be expected but what's lost as result is any audience investment in their relationship. Coupled with this (as mentioned above) no real stakes as they could have just escaped the scene and let the house blow. Another point of interest was the casting of Jeff Clark as a bomb squad colleague? He was strapped to the explosive in the first film but most definitely wasn't the same character.

Well acted of course and another killer soundtrack.The smooth tracking shot up the stairs was also a winner. I did think the audio suffered in a few places and a drone shot used as a cutaway was perhaps a little excessive/unnecessary.

Still one of the better films in CHCH and finals bound of course!


Four years on from the original we catch up with the survivor(s) of the emotional car crash.

I enjoyed the tone changes in this and the feeling of such a smooth progression from "Polaroid". It all looked consistent with the original although I felt the dialogue volume was a little low at times and I picked up a distracting buzzing at the therapist's office (maybe not your fault!). Polaroid 2 does a good job at trying to pull at your heart strings but using a similar messaging device made me think to much about whether this was at all plausible. Fantasy genre or not, I'm not convinced the time-lines are achievable & there's just too much sacrifice going on in this family.

Likely finalist, of course.

A troubled young man asks for only one thing from his family - to trust him.

This had a lot going for it. A serious story and some honest acting, in particular at the end as I thought the mum was great. A couple of technical issues but I thought in general a consistent tone was achieved. Nice job.

A couple have a really nice blind-date but one of them is hiding a dark secret.

Creative idea and an example of a strong female character is use. Audio was a bit mixed and the sea can be a really loud beast during a conversation. Entertaining and plenty of action. Good job!

A class of junior scientists sing & dance their class to liven it up.

One big song and dance this film probably contained the best song & dance routine seen in CHCH this year. Unfortunately, that was all this film was - one sequence impressively choreographed and coordinated. Something different from Upshot this year - well done!

Mike is dead but he's back to haunt his mates and they must fight him off.

A bit mixed in terms of technical quality this film was nevertheless a lot of fun on screen. Putting a dress and a bit of lippy on a dude doesn't really make a female character but he looked pretty comfortable. Highlight was the Ouija board action - funny stuff!

A couple of teens are questioned about their involvement in a disappearance.

Nicely shot given it was all done at night and likewise the audio was pretty sharp. The story was perhaps a bit to clever for it's own good and although intriguing, it got somewhat confusion. Actors did a good job.

An impressive effort visually, just lacking in coherence.

It's Xmas and a guy gets up to discover Santa in his house. He asks to go with him/her and he does...via the 4th dimension!

This was very well-received by the audience and had some great humour. The multiple use of the same location was clever and the flying sleigh equally so. Some funny lines and the English chap did a great job with his long-winded explanation.

An outsider for the finals?

Two thugs on an initiation kidnap two young woman with the intent of bashing their heads in with a baseball bat. Can they survive?

Team Wannab were recipients of the "David Searle Spirit of the Competition Award" in 2016 and they used that free entry wisely to create a worthy film. I do agree that some of the dialogue was painful - "Where do we go? What do we do?" and some of the audio was a little mixed. I was also a little unsure of how one of the girls managed to best her attacker but I did enjoy a really violent, relentless swinging of the bat to ensure he wasn't The Kicker. The location was great and you used it well. A bit of a predictable ending...I might have ended with the bashing.

Dave the taxi driver has three weeks to live. You never know, he just might pick up the right passenger.

Some really strong voices in this and a few good songs, especially the rap and the cool, soulful first song. If the story had been stronger and if there'd been greater variety in the shot choice then this could have been a very effective musical. Likewise, if it had been more about Dave rather than his passengers then we could have felt greater empathy for his plight. Good job with this genre though as you went for it and didn't wimp out.

A boy walks his dog. Meets another dog. A few other dogs. They meet a strange masked girl. Dolls. A weird buzzing bee woman. A graveyard. A rotating flying pig picture. This all happens.

A Team Fireworks classic. So much going on. See it to believe it as there's a lot more weird random stuff.

RIP - Billy the goat.

A young woman explains to us via voice-over her discovery about the truth of the world.

Played it straight does this one with serious look really at differences and people coming together. Nice split-screen use and I'm calling one of your actors as a Jacinda Ardern lookalike.

Well done on doing something creative with the genre.

A disclaimer (grrr!) tells us that the weekend didn't go as planned and we end with an apology (grrr!) Inbetween we've got a classic, "Came home and found a body, so we'd better get rid of it" film. And I do like a good body in the trunk.

Funny and for what you did...reasonably effective. Audio was up and down but I guess that was just one thing that didn't go as planned. Next year!

A blond "girl" sets out into the woods to Granny's house. Yeah, there's an axe-wielding wolf awaiting.

Nice tracking shots and some good humour that all leads to a twist in the tail. An effective, efficient effort.

The converging story of two people reuniting/preparing to date.

An interesting start to this heat with the use of split screens to show the two leads preparing themselves. It also shows their hope, apprehension & other emotions that led to the climax of the film. It was a little hard to know their purpose although the woman's was perhaps a little clearer. Filmed in low light which achieved a rather yellow tint at times this was nevertheless a short that held the attention of the audience. Well done!

So, either a guy joins a group of girls at a party (which is on a stage) or he's joining their dance group. Then murders happen.

At one point a character asks "What's happening?". It's a good question because it's often hard to tell. The male lead gets plenty of screen-time whether he wanted it or not - his panic in the toilet was his best moment. Looks like you had plenty of fun and your end song was particularly creepy.

The voting age is set to be raised to 21. A group of teens are outraged and seek to sort out of one of the key lobbyists.

This had a good message about respecting the views of the teen voting block all wrapped up in a hitman/thug/kidnapping crime flick. Much of the audio was OK but there is no excuse for poor off-camera dialogue. Nice use of flashback and the Wilhelm scream got a few good laughs.

A young man and woman's worlds collide as their developing relationship becomes fraught with danger.

A few interesting fight scenes in this and an attempt at a reasonably serious story. Dogged a bit by up & down audio and quite audible breathing from the camera op.


A sequel to last year's dystopian film that pulled on the heart-strings of many. This short follows on and we see an out of body experience of our lead who follows lines to rooms that contain elements of his past, probably his sins. It's a chance at redemption before he passes over.

Well made and thought-provoking. A shame it was disqualified.


The sexy, kick-ass Uber-Cyborg from the 2015 film is now 2.0 and in love with her creator.

Mad Scientists make the coolest action flicks always pushing the limits. Loved the plane action and sky-diving sequences. I can't believe I'm going to say this but despite all the decapitations I wanted MORE KILLING! What we got was lower volume than past years...sad. Having rewatched the original I chuckled at your use of the Wilhelm Scream IN THAT FILM...you're ahead of your time, man.

Fun, cool and action-smacked. Watch the original and then this back to back when it hits the Screening Room. You'll have a better day.


I was unable to view the original film this sequel follows but the characters in this are very familiar. So much going on: a gorilla, a green haired dude, a lightsaber battle in shopping trolleys to name a few. I've got little idea of the actual story but it's based around a hostage situation.

Crazy shit.


A sequel to 2013s musical "Headline Hunters" (Orange Cone Productions), this short continues the story of the two serial killers. When the family member of one of them is threatened, it causes a fresh rift.

Dystography have established themselves as very slick film-makers over the last couple of years and they've again produced a polished film that has allowed them to push their creativity. It was a definite crowd pleaser but creates a bit of dilemma about this genre in my mind. Yup, it ticks the Z-grade in terms of checking off many of the elements that typify how that genre is defined/attributed. It lacks a coherent story, random things happen for no reason and the syncing was intentionally bad. So yeah, Z-grade in terms of making a Z-grade. HH2:FF is the closet example I've seen so far this year but the problem I feel is that Z-grade film-makers didn't deliberately set out to make trash - that occurred organically, they took the production seriously & it's just that they were largely inept. Dystography's film is just too good in it's execution to be Z-grade.

Will make the finals.


2014s "Bearly" was a really well-received film. I wrote in my review that it was "DvM's" best effort to date. "Grisly" is overall better looking and is one of those intimate single location, two actor shorts that this team (and others to be fair) deliver regularly with good effect. There's some solid comedy, strong performances and a nice transformation sequence that is clever in its execution. The 4th wall breaking to signal the use of 2014 conventions will be polarizing. It was funny but not convinced it was necessary even if it was subtle to begin with.

Love your work!


Morgan has returned from her time in prison/care and is looking for her daughter.

The strength of "Duty of Care" was its grim tone, confined location and chemistry between the two central characters. This sequel lacks most of that and is a curious mix between serious and comedic as we're regularly pulled out of the tension to see something lighthearted. The most obvious of these is the homage to 48HR required line song which serves little purpose. The Wilhelm Scream also doesn't help.

Cool to return to this world and those characters but it quite simply lacked the uneasiness of the first film.


Two thugs awake to find themselves tied up to chairs and faced with a difficult choice in order to survive.

Style was strong here with nice cinematography, editing, colour-grading & sound design. The actors did well and we had a great fight sequence. However, there's definitely a case for style over substance as the story is pretty weak and having watched the 2008 original I struggle to see the link between the two films.

Great to see Burn The Dog back in CHCH!


Our two lads take their newly acquired wheelchair for a spin only to learn that its previous owner has died...and that he has a sister bent on revenge.

A sequel from last year's CHCH runner-up, National finalist & winner of National Best Director, that was disqualified for being late. Difficult to judge this short as it was handed in nearly a week after the competition ended so how different it is from the Sunday night version only the team can tell. Anyway, it starts immediately after the events of the first film and seems to be heading in the same clever direction. However, where "A Disabled Account" was actually plausible the situation created in the sequel is ridiculous and silly, Story fatigue is written all over this film. It is nicely shot and edited of course and the consistency in terms of look is great. This doesn't save this sequel however and if it was made outside of this competition you would be asking "Why did they do that?".

A collection of deleted scenes from the alien contact feature, "Pandora's Night".

Given the nature of their 2012 short "True" and last year's trailer for "Every Romance Trailer Ever" this year's creative effort is therefore rather typical of the type of approach seen in a Strang Entertainment production. The deleted scenes tell their own version of the actual story and they totally do their job in leaving you wondering why they were left out. They vary in length, have a variety of actors and at times lack the polish/production given to the final choices that made the feature film eg green screen visible in the background. It's clever and an original choice within the 48 and will certainly be high on my rewatchability list.

It worked before with something like this making the CHCH finals and "Pandora's Night: Deleted Scenes" will also be a strong contender. It takes a risk and although potentially a bit light on story it's a great example of stylistically doing something different which was Ant's brief pre-comp.

A Behind-the-Scenes look at Strang's 48HR 2017 experience.

It is what it is. We follow Rowan Strang from launch to completed edit of "Pandora's Night: Deleted Scenes". It was cool to see Strang's process over the weekend although I did have some suspicion knowing the work of this team that a bit of the actuality was staged - do you really have that many people around when you edit? Good fun, well-edited and more of a story than some films in this heat. I was also delighted to see my microphone holding hand getting a cameo which certainly gains you extra points.

A very tall, balding older man feels that he doesn't belong in his body. He goes to a herbalist (witch) for help.

Well shot, nicely written, good audio, nicely edited and a good example of a simple story told with humour and heart. Nothing to negative to say as it's a good solid effort from one of the regular 48HR enthusiast teams.

A guy getting his hair washed suddenly finds himself somewhere far less relaxing.

Little in the way of dialogue in this short which for the most part had a creepy, unsettling feel. I say for the most part at it takes an unexpected comedic turn at the end that made little sense. I would have preferred you to play it straight the whole way through as it had intrigued to that point.

A woman out for a jog in the forest is compelled to follow a strange child.

Based in a dynamic forest location this was well shot and sounded great. Story-wise it did have the feel of taking a well-worn path as the idea of the spooky child could only lead to one conclusion. Lots of walking around the forest extended this short out a lot longer than it could have gone - and that is perhaps its main problem; nothing really happens.

Good attempt at a serious short.

A young woman travels back in time (whether in reality or in her mind) to revisit a pivotal moment from her past.

A short from a good chunk of last year's winning school team from Middleton Grange, this was a solid attempt at playing it straight and dealing with painful memories. The slow-motion was cool and there was serious commitment to the role from the lead actress. Style over substance however, as the story meandered along into the obvious. There was very little dialogue but the sync appeared to be out when it was used. A shot of the crew standing against a fence in the background caused a giggle but my biggest problem was the casting of the dad (or actually was he supposed to be her brother?) - way, way, way to young to make this in anyway plausible. I was so obviously confused about who he was!

Brave attempt and there's skill in this team but not quite there yet.

Santa is being held to task by police for his 22,000 incidents of breaking & entering and other crimes. He's a rather evil Santa actually who uses his inside knowledge to torment one of the detectives.

Quite a good idea here and the actor playing Santa did a good job switching from nice to nasty. The lighting was a bit suspect and the 180-degree rule took a battering at certain points. A solid film in a terrible genre.

Via facetime/video messaging a group of girls are challenged by someone from their past.

A novel production idea here by using technology to bridge the gap between local and international locations. However, the story and dialogue was just not convincing enough to really pull us in. "What if and then?"; "What, who, when?" are not great examples of how people actually speak so it all fell a bit flat. Great to see distance not being a barrier in the 48 however, so smart idea!

A couple drive to the summit of a hill only to find themselves the victim of a car-jacking and facing a long walk back to civilization.

Starts strong with impressive visuals and action but then lurches into a monotonous walk down the road, coupled with annoying conversation. The whole walk down the sealed road vs go over the hill top was quite bizarre given they were walking down the exact same road they drove up so were hardly lost. If they needed help they could have also asked the other users of the road who were clearly visible in one shot. So, as the stakes were not high for the characters we cared not a jot about their ability to survive. The most interesting character drove off in the Beamer.

An opportunity lost.

Spooky stuff happens when a woman moves into a house.

There were some good effects and humour in this, with the lead playing her role superbly. The actual premise was kind of cliche but you would expect that from horror-comedy I suppose. For the most part the film looked good but did appear stretched at certain points - maybe just my eyes!

Solid, enjoyable & did it's job.

To the sound of operatic wailings, an evil cat seizes an opportunity to show its owner that it shouldn't be neglected.

Olax are cool. They've done some nice looking crazy shit over the years and "Bath Bomb" isn't too different. It's a curious mix though as the tension is created through a lot of lengthy, meandering shots that I'd argue go on to the point where they're more frustrating rather than effective. The cat is pretty awesome though and really despicable looking, so capturing that was quite remarkable. A musical? Well, it has music but I'd struggle to say this hits the genre. The climax is also foreshadowed so early in the film that we all waited for the inevitable to occur.

A woman returns to a previous relationship in order to reclaim her toothbrush. She perhaps failed to recognize the gravity of the situation.

Apart from some jarring white balance issues this was well shot, edited and acted. The premise itself is ridiculous, of course, although I suppose going back to get your toothbrush from a previous relationship is a symbolic gesture. The gravity bomb stuff was clever, well played & got a suitable response from the audience. Ticks a lot of boxes for judges but is one of the those typically only-slightly plausible-but-well-made 48HR shorts.

Likely finalist.

A detective takes on a new case when a woman's husband goes missing, live monologing the imminent action.

A good attempt at doing noir and incorporating Z-grade elements. A microphone would have been handy, some of the music was ear-piercing and the film meandering a little bit due to a lack of variety in the shot selection. Nice use of stock footage though and a good crack at this genre without hitting any great heights...but maybe this was the point!

An "elderly" couple struggle with the perils or old age such as answering a down-stairs telephone.

This got a really good response from the audience and was well acted by the two leads. Nice to see a team doing something different with this genre and taking a chance.

A teen runs away from his arguing parents only to met adversity after adversity on the streets.

A good attempt at a serious short here that was well acted and included a number of effective shots & angles. Despite going without for what seemed a long period of time, the young boy still had plenty of charge in his cellphone, which was lucky given the way the film ended. Well done for playing it straight.

A soul sacrifice is required by a very spooky group. When new owners move into the house they become the obvious targets.

Nice reversing techniques used in places here and the little girl was suitably spooky. Dark and disturbing overall so I think you achieved your goal.

A man meets his blind date and they both go to a lot of cool places.

My favourite film from the heat, this was a really novel idea that was nicely executed albeit for a few inconsistent audio levels. Nice smash cut and a good twist in the tail completed a more than satisfying story arc. Great job!

A mockumentary of sorts about a group of creatives who produce jingles for advertisements.

Nice compositions for the interviews. The agent was excellent. The jingle aspect didn't have as much impact as full blown songs do, so the short fell a little flat for me. A different crack at the musical genre so well done!

A young woman enters a house and is convinced by a couple of criminals to rob a fish and chip shop.

A curious mixture this one. Sound was a struggle, as was a lack of lighting for some of the darker shots in the house. The dilemma faced by the lead was well played but I was left confused by a chase scene that had no one chasing them!

A couple of zombie actresses discuss life in-between takes whilst being pested by Brian, a douche-bag actor.

This was filmed mostly as a one-shot (plus a few cutaways) with the actors wandering in and out of the scene. Lots of chat and probably not as funny/clever as the film-makers had hoped. The visuals and audio were pretty good but the selection of the one-shot made the film somewhat tedious. The Zombie make-up looked great but it was all from a distance! Would have loved for this short to get in closer and therefore make it all a bit more personal.

A woman attempts to find her husband who has succumbed to a close encounter.

Nice alien effects towards the end was a standout feature of this short. On the flip-side, a lot of the film struggled with a lack of light and there were some obvious sound issues.

Two girls rob a bank.

Nice action scenes, plenty of shooting & death. I liked the security camera footage too. Overall, not a great deal happens story wise and the attempt to twist the ending fell a bit flat.

Debbie Danglebeef goes on a revenge mission but where to start?

DISCLAIMER! This is going to have the feel of a Z-grade review on my part as a really don't remember a whole heap about the story (I feel your angry gaze, Samantha!). So, the film starts and we do get a lot of talking to provide exposition. All in the Z-grade mode I suppose. Likewise the deliberate poor composition & lead delivering lines off camera ticked some similar boxes with a nod & a wink. I thought this short was actually well edited and contained a number of effective match cuts. Do they count as smash cuts?

Good direction, steady camerawork and a good crack at this genre. I feel the trick with it is to make it deliberately Z-grade without making it obvious that what you're doing is intentional. Not sure if Meme Teme quite nail that.

When a woman's lunch is stolen over & over again from the staff fridge she goes all Linda Blair in the quest for revenge.

This was pretty well-executed. Good set-up, dynamic action & a pretty good pay-off. The fridge bit was cool at first but got tiresome - we got it. Spider-walk was awesome and the lead nailed every manic scene she was in. Started strong, fizzed out a bit by the end but a good example of a simple approach done with effect. And the audience loved it.

When a woman gets away with murdering her husband she develops greater guilt and anxiety around the consequences of parking in a disabled spot.

Lots of voice-over drives this original, quirky short that had some nice acting moments. I was pleasantly surprised to see Claire Broughton nailing her role as a frustrated teen! A well-rounded story that kind of falls short at the end. Nice dancing at the end even if I didn't get the relevance.

A look at the unhappy life of a fairy-tale witch working in an office 9 to 5.

So, mockumentary is a choice in the 48 but one fraught with danger. The story in this one is not really strong enough and we're taken away from having any empathy for Claire the Witch as she kind of fades into irrelevancy as Sparkles the Unicorn is a far more likable & interesting character. Let's talk location. Kind of looked like Broadcasting school (rather than an office) and the posters on the wall told me so. Mise en scene people! Tighter composition and some real stakes would have elevated this short. I think if you go fairy tale you go as dark as you can. This could have been a deliciously evil mockumentary (if you had to go that way) where Claire was telling her story from some fairy tale prison or even at the stake.

A look at what happened to a trio of Santa Claus' when they were made redundant.

So, mockumentary is a choice in the 48 but one fraught with the danger of being ho-hum. No doubt that this short looked good, with nice lighting, sound, editing and shot composition that you'd expect with the mockumentary style. I couldn't help but think that your original plan was to focus on just the one Santa which might have made a more interesting story had you not in my mind abandoned it. For the sake of variety, a couple of other Santas are shoe-horned in other locations but their characters are so stereotypical (one infers he's a pedophile for example) that it feels rather forced.

Good solid, safe work that misses the mark.

Synopsis above tells you everything about this amusing, well-constructed short that ticks a whole heap of expected 48HR boxes. And that might be it's weakness as it plays it relatively safe whilst offering an over-reliance on some somewhat corny dialogue ("I need to rectify my rectum") and linked to this, anal gags. Great location, cool alien abduction and technically top notch. The highlight for me is AJ's acting. He has the advantage of having an interesting face and he uses it to his advantage to really sell his anxiety in an effective, comedic way.

Should find its way into the CHCH finals as it really is the type of thing you see there. If not, AJ should be up for an acting award. He's brilliant.

A couple of beach Night-Guards agree to train up a young woman they save.

A stock-standard JAGBOG effort with all their usual tricks and self-referencing. I had to remind myself that this wasn't an ULTRA entry! Played for laughs and the audience lapped it up. Certainly a slick effort, especially given the night filming aspect and impressive well-timed use of titles. I remember little else though and it ends rather weakly. Love ya work though JAGBOG and you doing it the way you want to.

When an abusive & soon to divorced husband suffers a heart attack his experience in the spiritual world offers him a look at redemption.

Thought-provoking and generally well-executed short that I only have one main quibble with - the actors playing the leads appeared to be too young for the roles they were playing. Good job here thought at playing at a serious subject matter and that it's never too late to see the error of your ways.

Synopsis above tells you all you need to know about this fun, action short that delivers on it's premise - action, blood, car chases and chaos. Good portrayal from the lead and all the talent committed 100% to some of the bloodier aspects of their roles. The Mad Scientists have a rival.

A sibling faces the dilemma of whether or not to save his asshole brother.

The team intro here had people jumping despite it being a direct copy of the oldest jump scare on the internet. Nice job though - I knew it was coming but it still got a slight flinch out of me. The film itself was very pretty looking and the work of someone keenly invested in cinematography. Stylish, well acted, graded and edited. For me the mystical journey sequence cheapened the deal and removed me from what was a quiet serious short to something out of the early years of Wellington's Moffilade or even CHCH's The Otter. Given the team comment then Cloud Atlas also comes to mind. I have to judge it to by my care factor for the characters which I was left rather ambivalent to. The title is awful too.

A contender for the finals and further evidence that ARA NZ Broadcasting School is doing a grand job.

At a flat meeting, the residents get to the bottom of why the dishes haven't been done.

A fair crack at the genre that reminded me a lot of Strang Entertainment's "Steak & Cheese Lies" from a few year's back. Most memorable scene was the extended shaving sequence - wince inducing and just plain funny. In the team intro they referenced being multiple "Best Bad Film" nominees. Could be in the mix again.

A group of survivalist bandits sit in wait ready to ambush anyone who strolls by.

Nice location for filming and a good chat had by all but as such, nothing much happens. Some interesting characters with effective make-up choices but the stakes weren't that high so my level of engagement was diminished.

At a sleep over, three girls and a guy play "Never have I ever". When things get nasty, things get pillow fighty.

I liked the idea of this and with improved camera work the tension could have really ramped up. Loved the very short scene of Jeffery in the fetal position. Finishes all very rapidly but reading Zac's review above I feel I might have missed something - how did I miss that?!!?

Three elves fight and accidentally kill their boss which puts Christmas in jeopardy.

The second of two "Weekend at Bernies" inspired films in the same heat! Amazing! Some quiet audio in places, a nice smash cut but I was left confused as to why the scream was heard during a certain insertion when the character was already dead. Something to work on: white balance.

A disgruntled police chief suspends his top detectives for their over-the-top methods of solving crime. Suspension is just a holiday however.

Funny, some cool looking shots (the bonnet interrogation for one) and the nod to every theme in the 48 was well written and delivered. Audio blasted at certain points and some scenes lingered for a bit too long - the shake down for me. Heaps of fun on screen though and loved the voice work of one of the DIs.

A young woman has premonitions about the grisly deaths of others.

A bit grainy in places. A bit hissy in others. A bit hard to hear the dialogue at times. And it all finishes rather abruptly. That said, I really liked the ambitious nature of this short and with better execution this could have played out really strongly. Premonitions are some scary, freaky shit so this was a short that left me thinking.

An avocado loving young man is forced to reconsider his life when his typically middle-class parents berate him for his excessive life style choice.

This musical produced a really positive response from the audience as it seemed to strike an accord with a certain demographic and poke fun at aspects of modern society. To be honest, much of this was lost on me and I was therefore simply in it for the musical experience that I hoped would invest me in the character arc. So did it? First the positives: in general a consistent look was achieved and a few focus issues aside the visuals hit the mark. Malcolm Lyall as the dad stole the show in his brief scene (more please), delivering one of the two really effective musical pieces of this short; the other being at the end with the strong vocal delivery of local musician Ella Waswo. The rap did incorporate the Wilhelm scream rather cleverly and subtlety - which is either genius or irrelevant if you didn't hear it.

I do wonder about some of your choices and execution in places. The sync was out. Only slightly, but enough to be distracting & a killer with this genre. More distracting for me was the use of subtitles which served little or no purpose and perhaps demonstrated a lack of confidence in the audience's ability to understand your lyrics; which I'd argue was misplaced. Considering the soundtrack was recorded just fine, I'd have loved to just hear it as the titles have the potential to take focus away from the action. At least you didn't sink to the level of having a bouncing karaoke ball. The ending for me also felt a bit tacked on and left me confused - who was she and why are you introducing her at the film's end? I also thought some of the pacing didn't quite work with a few scenes overstaying their welcome and me getting an ever-so-slight feeling of "sameness" in delivery.

As musicals go this is one of the better ones delivered in CHCH over the last few years and yep, it could make the finals which will be richly deserved for not wimping out with this genre.

A couple of hit-men discuss current events before ultimately turning their attention towards their current target. An untimely accident results in a "Weekend at Bernies" style operation.

CRAB CRAB CRAB delight in the absurd and we got that here. Light on actual depth of story but heavy on craziness made this an easy favourite with the audience. The gun-fights were an obvious highlight as both leads delighted in the obvious fun being played out. Yes, the Slug creature was hard to understand and her motivation was somewhat conventional but this doesn't really detract from an overall well-executed short. Once again it's the kind of film that does well in this competition so expect to see it in the finals.

A (Victorian?) swordsman walks the forest in pursuit a dark character whilst a heroine races to save him.

Another dramatic piece in this heat with some effective opening shots. Hard to hear the monologue in places and the piano device lingered slightly longer than I would have liked. A sweet ending charmed the audience.

A woman, stuck in her own personal hell after losing her "voice", inspires her researcher husband to find a cure.

A real dramatic turn to start this heat. Shades of "Get Out" with the cereal bowl scraping and I liked the low dialogue approach that dominated the first half of this short. Good music, effective colour blot effect and a sweet, albeit slightly weak ending tied up a well-executed short. Some may find the complete lack of audio at the end distracting - intentional or an oversight? I heard cases for both!

A talking microwave gets rather disgruntled with its owner as it starts to get used less and less.

Plenty of good humour in this including a serious dig at a rival team in their intro. The talking microwave effect worked really well and the voice work was spot on. It just all felt a little rushed at the end and I also couldn't shake the feeling that I'd seen a version of this film before. Well-executed in general and up there for one of the better films in this heat.

A trio of boys take a quite innocent trip to the river only to come face-to-face with a hostile alien presence.

There were some definite impressive noises in the crowd when this short started in space - people were intrigued! Playing out an unseen alien, body-snatching its victims was a smart play and you used your locations well. The acting got a few laughs and you worked the scream in really well. Something to think about next year is your audio as you had some wild variations that made as lot of the dialogue really hard to hear. Congratulations on completing your first 48HRS and being the first team at the hand-in!

A demon, on a final warning from Lucifer, causes mischief for a young woman which takes him in a new, unexpected direction.

Got some laughs from the audience, the demon make-up was spot on and all the actors solid good, albeit slightly wooden, performances. For me, the story became rather disjointed midway through but there's plenty of potential here for the future. Good work!

A teen gets ready for her day/night. She's a pretty sad case whose first port of call when she gets to school is the counselor's office. A kind of ground-hog day follows?

So pretty clear from the above that I struggled to follow the story line of this short. (a team comment might clear that up!) Highlights included the transition to & the actual party scene itself. Nice use of the Wilhelm scream which had a more organic feel than most of the shorts in this heat.

When the power goes out, a young girl wonders how she will cope without all her devices.

As usual with Kitty Aye Aye Films they've produced a very cute film that wraps things up with a very solid message. The voice-over narration does work but I do wonder if some of the sequences could have been left to show us what was happening rather than tell us.

Mockumentary/Reality TV about three Emo teens who hate Christmas.

The highlight of this was the sustained acting from the three leads. I think it could have been a whole lot shorter as a few of the conversations dragged into pointlessness. A few funny moments that the audience found reason to snigger at. Something to work on: audio, some of the dialogue was very hard to hear.

A couple of kids are involved in a car accident whilst travelling to a relative's house. Did I mention that it's on an isolated rural road AND there's a spooky wolf-creature lurking?

For me, this was the stand-out film of the heat. Believable acting, a complete story arc & age-appropriate casting - saints be praised! You cleverly used the lighting available to good effect (most of the time) and considering 95% of this short is filmed at night that was a great achievement. It was well shot, the audio was pretty good and the edit also tightly done. An ambitious first entry in 48HRS - well done!

Red, wants some revenge on the Wolf that killed her granny. She gonna kick some ass!

Essentially this is one long battle scene. A cool battle scene but the story doesn't do too much else. I felt as if someone had watched "Kill Bill" recently as this gave off some similar vibes. I would have loved to have seen a flashback to the wolf killing granny or the like to break up some of the action and give things a bit of depth. Some cool blood and props elevated this short.

We join in on a very formal & unsettling dinner party where the sole male guest is being eyed up for a bit of change in his lifestyle.

This had a lovely opening shot and some very cool music. The story got a little lost in itself and while a fair attempt at the genre none of the songs were that memorable or really drove the story along. Well done on applying some creative thinking though in order to handle this tricky genre.

Our lead has a really bad day and things turn a little dark.

Your set-up worked well and I was impressed to see how you used a cellphone to good effect to light a night shot. I wish you'd been a little more creative with your use of the Wilhelm Scream as it felt rather shoe-horned in at the end. Nice drone shot too. Something to work on: Tighten up the edit as some shots go on a touch too long. And try to balance your sound levels.

A group of "girl-friends" talk about all those things that boys think they talk about...and naturally fall out of friendship.

Dolphin have been around for at least three 48HRs and talking to them before hand they described this year as "a whole horror story". They got the film in with 10mins to spare. Fair to say that it shows somewhat with 'OMG'. The boys put on wigs, form boobs and play girls. This set-up was fun for a little bit but since the story really went nowhere it all got a little tiresome. I admire your moxy in playing girls but you did only need ONE female character! I thought you used the Wilhelm scream well. Something to work on: Sound, sound, sound.

Boy comes in claiming he needs transforming so the two girls take up the challenge! Cue: extended wince-inducing leg shaving scene.

Not sure if you quite hit the Z-Grade genre but this was an entertaining short with some funny/awkward moments that the audience lapped up. There's not a lot of story - basically it's an extended make-over montage but the smash cut/match cut worked well at the end. Something to work on: Audio! Get a microphone & make a boom pole so you can get cleaner audio.

Whilst eating unpopped corn(?) a young lad eats a bad one and transforms into a Charlie Chaplinesque character. Cue slapstick comedy!

An interesting take on this genre and some genuinely good slapstick moments. The "Crazy Lady" was the highlight, stealing every scene she was in. I liked that you completed the story arc so there's plenty to look forward to in the future with this team. Something to work on: Getting a good balance with your music levels.

Quite ambitious in many respects this short through it's potentially confusing story-line and authentic looking make-up. I liked your opening battle scene and the general idea of this film but couldn't help think your cast were just a touch too young for the parts they were playing. I drifted away from the dialogue a little through the middle and I would have loved if you'd kept the shot selection a bit more intimate as the close-ups you used towards the end helped convey the torment more than some of the wider shots.

Lots of fun, well made, ambitious, over-the-top madness. I imagine it would have been great to see it at the heats on a large screen. Well cast and acted. Nice work!

Told from the POV of a poisoned biscuit looking to bring death to a group of unlikable dinner guests, this short gets a few points for taking an imaginative approach. The biscuit certainly knew a lot about each of the guests though and much of the film is spent introducing the characters and telling us how much they deserve to die. So unless you're a fan of occasionally witty dialogue coming from predominately one voice you may not find much to engage you. The Mexican stand-off is fun and I chortled at the Topher Grace lookalike, but I was also really unsure of why this was all happening and how/why the character turns up at the end. You have to watch the credits to discover his role. Like an essay conclusion that introduces new information it seemed rather tacked on.

Technically sound, nicely written but certainly an acquired taste.

Meandering for the most part, this story of a widower conflicted by the memory of his wife and his desire to purchase a mail order bride really does its best to turn into "Lars & the Real Girl" without actually achieving any of the dark humour or empathy of that film. Nicely shot and edited though but the tonal shift just didn't work for me & I think you would have been netter served to just develop his loneliness and guilt.

This animated short was a fun take on the cat and mouse genre set in a noir world complete with hard-boiled detective and femme fatale. The audio sync seemed a bit out at the start which was a little distracting but overall the animation and in particular the backgrounds, were pleasing on the eye. Nice work!

The "speed-date" set-up has been used quite a bit in 48HR films over the years so I was rollign my eyes early on. It certainly didn't help either that I really didn't find any of the characters that interesting as they sort of painfully executed their cliched dialogue at the bar. I thought that the edit here was a bit unsure of itself with the POV of the woman sometimes changed up for an over the shoulder with no good reason. Likewise, the "Mr Robot" style of composition for the woman didn't really add anything when the rest of the style was more traditional. The best shot was the garage door opening even if it did go on a touch long. As vfs has already said, the horror elements are largely missing and so there was little in the way of tension to engage me.

Hybrid always, always produce slick looking films that are technically super solid so that's never going to be an issue given the skill set the team has. What it does come down to is story and while the first half of this film is a great set-up the back half falls a bit flat. I too thought that her jersey getting caught was a bit too much on the nose - surely she would have been able to just break it off. Likewise too, I thought that maybe the whole thing was an elaborate set-up from the pick-pocket rather than Charlie seizing upon an opportunity to get a bit rapey. The ease at which she takes control at that point is also a bit head-shaking.

Beautiful looking, well-paced and yes, that's a lesson on how you execute a worthwhile drone shot.

This short was a fuck, fuck, fuckerty fuckfest that left me with too many questions - the most pressing being why are they wearing curtains around their heads? I was also somewhat perplexed by the fact that the two young women weren't wearing curtains around their heads since they'd obviously come from outside were conditions, as I understood them, were not the best. And the young ladies were quite assertive to begin with, even hard-arsed, before unconvincingly wimping out of the situation. I did enjoy some of the shot selections which tried hard to create a level of tension to the overall film.

A good shot at a tricky genre.

The Housing Crisis - topical but not particularly popular or engaging as a short film subject. I'd hoped it was going to be a bit of a clever ruse in this film, distracting us from something more important or evil or funny or soul-destroying but sadly it didn't eventuate. The acting from the lead was convincing and as others have mentioned this film looked pretty good. I think with real-time you have to make sure that you keep everything going - visually and audibly for the audience. So, we should have been able to hear the assistant in the background on the phone when we were with the interview - in particular when he was in the same room towards the end and obviously miming his conversation.

Ambitious and creative for the most-part with its collection of dystopian ads, reports, messages and presentations there is a lot going on within 'Mind Camp'. I'm a little torn though. On the one hand I really like how you've attempted something different from the usual and it's certainly engaging. However, on the other hand I was somewhat disappointed with the ho-hum-here-we-go-again abortion, fetus etc "skits" and ultimately the Clockwork Orange ending which didn't do justice to the work you put into the rest of the film.

A cute animated short mixed with live action, this was a simple story that was well executed. The voice acting was convincing and the animation syncing of the mouths to dialogue well done. The escape from the fridge door was OK but I wish it had moved quicker and then we'd had a story that played out under the fridge. I think this would have allowed a bit more time for character development and therefore greater interest in their plight.

Tidy, enjoyable and family friendly!

Charlie absolutely hates everyone in his office and absolutely everything they do. When he clicks an internet pop-up he receives some unexpected help to ease his daily grind.

I enjoyed a lot of the initial camera work and editing in this and certainly the practical effects were nicely executed. I have no doubt that the "gross-out" parts would have played well in front of an audience. While I realise that this short was played as a comedy-horror, for me it relies initially too much on its "sweariness" and and then in the end on its "shit & splatter" at the expense of any actual story. It also takes a long time to get into any actual horror and during this time the voice-over, which was used to show character, becomes rather tedious. I would have loved to have seen the actor's reactions and expressions convey his thoughts instead.

A fair effort though and certainly a film that will find its audience.

Another solo effort from Karl Burnett, who plays six different roles and gets to try out his repertoire of accents, in this over-the-top short about a F-14 fighter pilot mission gone wrong. Despite the disclaimer in the credits the green-screen work is a perfect fit for the type of film this sets out to be - low-fi and low-brow with its stable of dick & wank jokes and obvious nods to the camera. And no doubt it will find its audience as it's lots of fun!

The RicEX Time Travel Express delivery service offers customers the opportunity to order goods today and have them delivered tomorrow!

This was nicely shot, edited and acted. While really well executed the concept itself of "trying to do better" each time you go back is a very common one. I was reminded of a short filmed called "The One-Minute Time Machine" which explores a similar rom-com feel. Still, the effects worked well and it does require a lot planning to pull sometime like this off!

Wouldn't surprise me to see this in the final - well done! EDIT - up for Best DQ'd film in CHCH; didn't realise this was the case!

From the safety of her car a woman is forced to watch as her pregnant friend walks into a dangerous situation.

Most teams would love to have made this film over the weekend and so the fact that it's the 2nd of two made by TBALC is either a case for stunned awe or showing them the middle finger for being smarty pants. Effective, clever and minimalist (which is understandable!) "Windows" works nicely as a tight little thriller that easily captivated the audience despite leading us down a predictable ending.

Should be seen again in the final I imagine which would certainly be some achievement.

Two female bomb-disposal experts contemplate a number of life concerns as they work through a job.

This is another top class 48HR short from a team that continues to lead the way in CHCH. All the trademark TBALC moves are present: internal locations, clever/poignant dialogue, great acting, humour, immaculate timing and pacing...all that and top-notch technical work as well. The genre is examined in such a smart way that I shook my head in utter amazement when "the moment" came. So, can we pick holes in what is a very complete short that would easily stand-up outside the 48? Some may say (as I've said before) that it's more of the same from TBALC in many respects. But that matters not a jot because playing to your strengths is certainly a successful recipe and as an audience we're getting exactly what we want! So thanks!

Easily good enough for the city final, could probably complete the three-peat for TBALC and even if it didn't should get picked up for the national gig.

Charlie, who suffers from a time-travel condition, is interviewed by the authorities.

Although simple and talky, the performances were so convincing in this short that the audience was thoroughly engaged for the duration. Beautifully shot, edited and executed this film could easily make the city finals. Great work!

Two inept kidnappers are outsmarted at every turn by a sassy but caring Miss New Zealand.

A simple story with nice touches of humour throughout. It was just a little hard to believe that they never noticed her sitting in the back seat considering she made no effort to stay hidden. Fun and very much in the 48HR spirit. Nice job!

When a deal goes wrong the chase is on as two young lads endeavour to catch up to a clever young woman.

This team seemed to have a number nice toys at their disposal and they used them really well. The camera work was top notch with an edit to match. Plenty of humour too as the inept chasers continued to find themselves thwarted. I guess it was little surprise then that by the films end they appeared to make very little effort to reclaim their car as it moved really slowly away.

Shame about the DQ - better luck next year!

Charlie Flowers and Charlie Powers share a testy relationship fueled by the inflated opinions of their puppet office assistants.

This was kind of bizarre for a whole lot of reasons but it also had nice touches of humour. It wasn't overly ambitious with most scenes either in the small office or in the corridor outside of them but the economic nature of the locations obviously suited the team.

A man plans to propose to his girlfriend but she has quite different ideas for their future.

A classic piggy-in-the-middle film that is nicely shot and edited. There's plenty of good humour that is well-timed and acted by the cast of three. The continuity of real-time is maintained and as a result the film moves at a good pace.

Another quality short from "Submission Impossible" that could pick up a final spot. They also continued their history of producing a quality team intro!

Well set-up, solid acting and a worthy ending even if I did zone out a little in the middle. I liked how you handled the crashed car and the police arrival at the end. Pretty smart!

As the title says: Every Romance Trailer Ever!

"Steak and Cheese Lies" & last year's "The Intervention" are two of my favourite 48HR films ever due in part to their high replay value. "ERTE" is going to continue that theme as there is just so damn much to see! Super slick in presentation we are slowly introduced to the overarching story-line before literally being bombarded with every Rom-com trope in the business. Visually it's a treat with a huge amount of content delivered within its short time frame. One I especially noticed was a recreation of one of the more famous scenes from Strang's 2012 film "True" - very clever!

How the judges will view this short is, as others have indicated, indeed a mystery. YouTube has a number of mash-ups of Rom-com films and tropes so it's not exactly unique. I'm pretty confident we'll see it in the final on it's share audacity alone. I certainly can't wait to see it again! I've also developed an unhealthy obsession for the characters Roz Ellis plays - but that's a story for another time.

A retrospective mockumentary on the kiwi punk band "The Disease".

There have been a couple teams choose this option to deal with the punk threat this year and fair enough! The "Where are you now?" look at two members of the band worked quite nicely even if we didn't get a lot of variety in what we were seeing. The acting was convincing and the main hit song was fun to listen to. Nice work!

A young man arrives home looking for Charlie. He's not there but several pools of blood are!

Nice kill. Nice rack focus. Nice end. A fair attempt at a horror film without achieving any great heights of tension. As The Nimble extrapolates above, think about cutting unnecessary dialogue from your next film.

After the death of a parent the historically bad brother gets control of everything much to the envy of his more respectable brother.

This was a fair attempt to deliver a serious film by this team. The acting was good and I wrote down that the rack focus was convincing. A bit dull in places and a few noticeable audio blips detracted a little. Overall though an effective short. Nice job!

Two odd socks are left behind at the local laundry and team up to make it back to the female socks partner.

This was a well-executed short with some nice costuming and entertaining dialogue. A clever little spin on the Rom-com and as films are from that genre, predictable in the end.The switching between socks and people dressed as socks was well-played and received a positive reaction from the audience. Nice work!

In a world where going outside is prohibited one lucky woman gets to experience it.

I liked this concept and it was well executed with some tidy camerawork and editing. Story-wise not a great deal happens though and it can all only ever end one way. Which it did.

An emotional man on the beach thinks back to better times.

This short looked nice, was well acted and used fancy toys like a drone! Nice job!

Charles hosts a cooking instructional but is having serious doubts over whether it has any value at all.

Yippee! The Otter are back and nothing has really changed; which is good & bad. Filmed from within and just outside a kitchen there is some interesting stuff here - namely the deep and meaningful musings of the lead which flow so naturally there can't have been a script. I enjoyed the fact that the filming of the cooking segments was lower quality then the rest of the film - nice touch.

Talky and sad and maybe not a popular film from the heat but The Otter are back so all is good in the world.

An angel and a devil argue it out for the soul of a woman.

Another crack-pot short from this heat. Plenty of average audio and the sync was out at numerous points. A very talky short that needed to pick up the pace. Weird!

A girl faced with unrequited love hatches a plan to nab herself a man.

In a heat of weird and creepy this was right up there too but also had some effective humour. The end was satisfying but for the most part this short was just strange!

Liam arrives for an audition and the reading begins.

This was some dark and unsettling stuff. Nicely filmed, lit and edited. Likewise, the performances were very convincing and unsettling. A short I'll be pleased to watch again to see what I missed. Great work!

A shift worker is awoken by a pushy salesman who needs just two minutes of her time.

In 2014, the No Budget Ninjas (working out of Whitebait Studios) made a very well-received mockumentary about a guy with dance tourettes. Let's just say that this film is a lot darker. Great camera work, well-edited and the acting too was very convincing. I was left wondering why she was like the way she was and so the story was perhaps a touch weak/convenient.

Overall a very accomplished piece though and could easily slip into the final.

Dad takes his daughter to the park and when she drops her soft toy it comes alive and plays catch-up!

This short was a lot of fun and really well executed. While a little "Toy Storyish", the story did have many original elements and the slow deterioration of the toy was well-played. I loved the change of facial expressions and there was obvious evidence of well thought out planning with this film.

A possible finalist, so well done!

Three punk-arse teens look to take revenge on all those who have wronged them and anyone else who gets in the way.

Ah, the Meme Team (including Sam from serial YouTubers, Swixer) return to the 48HRs and get the perfect genre for them given the actors they had available. Gabby Sanders is well cast as the main punk - intellectual, articulate and not likely to put up with any crap. I wish the story had been JUST about her character though and her anger at society, the establishment...even perhaps misogyny, sexism or the like. I think this could have been a compelling piece. Instead, we got a two minute prank film where Gabby and her two friends (why did they look like cowboys?) caused a bit of trouble. This film did have good pace though and less plot holes then their 2015 48HR horror film. Generally well edited and filmed apart from a few grainy night shots.

Nice work and we better see you back again in 2017!

Our hero tries to impress a girl by going to a funeral she's at where he surprisingly gives a eulogy.

A silent film was a nice change of style and it largely worked well. There were some nice shots, the music was appropriate and the acting convincing. I think the story could have been wrapped up a lot quicker though as it dragged in a few places. A very solid film that was well-received by the audience.

The team educate us about the time travel and why you need it. (See the team comment above for more!)

This team always manage to do some weird shit. This short had its funny moments, was quite mad and is something you just have to see for yourself. Don't every change, guys!

In the near future the Omnicorp corporation controls everything.

This had a great start to it utilizing the art gallery and it looked fantastic. Then the quality sort of slid away with the audio getting a bit buzzy and out of sync in several parts. Pleased to see you cast well as it made for an authentic story. Well done!

A couple of teens have an accident which down the track leads to some very dark consequences. (Maybe?)

Another Kaiapoi High School effort. This short had some creepy use of music, was well acted and nicely edited. I especially enjoyed the neck breaking. Nice job!

Three young punks run amok at a school causing their principal all sorts of problems.

Well acted, solid technical and not a bad watch. Well done!

A group of guys receive an email that sends them in the direction of a girl. (something like that?)

This short had a great opening shot and then the quality dropped somewhat after that. There's a lot of walking and a nice blood effect but that's about all I remember!

A group of friends dabble in the the supernatural which naturally leads to trouble.

Lots of comical moments in this film from Kaiapoi High School. Nice touch to use "Baa, Baa Black Sheep" as your chant. Loved the branch breaking bit and the general falling over that occured - most of it planned!. You had one excellent use of a match cut and then a couple of other unnecessary harsh looking edits. Tidy this up, improve the pace of your film and you'll be on to a winner!

Nice job!

A story of friendship, romance, attachments and loss.

Another short in this heat DQ'd for being late - the unforgivable sin. Despite this, a nice,meaningful short was created here that looked good and was nicely shot. There was some choppy audio at points and at other times it was so over processed for noise removal that it bordered on robotic. Plenty of talent here though so get your film in on time next year!

A group of guys go into the forest, make there way to the beach and have a chat. They start running when things turn bad.

This film was DQ'd for being late which is a shame as there were some good things that happened. Some of your colour grading decisions worked and the fact that you shot this on location added to the challenge. You executed some good stunts and looked like you had plenty of fun. I was a little unsure about what was happening in the story though and the quiet audio during the dialogue rich scenes didn't help this situation.

Be on time next year!

Two sisters/friends fight over breakfast; in fact they fight about most things. They travel back in time to try and fix some issues.

This was well acted, filmed and structured. However, there was a horrible buzz in the audio at one point and for future film-making you need to look at trying to maintain consistent audio levels as it shot around the place a bit. Also I'm pretty sure I could hear your lens when you were completing the rack focus. One of the more engaging films of the heat though so well done!

A guy gets ready for his day. Rinse and repeat.

Nicely filmed and edited. Different take on the mystery genre but not an original concept by any stretch. A little bit flat in atmosphere overall but a commendable effort.

After a long black screen Charlie Flowers is questioned about his criminal activities.

Good take on the genre. I liked the use of security footage and your ending. Sharpen up on the audio and think about your pacing next time as you could have improved the overall flow by trimming a few scenes..

Via split screen we see two converging stories with a young man's narration explaining his relationship with his girlfriend.

Dolphin have been in for a couple of years now and are certainly upping their game visually. They went for a serious take this year compared to some of the craziness of past entries and mostly succeeded. My issue is that not a lot happens and as such I didn't care much for the character at any stage or his eventual plight. A strong school entry though and they do have history in this comp.

A guy arrives to pick up a couch he'd bought online only to find that it had been given away to to wrong person. Buyer and seller team up to recover the furniture.

Pigs Guts told me prior to the screening that they'd sold out to the ARA NZ Broadcasting School and their team intro nicely exemplified that!

"A Disabled Account" is the most mature and complete effort I've seen from PGF. It's nicely shot, edited, mixed and extremely well acted. The story is genuinely funny and so well timed in its delivery. Personally I think it's a great shot to win the whole thing in Christchurch and make its way to the national final.

Great work, men (and any ladies as I assume you've met some by now!)

Our seemingly regular teenage girl has a crush on a guy. The only problem is that she is a closet furry and will need to convince him to "convert".

This was an imaginative take on the genre and a well played story. I loved the line "Come to the furry side - we're kinky." Well shot, constructed & received by the audience. Nice work!

A teen girl deals with the consequences of breaking up with her boyfriend.

This team from Kaiapoi High School really nailed it with this short. I loved the use of flashbacks through the use of match cuts and the overall dark, crazy town tone. The acting from the lead was convincing and committed even if there were a couple of moments of unintentional fourth wall breaking. Your use of two-shots was also an inspired decision.

My favourite film from the heat. Well done!

After the murder of their friend Cindy the others in the group worry that they'll be next. They're also suspects.

Loved the facial hair, humour and you managed to successfully sync audio in a couple of places. Nice! Your interview pieces were a little repetitive and a work on for next year are your shot compositions. While it was fun in this film, kids playing adult roles is always a bit of a stretch. Try to tell some stories about yourselves - they'll play a lot more convincing.

The plot summary is above so I won't repeat it!

Les Cousins have chiseled a fine record in this comp and so they find themselves evaluated into a group of 48ers where the audience has high expectations. On the technical side "A Time and a Place" is pretty smooth - well shot and edited together. Personally, I always cringe a little when I see a 48HR film open up with a support group as it's been done so many times - and I made one myself in 2010! So I'm somewhat conflicted. We have some good writing here and decent acting but not a great deal happens aside from a few flashbacks. And we have no time-travel. So is that a point-of-difference? A clever approach? Or does it avoid the important tropes of the genre? By the end I half-wondered if the group was just a bunch of nutters who THOUGHT they had time-traveled.

All that said, it is the sort of film that makes CHCH finals so we'll wait and see!

After a couple of cops are killed by a dangerous gang their hostage manages to escape and go on a rampage.

A trademark Mad Scientists film that doesn't pretend to be anything else than a shoot up, killing spectacular. I loved how are hero escaped, had has hands free but never removed the tape from around his mouth. Nice touch. Overall, I'm not really feeling it after seeing three of these films now but I totally respect you making the film you want to make and people new to 48HRS will love, love, love your work. And yeah, that said, I'd still watch the extended version!

A blue-faced wool eating alien family tends to their pet human.

This team certainly took an imaginative approach to the genre in order to meet the guidelines. The dinner scene reminded me a lot of "Brains" the national winner from a few years ago and I grew a little tired of the "grunt" speak. I may have missed it but how did the alien girl know English? The film was reasonably well shot and received a wholehearted positive reaction from the audience. Well done for finding an original angle to take!

All these years too and I never realised Knawtra was Artwank backwards!

Four guys inspect the loot after completing a job. Our lead's conscience is challenged by puppets.

I felt that this short was actually played reasonably straight despite the puppets and there were some nice morals on display. The lead played the part well putting in a convincing performance. Nice work!

I'm so glad you've added a team comment to explain what was going on because looking at my notes I just had a big question mark across the page! But now I get it and the reference to the previous short. Manic, energetic and unsettling with an ending I didn't expect. Nice work!

One woman complains to another about her non-attentive, unromantic and predictable husband.

This was a sweet little rom-com that was well-planned and executed right down to the bumpy ending. Flashbacks were used well, it was well cast and I loved the caravan at the end. Nice work!

OK, my plot summary for this is a little unclear in my notes so basically people are walking in Hagley Park. A woman meets Charlie and then things take a dark turn at the end.

I wrote down "twitch application" but have no idea what that means. I do remember someone getting whipped. So a bit all over the place and I'll do a fix-up review when the film is uploaded.

There are children missing in Cashmere. Someone is responsible!

Team Fireworks love doing their own thing and they get hilarious results. I'm glad you've moved away from your talking animal films and still kept with landing interesting and surprising endings. Don't ever change.

A couple of dogs chat in the back of a car during a road trip. When they realise where the destination is they conspire to grant one final wish.

Another slick entry from The Eh Team that was a real crowd pleaser with its talented cast of dogs & humans. The story was of course well set up and the momentum built nicely to the moment of escape. As for the dog driving...well that was always going to happen & the illusion of the car reaching a bit of speed well disguised. My only real point of contention was that the voice of the dogs & driver all sounded ruffly similar - which I found a bit distracting. Dogs may look like their owners but do they sound like them?

Bound to be in the finals and competing once again for the top prizes.

After a man wakes up in a forest he starts to relive some sort of personal nightmare.

Yeah, Dystography Studios hit 2016 with another dark, deep and meaningful short. Production values were high all round and I especially loved your use of the rack focus and back lighting. Story-wise it did become very challenging to follow what exactly was going on and I imagine several viewings are going to be needed to fully comprehend.

Finals? Sure.

When three women share a cab ride after dinner their night takes an expected dark turn.

I really enjoyed the initial set up for this short which was nailed by some fantastic acting from all the cast members. The second half of the film didn't quite grab me as much; probably because the ending wasn't that much of a surprise to me. I thought this film looked quite good - especially during the cab scenes - and a couple of sound issues aside, the edit was pretty clean.

Dublin St films are always worth watching and they've taken a good shot at completing a creepy little horror short here.

A couple of older punk girls convince a younger sibling to join the anarchy.

Drakonian have been in the comp for a few years now and have produced another pleasing short. I enjoyed the opening carnage & overall the acting was convincing and age appropriate. Like Alex mentioned above the character swings were all a little quick with no strong catalyst for going either way. I wrote that the music was good - an original piece?

Nice work & see you back in 2017.

A resourceful mouse causes havoc in a couple's kitchen.

Shot via MouseCam this short from 48HR veterans "Dragon V Mouse" once again hits the spot with their unique comedy and creative brand of story delivery. There were some very clever shots achieved - (eg the bowl) and I enjoyed the progression the mouse made through the film - especially in not having everything his/her way. The particular evil streak running through the mouse was well received by the Heat 3 audience. Couple of points I'd make: 1) the ending didn't quite work for me as the mouse who'd been particular evasive for the majority of the film was suddenly quite compliant; and 2) I have seen similar shorts recently involving insects but I enjoyed this one a lot more!

Should make it to the city final! Nice work once again!

An excitable young man is asked at late notice to look after a Japanese exchange student. Things gonna go wrong!

Now, even though I've personally spent a bit of time living in Japan I'll freely admit all the anime references in this went completely over my head. That said, I enjoyed the touches of humour I did understand from this group of ambitious film-makers. I thought the lead did a great job, as did the actor playing the Japanese student, who seemed to dig deep to fit the stereotype. Story-wise, things did get a bit slow through the middle (noodle eating) and your audio was over processed which created a very tinny sound in parts. This also caused a distinct lack of ambiance in the soundscape.

You got a great reaction from the audience with your references and ending so well done!

A dude goes to a club seemingly to pick up chicks with his amazing disco dancing skills.

Andrew Todd warned of gratuitous disco dancing in this at the start of the heat and he wasn't wrong - in fact it dominated the greater part of the film. The music and dancing package resulted in a really fun short that brought a smile to the face of many in the audience. Some of the initial audio was rather echoey and the character who hated everything for so long become "so turned on" a bit too quick.

As mentioned, lots of fun and worth checking out!

Thinking he's doing his mate a favour, a man invites a woman over but when they realise she's the "Bunsen Bitch" the whole flat plans ways to keep her out.

Visually pretty good and nicely edited this short created a few laughs - in particular a very well-played David Bain reference. Watch some of the audio sync as it appeared to me it was out a little at times.

Nice job!

A PSA on crime within an alternate society policed by crustaecous overlords.

Crab, Crab, Crab have a history of producing alternative shorts for this competition and they've done it again this year in producing a PSA that contains illustrated back drops, and informative/controlling dancing, singing crayfish. Fun, audience engaging and visually pleasing (although not as striking as 2015) but terribly light on story and a bit of a one-trick pony really

Still, wouldn't surprise me if we saw it again in the finals.

Charlie's dog is missing. While putting up posters he finds himself drawn to a house with very weird happenings and occupants.

This film took all sorts of weird twists and turns both in terms of dialogue and action. Reasonably well made it certainly has impact. Looking forward to seeing again so I can accurate understand the happenings!

A same-sex couple, Dick and Charlie, face a few home truths on the reality vs expectations of their relationship.

This short was well made, acted and received by the audience who lapped up the numerous dick jokes that regularly popped up. Personally, I found myself somewhat conflicted as to whether the film-makers got a genuine performance out of Dick or if they wanted the stereotypical over-the-top gay performance which is a little tired these days.

Still, a quality short and typical of something seen in the CHCH final.

A lonely, sick and desperate man takes one more trip across a desolate landscape to a place dear to his heart.

Some wonderful cinematography in this shows off some stunning coastal areas of the South Island. This team did superbly to create the feeling of isolation that they were after and the lead played the lonely man very well. It's always an issue with these story-lines though that it inevitably involves a lot of walking. As a result it all does get a bit tedious as our lead staggers his way to a quite predictable conclusion.

However, this short is very well made and could easily be finals bound.

Yarn Bombers are terrorising Christchurch and it's up to a couple of inept detectives to bring them to justice.

This was a lot of fun and pretty well-received by the audience. Music was well-used and in general the technical side of things was acceptable. I would have preferred that the story was about the Yarn Bombers though rather than the detectives as I think this could have made for some interesting hijinks and better opportunities to develop characters.

Mockumentary on the mega-popular (but fame reluctant) kiwi Punk Rock band, "The Jaggy Plants".

Cat House always produce interesting films in this comp and have continued the theme in 2016 by going to great lengths with their costuming in particular. The story itself isn't necessarily that strong and it all gets a bit slow and repetitive during the constant couch interviews - the argument scene especially. When the band plays the interest is much higher and the song that made them famous, "Angry Bastard", is a real winner. Overall, enjoyable but outside of interviews we really didn't see enough of the band in action and their journey to care anything for the characters themselves.

Charlie wakes up rather confused to find that everyone is seemingly dead. It is indeed a mystery and Charlie looks to solve it.

Buff Films have competed before in one guise or another and have served up a rather dark, complicated short for 2016. Carl Aiken (great in the soon to be released short, "Seasons of All Natures") plays the lead role convincingly and effectively carries the narrative forward as a result. Technically, the short could be a bit sharper, in particular the audio which is a bit hissy and does jump in and out somewhat. Likewise putting a bit of thought into removing unnecessary wind noise from scenes without dialogue and replacing with an ambient track would add a bit more polish.

A well executed short though and this one has a surprise ending.

Two guys camp in a peaceful forest and carry out less than serine activities.

This team from ARA NZ Broadcasting School show off their talents in this grim, brooding, dark bromance. Cinematography, grading, sound and editing are all top notch with the natural light of the forest used to great advantage. The two leads do a pretty good job at carrying what is, at times, a fairly meandering story-line; and one that wasn't super clear to me anyway particularly as to the motivation of the two gents. The camera switched often between POV camcorder and traditional which was nice effect albeit somewhat distracting at times.

A quality short and strong contender for the final and cinematography awards.

A young woman finds a dropped GoPro in the park and in an effort to thoughtfully find the owner things get a little dangerous.

This short was well set up and complimented by tidy camerawork, editing and audio quality. A nice creepy tone was established and there were genuine moments of impending doom that had been skillfully thought through. A couple of things bugged me though: 1) the killer arrived during the day seemingly intent to get in but waited until it got dark; 2) the ending played a little weak which was disappointing given the way the story had been set-up.

This film could find itself in the finals though and as such is naturally one of the stronger films from this heat.

Our lead finds himself kidnapped and in a precarious position when a disturbed shaman is able to control him like a puppet.

This was a visually impressive short but it will probably polarize viewers with it's content and delivery. Funny and unsettling it's not your traditional puppet film but something more out of team Crab Crab Crab's file of lunacy. Well acted, a great location and set design. Could easily find itself in the final. Awesome work!

A group of young looking cops prepare to make a bust at the house of a very disturbing Charlie Flowers. When they make their move it doesn't go so flash.

Another late entry in this heat which was a real shame because there were a lot of positives with this film. While it did take along time to get into it, once we'd done with all the hand-jiving selection games and each cop entered the house we got some crazy kills, nice humour and a whole lot of madness. The sax playing horse head was a particular highlight. There was a clever use of the prop and apart from a couple of audio sync issues the tech was pretty sound.

A nervous guy in line to get into a club gets mistaken for a famous magician with dire consequences.

Unfortunately late this short had some good performances and a nice set-up that then led to a surprise ending. A few rough cuts and visible noise on the screen detracted a little but overall an enjoyable film that hit its genre well.

A gloomy young man questions his identity and laments how the establishment is holding him back.

This looked superb on the big screen from the outset and was extremely well edited. It seemed very "Birdman" inspired with its long takes and persistent drum beat. Really effective use of back lighting in a couple of scenes and your lead actor did a fine job. I was somewhat let down by two aspects: one) there was no real rage or frustration that I'd expect from this genre and two) linked to the first the lead seemed to accept his fate which was kind of a let down.

With the skills and obviously high-end gear available to this team they should do well if they keep entering. The highest quality film of the heat but perhaps too deep and meaningful for the audience in attendance at the screening.

PS - Not sure if you should be posting on YouTube yet unless you're wanting to fight the establishment and get yourselves disqualified!

Charlie Flowers is called out of retirement to find some kids who have been kidnapped.

OK, some good things happened during this. Clearly hit the genre, there was some solid acting and the news graphic was nicely done. Next steps: Improve your audio quality and mix. Some of the dialogue was hard to hear. Also, try to create a story that plays to your strengths of being a young cast. So often school teams play adult roles and while it's good fun it limits the realism of your film.

Nice job!

A young woman has had a very bad day - she's late, fired, evicted and has something in her eye.

This was a fun little film in many respects that tried really hard to convince us that their locations weren't what they clearly appeared to be - which was a school staff room, locker room, class room etc doubling for flats. The performances were good albeit that your cast was a little young for the roles they were portraying. I loved a couple of your lines "The wool doesn't like negative vibes" for example and the short was competently edited. Next steps: Beg, borrow or steal a decent microphone to eliminate any unnecessary wind noise.

Nice job & thanks for the interview!

A voice over explains how a class of under-achievers have somehow managed to pull Excellence grades. Cheating is suspected and our leads are on the case.

I was so pleased to see your well populated classroom. So often in school films you find the 48HR team of 5 or 6 and no one else! A good concept that was, in general nicely constructed. Next steps: Investing in a good microphone would help alleviate some of the unnecessary wind-noise you collected.

A young girl, not wanting to get ready for school, uses a time-machine to give herself "just five more minutes" over and over again.

This was a clever concept for real-time that seamlessly incorporated a second genre. The lead actress was great and overall this short was also nicely shot and edited.

A young scientist's time-machine is used inadvertently by her brother and she must travel through time to find him.

A nice little sibling story that contained a number of long takes and horrible camera/tripod noise. That said, you nailed your genre and did well to create "moments through time whether that be past or future which is a difficult thing to do!

Good job!

A young girl, alone in the dark, receives a series of voice messages from those concerned by her whereabouts.

Tense and gloomy this short got my attention pretty quickly with its clever use of lighting via the striking of matches and eerie ambiance. However, it all become a little too repetitive for me and and the lack of revelation at the end left me somewhat unsatisfied. A very mature school effort though and I look forward to seeing you back next year.

A young woman's jersey becomes the object of affection for a very odd young man.

Another short filmed out of Christ College that was well edited and hit the genre on the head with it's humourous chase scene. The prop was very well used obviously as the central focus of the film and the lead playing one half of the lovers did a great job with his necessary over-the-top performance. Next steps: find the white balance feature on your camera.

In my first year of doing 48HRS I did a film where a guy falls in love with an inanimate object so this short brought a smile to my face!

After successfully committing a heist, one of the three criminals splits with the loot leaving the other two to hire Charlie Flowers to find him.

This short was nicely edited and featured some effective back-lighting. The lead playing Charlie did his best Christian Bale "Batman" voice throughout and even though I found the constant bro "this a& that" references a bit annoying the central idea that the "Bro-code" had been broken was a useful plot point. Nice work, gents!

A mockumentary about a young man with prosopagnosia - an inability to recognise familiar faces.

Obviously playing to their strengths, this Kaiapoi High School team produced a clever short that hits a number of the expected documentary conventions. There's certainly nice touches of humour and the "Guess Who" championship was an inspired decision. I would have liked the stakes upped a bit for our main character as while entertained, I was ever really rooting for him or that sympathetic of his affliction. Always glad to see school teams cast appropriately with the young girl (Lily) especially good in her role.

Great work to be voted 2nd in your heat!

The witch-like Hansen Twins are shunned by all others as weird and dangerous...with good reason!

The start of this film was nicely played out, establishing the creepy sisters to some effect. It was well edited and we got a good variety of gory kills with suitable make-up & other effects. However, that was about all we got in terms of story, which was a little one dimensional. Great that you used your young cast appropriately - I think you could have made a genuinely scary short if you'd focused the narrative a bit more. See you next year!

In an empty looking lecture theatre, four or five students sit a test. Charlie quickly drifts off, finding himself in a strange land.

An interesting concept for this tricky genre that was somewhat bogged down by inconsistent audio and some odd jump cuts in the edit. The roll call at the start seemed unnecessarily long (unless there was a reason for it!) so next time, get into your story a bit quicker.

Two nerdy, wannabee romeos hit on a couple of sporty chicks at a park. Circumstances lead to an awkward conversation between one young man & lady that has a surprising third wheel.

This 2nd year 48HR team from Middleton Grange produced a sweet little Rom-com. Its strengths lie in the humorous, well-written story that brings out genuine performances from the cast. It was well shot, edited and the elements were used cleverly.
Next steps: The audio sync seemed slightly out at the start and some of the audio suffered from distracting wind noise.

A enjoyable, well-made film that got my audience vote.

Two girls, in particular, find a guy quite appealing. Just what is it about him? Quite possibly his lovely jersey!

Filmed at Christ College, this nicely met the Rom-Com genre. The performances were good and some of the lines genuinely funny - "Sweet like a marshmallow on a summer day" for example. Your ending worked nicely too.
Next steps: Don't over process your audio - it sounded very robotic. And if your script calls for a school day - you really need more people there to make it feel authentic. Nice work!

At a hillside home a teen is brutally murdered. Who did it? Everyone is a suspect!

First team up for 2016 in CHCH managed to establish an eerie tone with their mostly effective use of lighting & music. While quite dialogue heavy at points the story did move along nicely (thanks to some good editing) to a logical albeit predictable conclusion.
Next steps: Get a decent mic & don't rely on camera audio. As mentioned above, your lighting was good until some of the meaty kill parts during which we couldn't see all the gory details! Nice work!

Two friends meet up for one last night of craziness.

Of all the national finalists films this year, "Tide" was certainly the one that occupied my thoughts the most. Beautifully shot, superbly acted and with a story that makes you smile a lot even whilst knowing that there is a very grim undercurrent to it. The ending has proven somewhat polarizing but for me it just added to the intrigue. I do want to know why it came to that course of action, but I'm also glad the film-makers didn't give any real explanation apart from a reference to being unhappy, as it has made me try and fill in the gaps. Cancer, a brain tumor etc would have been an obvious and overused way to go. Likewise the actions of Amanda Billing's character are shocking at first, but can be also be considered the ultimate act of friendship.

A film that could stand on its own outside of the 48. Loved it.

When a man is beaten to the last loaf of Vogel's bread, he embarks on a torturous two year journey to gain retribution.

Is it pointless to review the Grand National Champion? Maybe, but I'll give it a go. "Bread Winner" has perhaps the greatest 48 Hour song ever with their opening number "2 Years". Brilliantly dark and suitably catchy it does the necessary job of introducing the story and the road ahead. That sequence is also superbly shot, edited and acted - it's the full package and an impressive way to kick things off. Likewise the meeting with the informant also has great chemistry and comic timing through their exchange - the coffee card was a great touch. Things get a bit weaker for me then though with the scene with Harper and his friend no more than a filler before the amusing and well-executed finale. Weaknesses? Not many. Perhaps the story is a bit too ludicrous if you give it too much thought, but this is supposed to be an over the top musical so it matters little. I did also notice someone in the background as our lead leaves his building, (keying in the door code so he just has to push through?) but again, I've gone looking for things here.

A well deserved winner and a film with high replay value. Great job.

A woman wakes up in a garage flat on her back and unable to move. Help is at hand though from her tiny animated friend!

A clever blend of live action and animation means this short has instant charm and appeal - how can that little animated character not make you smile? Well shot, edited and it all sounded pretty crisp. I found the dialogue a bit long-winded at times, especially during the phone-call which in itself really had one purpose - exposition! Overall a sweet story but by its end, it was all a little too moralistic for my tastes.

Well worthy of the Auckland finals show though, so great job!

A married couple in counselling reflect on when it all started to go wrong.

Some really good performances by the leads in this rom com that dips more effectively into black comedy. Loved the match-cut flashbacks, use of transitions and the overall execution of the cinematography - the back-lit sequence in particular was well done. The home invasion scene gave a bit of a nod to "The Stangers" in my mind and was suitably creepy. The ending was somewhat expected but overall a really solid short deserving of Hamilton Finals love.

A couple trying to get a corpse to a funeral have a really bad day.

This short had a promising beginning with a well-executed set-up that was delivered by a couple of really interesting characters. The acting of "the corpse" was also something to enjoy, especially when he was jolted back and forth in the car. Funny! I thought some of the set-pieces dragged a little - especially the body being put in the cart and so a tighter edit may have helped with the overall pace of the film through the middle. I think too that there was a little too much music used to differentiate scenes where no music at all would have added to the situation - the bus stop for example, which also could have done without any dialogue and just relied on the expressions/reactions of the actors. A lot achieved in this short though and an enjoyable, coherent story was delivered. Nice job!

In a world where everyone can hear each other's inner monologues, a private detective battles with a challenging case.

There really is a lot to like about TBALC. They write well, they "do" characters, they nail genre, they have excellent acting talent, they land cinematography, editing, music, costuming, locations and they're all quite humble about it too. With "The Silent Man" their stars may have aligned even more than normal, producing perhaps their best ever 48HOUR short. Certainly everything went their way - I couldn't think of a better team to get the Mystery genre and it came as no surprise to me that they'd made classic film noir. And with this film they've pretty much ticked off all the noir tropes; world-weary private-eye; femme fatale, black n white, venetian blinds, light and dark... the list goes on. Most importantly of course, the inner-monologue rich with metaphors and similes dripping references to the city, the weather etc. It's all done rather well and with the typical pace and humour you'd expect from TBALC. It's pretty entertaining stuff and all of the cast play their roles expertly. Very hard to fault.

However, if I have a quibble it's that the films strength, the inner-monologue shtick, could also be it's weakness. While witty, it does get tiresome and repetitive and I couldn't help but think that there must be someone is this world of inner-monologues who had the ability to just not think out loud. And so it came to pass, with a character introduced very, very late in the piece (or had they actually been referenced somehow prior?) and thus the mystery was solved without much investigation at all. And as such the end is very cliche, but what else would you expect?

A mere quibble though as this really is an excellent short in every aspect. An easy city winner. Will be a national finalist and may just push very hard for the grand prize. Great work!

A trio of teens share spooky stories. A bit later zombies pop around.

Some good make-up in this and a whole lot of silliness. Over-the-top fun and even a singing zombie. The Zombie Zumba too was really well put together. As a complete film it was all rather disjointed but it looked like you had great fun.

After an inept trio attempt to rob a dairy, one of the criminals ponders his future through song.

Yeah, musical is a tough option and this team have given it a good crack with this amusing film. The couple of songs (although similar sounding) were pretty good and well performed by the lead. Not a great deal of story here though and it's a shame we didn't see more of the relationship between the robbers - this would have made an entertaining film. Nice credit sequence!

A young scientist attempts to turn her soft toys into a real cat.

This was very cute and well acted. Loved the expression on the cat's face! Great job!

A woman is bothered by a troublesome poltergeist.

JAGBOG have a history in this comp of making exactly the sort of film they want to; (ranging from crazy-town humour to intense drama) and damn the consequences! This year's effort is nicely shot and edited and has a really promising beginning with its great jump scare. That's, unfortunately, the highlight though as the next scene has some very painful & awkward dialogue. Then the horror turns a bit rom-com. So, like others I wish the scares had continued as you certainly have the skills to do unsettling.

When a woman is woken by an odd noise in the house, she sends her partner to investigate.

As you'd expect a very slick production from this champion team. Well written, acted and executed - just par for the course! I was really drawn into the story here and while it is obvious that all is not what it seems, I was pleasantly surprised with where things ended up and the final scene is quite beautiful. Advertising team aside, I didn't quite get the connection/relevance of some of the other characters that crop up but that might be my fault ! I was reminded of an episode ("The 12 Days of Christine") from the second season of "Inside No.9" after watching this, only because the situation the lead finds himself in is quite similar.

Intriguing, imaginative and intelligent. Another top effort that has high replay value. Awesome job!

In a Lego world, a self-absorbed bimbo must escape from from the alternate dimension her vanity transported her to.

I should start this review by mentioning my general inability to warm to Lego based films. I certainly appreciate the time, effort and skill that goes into producing one and #2way is one of the better examples of it. Great camerawork, design and obviously a whole heap of fun to make. Lots of action, great voice-work and nice touches of humour. Deserving of the animation award for CHCH so well done.

A woman communicates via her phone with her husband and daughter as she travels alone across a beach and up a hill.

I know Taylor's Mistake so well as my family have had a batch there for over 80 years so the location was both awesome to see in use but also in a way, overly familiar which pulled me out of the story. The idea behind this short was quite clever with the use of the phone call and journey the lead was taking gave a lot of meaning to the film. However, there were unanswered questions; why had she survived whatever it was initially when seemingly no one else had? Why was she climbing to the top of the hill - sacrifice or did she know what was coming?

Well shot, acted and edited. Shame the ending caused a few giggles because the tension had actually been nicely developed.

A concerned group of family and friends do their best to stop a man they care deeply about from leaving for Finland.

When I looked at my notebook after I arrived home from the final I realised that I hadn't managed to take a single note on this film! Why? I was completely engaged.
In many ways, this is a very simple film: small cast, single location and basic premise but the reality is there is a lot more going on. The interactions between the characters are very genuine, have meaning and all the more important once the ending is revealed. They are also superbly acted, with David Allen an obvious stand out. Everything he does adds such credibility to the character. The cinematography was beautiful, the editing superb and the match-cut as mentioned everywhere, perfectly executed. Sound at times may have been the only weak point.

"The Intervention" wins with me because it is the one film I've seen this year that has kept me intrigued and thinking about it later. I really want to know what happened next with this. I hope it gets picked up for the National final.

A young man offers to pick up his girlfriend's younger brother and get him to the restaurant on time. Trouble happens...

This short was a lot of fun, mostly well-filmed and edited with some convincing performances from the majority of the cast. However, there were some odd choices as well though. I didn't quite buy in to the relationship between the young man/woman who still (I know, I know these guys are all 17/18) seemed a bit to young for the situation portrayed. I therefore also felt (spoiler alert) that the two young men were then too similar in age. The creepy guy in the car (a dead ringer for a young Brad Dourif) was also a little young for that role again due to the youth of the two leads. And with our lead dressing Steve McQueen/Tarantino gangster style, I couldn't help but wonder, why? These sort of things always pull me out of the story. That said, the situations the lads found themselves in were creative and comedic and went down really well with the finals audience. My only quibble is that perhaps there were too many of these situations and as they lacked depth of experience the bonding of the characters into best buds at the end wasn't overly convincing for me.

As usual a good effort from Pigs Guts who remain darlings of the 48 in CHCH.

A guy is lured into chasing a loaf of bread by a couple of local-yokel hunters.

I liked the simplicity of this, the long take, the match cuts and some of the banter between the hunters. More of skit then anything else though and only loosely "Cat and Mouse" (as indicated on the title screen). I understand how this film made the CHCH finals but I'm sure I've seen better films this year that missed out. Well done to the film-makers though, you had fun and made the film you wanted to make, which has my respect!

Finding herself the last person on earth, Harper embarks on a journey with her trusty cellphone in search of...(bread?) (people?) (a working ISP?)

I immediately had a lot of questions: What had actually happened to everyone? Why was she left? Why, if the bodies were so smelly, did they not look in any way decomposed? How were the shots of London & Paris relevant? Who is she narrating the story to, that she begins to tell? Was everything occurring over one day or several? (passage of time was probably achieved through costume changes I guess) Admittedly, some of these things may be answered after a second watch but I was largely confused by what I was seeing! I was also confused by the turn the film takes: 80% is a comedy about an oblivious bimbo but it then takes a rather awkward turn when the quite serious and prolonged rescue scene occurs. I guess the aftermath of this is the change in her character but as other reviewers have suggested, this is actually the point where the film gets interesting...and then it ends.

Technically pretty sound overall, the lead played her part very well but there was little in the way of a story to really engage with here as Harper was unlikable throughout, she did very little and the only other character of note was introduced way to late in the film to be interesting. Made the CHCH finals though so made a good impression with the judging team. Well done!

We follow Harper Harrison, MP on the campaign trail as he gets a first hand look at the issues with state housing.

I think this two person team did a good job with the genre and the thoughtlessness trait of Harper. There were some nice touches of humour, specifically Nana and the Rainbow pony! In general, I felt it lacked a bit of pace and probably could have been a lot shorter. Perhaps too, instead of the mockumentary style in parts a more interesting story could have been generated through the relationship between the characters - eg: things could have turned rather dark at the house. Some nice camerawork at times, sound was good (apart from a little bit of wind noise on the mic) and did you use a drone for the overhead shot? Nice, but probably unnecessary!

Look like you had a heap of fun. Well done!

I'm a bit of conflicted by this short. On the one hand it's a fairly predictable story that has a rather vanilla feel to it. I cared little for the characters or the situation they were in. On the other hand, because it plays it pretty safe and due to the technical side of the film being well-executed I find it difficult to be overly critical and to be honest I quite enjoyed watching. I also didn't mind the swearing nor the seemingly youthfulness of the mother until I really thought about it. Just didn't notice the first time through!

So, a solid film. Not overly inspiring or engaging but well worth a watch.

A man hears a voice in his head which leads him to carry out certain acts. (I think!)

I've watched this a few times and just when I think I've got it...I get confused again! Love the start, love the tunnel shots and the overall creepy feel that this short has. I too think the hearing of voices was very well thought-through.
An enjoyable short with high replay value due to the number of questions it raises. Team comment please!

A couple of mafia thugs see an opportunity to impress the boss by getting to the bottom of some missing coke.

This had reasonable acting from the leads and some good humour mixed in with what was a very dialogue heavy short. Yes, the age-appropriateness of your cast is a major distraction; you have so many stories you could tell - why do an adult one? You could have done a very similar situation using teen characters. It's also a distraction when someone like me recognizes your location and then tries to imagine the plausibility of your story/characters within that world. I agree, you did a great job with the genre and it's not easy to pull off an effective black comedy. So, well done!

A pair of teens have a falling out during a cooking audition for a food society but are forced to reunite when challenged to make a difficult dessert.

So, this was a good idea for this genre; something a bit different. I enjoyed the performance of the master chef probably the most out of everything. The story itself was a real talk-fest through the middle and as such, I zoned out a bit. More show; less tell or even just tighten the edit up. What could you have cut that didn't aid the story? Invest in a tripod too!

Plenty of potential here and I'm sure you'll be back strong next year.

Rocket Boy always make interesting shorts for this competition and they've done so once again! Looked and sounded pretty sharp, there were nice touches of humour and I was kept interested in terms of where our lead was going to end up next. This last point was crucial as really not a hell of a lot happens story-wise and we are given little clue as to why he's going the places he ends up. It's of little real concern though as they've obviously achieved everything they wanted to, producing a film that's easy to watch and enjoy.

Well done!

While this team did pretty well with the genre and managed some nice touches of humour, I felt this film lacked a bit of pace and should have been wrapped up sooner. Pacing certainly wasn't helped by some of the long takes in the garden during the sermon, and the whole shot selection here was rather repetitive. The "getting kicked out" montage worked pretty well but it sounded like she was being thrown on to mat! I too wondered why her son just disappeared from the story with little concern on her part and if, on so many occasions, she had little difficulty getting into Hopeful Gardens, why did the locked gate stump her? Did give an opportunity for that Star Wars homage as mentioned above, I suppose! Quite a grim ending too, which I suppose is OK!
Well done!

A woman breaks into her neighbour's house, using it to host a date.

Some great acting in this from the lead which really carried the whole film. I enjoyed the anxiety on display, resulting from one tricky situation after another. I enjoyed the use of silence in this film and there were some genuinely funny moments. It did wrap up very quick after a lot of build-up, which was a bit of a let down.

Great to see you back again, Olax and I was pleasantly surprised to see Kate involved!

An office stamp repeatedly sends a woman into an alternate dimension where she is met by a collection of friendly characters.

This looked nice, had good sound, was well acted and it was tied together with a feel good soundtrack. The match cut was also well used and great to see your variety of locations. For me, it did all get a bit repetitive though with the same shot used over and over prior to the dimension shift. The ending was left ambiguous, which I don't mind, but it doesn't always sit well with audiences.

Nice job!

An opening title card explains that the world has growing intestinal issues...we see the horror play out.

I'm assuming this was actually a movie trailer? That's certainly the feel I got when the action starting jumping around and with the constant titles on the screen as well as the rising tempo towards the end. There were plenty of funny moments with extreme over-reactions from the cast which again ties in, for me, to a B-movie trailer. As such, this short was crying out for a movie trailer voice-over and it could have been cut down to about 2:30, a standard trailer length, as it got a little repetitive. The shock ending was well-played and again, an amusing touch!

Nice work.

A young couple finally give in to their forbidden urges.

Yeah, I don't know where to start with this...one of those films I don't want to watch but can't tear my eyes away from! Anyway, I enjoyed some of the great comic timing and well-written dialogue that was delivered in places. The "Ghost" tribute was pretty funny as was the priest scene. I agree with Rowan Strang that you did a great thing with the Rom Com genre - it can be so awful but you certainly put a clever twist on it. As far as the tech goes, some of your shots were unnecessarily wide, especially during the first scene on the couch. I would have liked to see the actors in a tight two shot. Also clean your damn lens!

Funny, inappropriate, unsettling. I liked it!

Teens start disappearing. Who is responsible and who will be next?!

Led by the people behind Swixer ("Threeish girls from Christchurch, who eat cream off each other for views" - check out YouTube ), this was, in general, a fun film. The tension music worked well, it was well cast (especially the evil mum!) and the neck wound was great! Some of the shots were unfortunately overexposed and others lingered a bit too long on nothing, so a tighter edit is something to work on. You also could have done with a tripod at times!

You followed the genre well and even though your story had some significant plot holes it was, as mentioned, good fun! It sounds like it was well received by the audience.

Great to see you in the competition and I look forward to more of your film-making exploits!

An all-girl band experience a few ups and downs as they prepare for an audition.

Is it really five years since Princess Zoe Films made the CHCH final with "Whole Wide World"? Man, I'm feeling old...

Fart Chicken Productions (great name btw) obviously had a good time with their musical and great to see all the shared credit. I really liked the song in the finale and the freeze-frame ending! Nice work!

A scientist's cyborg creation is on the loose.

As mentioned in other reviews this was a very similar style to their madcap 2014 film "One Man Army". Guns, shooting, people falling, over-the-top characters and action. Some nice looking shots - I really loved the doll sinking into the water. I too feel that the story gets a little lost in the action but as long as you're having fun and making the films you want to make then it's all good!

Where do you get all those wonderful toys?

This has a pretty cool opening montage and nice use of the match cut. Overall it was nicely shot and the tracking shots were well-executed. Not that much of a story here though as there was only minor interaction between the characters and as a result I cared little for them. I agree that it was perhaps a touch too long given the lack of action or variety in the narrative. As others have mentioned, the shock-ending was rather predictable.

Good work though, gents.

An old looking newsreel explains how a scientist was driven insane by a failed experiment that caused him to body-swap with his lab assistant. Back in the present day a young couple meet for an innocent cup of coffee.

This was very nice looking, with a number of scenes shot with some very smooth camera movement. My only real criticism is that really, not a lot happens and when the body-swap occurs the reactions to it have a very typical feel about it. I guess though, that's about all you can do with a gender body-swap. Good comical performances from the cast and some great locations used.

Well done!

A man is mistakenly attacked in his home by a hit-woman.

This was short and relatively to the point - with a fight scene filling the majority of the narrative. This was pretty well choreographed but I couldn't help thinking that the whole thing needed to be bigger - bigger action, bigger sound-fx and it was crying out for some big action music to add a bit of energy to it all. I wasn't convinced by the slow-motion bits as again it slowed the energy of the fight. The lead demonstrated some fine facial reactions especially when being choked! Dialogue was minimal, which was actually good considering the ADR was a bit poor. I did enjoy the twist ending!

Nice job!

A guy is stalked by a possessed toaster and the toast it makes...lots of toast.

Pretty interesting/wacky concept. Some nice looking shots, especially the overhead one in the bathroom - reminded me a bit of American Beauty but with toast. Acting got better when there was no dialogue - the "I'm going to be late for work" at the start really could have been avoided by showing him rushing rather than telling us this - no one says this out loud in that way! Not particularly scary at all and even for a comedy horror there was a distinct lack of tension.

Good effort, enjoyable and it's great to see Vatican Daycare competing post-school.

An American astronaut and Soviet Cosmonaut buddy up on the moon.

Hard not to like this well-animated, nicely voiced, feel-good story. I love the lingering body contact just after the golf swing. Nice touch!

Great stuff - I hope you get an animation nomination.

A young woman hears the voice of God during her lunch break. He has plans for her.

I loved Une's 2014 film, with it's single shot and well executed story line. It was a refreshing change and the minimalist approach is one I enjoy. "Dangerous Interchange" uses the same style of film-making and I think it's just as successful. To be honest, I did get a little bored during the voice-over the first time through but all was forgiven as I loved, loved, loved the ending - like "Ballsed Up" it just makes me laugh.

Great stuff again.

A couple of teen lads attend a party which becomes problematic when a drunken confession is made.

This opens nicely with a couple of stunning sunrise shots as our lead wakes from his sleep in the back of a yellow mini. We then flashback to the events of the day before and this is where a few issues start. While the shots are crisp and clean the acting and dialogue are terrible - very unnatural sounding! After arriving at the party in broad daylight suddenly it is late night with no evidence of time having passed. Direction is clearly heard at the pool table scene and we lurch drunkenly along waiting for the altercation to happen. It's all pretty low key but leads into a car chase (although I thought the driver couldn't drive?) which starts off pretty well but then becomes the slowest car chase ever! This short could have done with a tighter edit and more should have been made about the relationship between the two buddies. You should have stayed at the party and really ramped up the tension there. As an aside, you used the same music as my team during your party scene which I found interesting!

Nice looking, just let down by a weak story. See you next year.

A guy goes about his day(s). Eventually he is mistaken for a yoga instructor which later has further consequences when he is kidnapped by an angry husband.

As others have said this really didn't get started until the kidnapping which was well handled. The establishing shot just after that was awesome! So the whole film could have been why shorter and with more of the aussie husband and wife this would have had either serious comedic effect or gone really dark if you'd chosen that path. Opportunity lost! A bug-ear of mine is wind noise on the microphone in scenes where their is no dialogue and the audio track could have been removed and replaced with an ambient track. Do this! One question I had was who has an office door plague that is white A4 paper with ariel font. Funny!

See you next year!

Two guys toss a ball to each other. A bee buzzes. One of the guys is transported to a forest. Odd fantasy characters emerge. Fighting and stuff happens. Much walking around is done.

I'm sure a story was in there somewhere but it all got rather tedious. The sound issues were not your fault but I doubt your witty dialogue would have saved this story anyway. Fight scenes were well managed but not really a black comedy in my experience.

See you next year!

This kicks off as a vlog with a guy with celiac disease who wishes to record his experiences after eating bread. As an audience we get transported into his trippy mind/alternate reality.

CRAB CRAB CRAB have a certain style to them. They make great looking shorts, with a lot of technical skill that have a typical weirdness/surrealism to them. This short is no different with a great variety of shots, angles movement, music and motion effects. Colour grading is used effectively and characters like Bread Man give this film a real edge. However, it was absolutely a case of rinse and repeat. I get that we were to be part of his dissent into madness but by the third trip I'd seen enough of the same thing.

Possible finalist for sure, so well done.

CHCH final viewing: Played very strong at the final and was a stand-out as it had a real point-of-difference. Unlucky not to pick up a few more awards. Outside chance to by picked up at Nats.

After getting caught up in a homicide at a club/party an eclectic group of characters (mostly in fancy dress) are questioned on their involvement by a police detective.

This started off largely found footage/POV style before spending the remainder of the time in the confines of an interview room,with flashbacks inserted here and there. All were nicely filmed, with clear audio throughout. While there were some funny moments, with all the puns, one-liners and odd shock moment (girl & chicken) it all went on too long and the distinct lack of variety and clear story left me feeling a bit ho-hum. Certainly re-watchable so well done!

A same sex couple are having a baby. The pregnant partner is rather demanding and miking it for all she is worth much to the annoyance of her partner and other family members. Fortunately there is a shake on the market that can induce labour. A plan is hatched...

Plenty of funny moments in this coupled with plenty of tedious ones. Camera, audio, editing all generally sound. The birth scene went down well as they always do - but I just didn't understand why the new born was a fully-grown middle-aged man. How the hell did he come out?

See you back next year COA!

A verbally abusive police detective comes home to his adoring and hopeful wife. It's their anniversary and she begs him not to return to work. A noise upstairs serves to delay his departure.

Cat House FIlms love their two character and dialogue heavy shorts that play to their greatest strength - their actors. Their 2015 effort is a noir inspired story with great costuming and use of make-up. In an effort to get the time period accurate it seemed like you removed everything from your dining room set leaving a very sparse looking room which I found distracting! The colour grade was a bit sickly - I think this film would have been awesome in black and white or tweaking the contrast up Wes Anderson or Jamie Travis style. I loved the initial shot up the stairs and thought we were really going places but it all fell a bit flat. Amusing moment was the locked door that opens as your lead was banging on it!

See you next year!

So, a man gets ready for his day...really slowly...quite OCD about brushing his death. Parallel stories running? Me, confused.

Like others I'll need to see this again (or read a team comment) to really know what was going on i nthe story. On the tech side there were some weird jump cuts, a lot of brushing teeth over black screens and wind noise over scenes that had no dialogue and therefore could have had the audio track taken out and replaced by music.


So, I guy gets ready for his day, lots of bread shots. He goes to school and runs into a conflict between two girls. Soon after a body turns up and suspicion falls on one of the girls.

Seen "Brick" lately? It seems this, in part, was an attempt to follow the lead of that awesome film. The positives, their were some nice shots, the chase was good, some effective acting and the credit sequence was very cute. The downsides; not really a clear enough story, (a big question I had was why no-one called the cops?) the music drowned out the dialogue and the audio itself was inconsistent. A couple of unintended funny bits: the body moving a little and the match dissolve where our lead clearly breaks the fourth wall! A twist in the tail caused some laughs and rightly so!

See you next year!

A guy, the last man on earth, has a pretty solid campsite set up for himself. He has food, shelter, fire and a supply of water. However, he is not alone.

Some solid filming in this and excellent make-up. The broken-leg effect is award winning! I agree with other reviewers that the music at the start was irritating and distracting. I think in setting the unsettling feel of isolation you ditch music and either record or drop in a very sparse natural ambiance. Silence is bloody scary! It also wrapped up pretty quick and became a bit of a punch-line film.

Solid effort though at a tricky genre.

Two buds drive into the woods and have a bit of lunch. Soon the real reason they are there is uncovered and they have to make some life and death decisions.

Black Banner made the finals last year and are a committed, enthusiastic and creative team. As is there style, this short had plenty of comedy and dialogue to showcase their acting talent. The story was one that has been done over and over, and the ending was expected but they did manage to build a degree of tension albeit comedic. Technically it was solid with some clever fraign of shots and a good match dissolve. The beginning and end were clearly overexposed and I think you wasted a lot of time having the car drive so slowly up at the start.

Another good effort from Black Banner. I gave it a share of my audience vote as I enjoyed it and have the backs of some of my former students.

In rockumentary style this is the story of the break-up of the minimally successful band, Lost & Collected.

Although they were overdone, the close-ups of guitars, equipment and other rock band stuff looked great. Stills were used well with Ken Burns effects deployed with good results. The doco structure was followed with all the typical conventions you'd expect. However, the story really didn't progress as it should and the film lacked any real punch. The conflict I think with this genre is do you play it straight or go for comedy. Most choose the latter as did the team here (I think) but you really have to sustain it and not launch into the absurd. A distraction during the interview scenes was the booming voice of the interviewer which had obviously been recorded in post, and seemed tacked on. Better to not have an interviewer at all, and let your subjects tell the story.

A regular CHCH participant so good to see you in again!

A young woman confesses to her man that in fact, she may be in love with someone else. The perils of a competing love triangle are explored.

This was a pretty polished production as usual from Alterium. Good audio, visuals and music. The acting was superb and it was nicely edited - the match-cut was a winner. Did I hear the camera slider in one bit though? Some funny moments that were well executed; most notably the knock-out and the duel sequence. I too struggled with placing the time period for this and I guess, if you were attemptingWes Anderson, then you didn't quite nail it.

Likely to be seen again in the finals.

No film submitted!

A teen wakes up naked in the woods. As he works his way out he hears the voice of God who explains he has reset the earth and the teen is the new Adam.

This was a good take on the genre with some clever camera work during his naked sequence. Nice touches of humour throughout too. The audio was poor though with the sound often dropping out. The dialogue was lame at times and there was far too much walking around in the story. The biggest crime was the amount of direction heard - oh noes! Unforgivable!

See you next year!

A teen girl gets a letter from her penpal - it's very, very, very long. We cut to the beach suddenly. The girl's book gets stolen and she gives chase. Audience gets lost. There's a bread party to wrap things up for some reason.

This looked pretty good in parts - nice boot shot, beach shot at the end but these did little to save the film. Unfortunately you decided to use the same music in your intro in your actual film & as this music played a lot it really began to grate. Likewise, your intro featured your obvious love of stop-motion. Then you started your film with stop-motion but for what purpose? It did nothing for your story-telling; narrative or visual. The audio was poor in places, the dialogue tedious and there was clearly direction heard in a couple of parts. While highly amusing for the audience, this is unforgivable!

You set the bar high for yourself in 2014 so better luck next year.

In this narrated story, Harper's normal routine is interrupted by a mysterious letter. He goes in search of the sender.

Nice use of close-ups in this, well-scripted and good humour. The editing was nicely controlled for the most part but time did drag a little - when you reflect consider what could have been cut. The audio was pretty poor during the dialogue scenes often drowned out by wind. In addition there was camera & tripod noise on occasions which again took the shine off what is quite a sweet short.

See you next year!

A teen girl has her sandwich stolen so she goes to get help from a couple of bumbling amateur detectives.

Really, this was a ridiculous situation to base a story on but their were some funny moments - the idiotic detectives and the artist impression in particular. The chemistry between the two detectives was well-played and I felt the girl's frustration with them! A lot of the dialogue did get rather tedious as did some of the long, long takes which didn't achieve their purpose in visual story-telling.

See you next year!

This mockumentary tells the story of a couple of sets of identical (loosely) conjoined twins.

Dolphin won a lot fans with their zany 2014 film on the perils of internet dating - that film's appeal came largely due to the leads quirky style. This film brought a similar comedic style and equally ridiculous story-line. The humour worked well (see-saw in particular) but imagine how you could have told this story without resorting to a mockumentary, which in my opinion doesn't really lend itself to the buddy genre. The audio was a bit messy in parts and their was a sameness to a lot of the camerawork.

The audience enjoyed it though and it won their vote, so well done!

A teen gets questioned by a detective about some stolen goods. She's sassy and not going to get pinned down. Just so happens that she can travel through different dimensions, however, as is revealed, she does't have the control over this as she may think.

Quite an ambitious story-line that you had to really concentrate on. The acting was good and I liked your casual use of the prop. Age-appropriate casting is so important in order to give your film credibility - your detective was too young. If you don't have access to adults the neither don't write them or think of creative ways to solve that issue. So much you can do! The audio levels were variable and the music became rather tedious as it went on & on. Get better at your dialogue heavy scenes as a your character eye-lines didn't match - gets really distracting for the audience. Make-up was great!

See you next year!

A trio of flatmates settle in for a DVD evening of scary movies. While watching the film "Sophie" shit gets real.

This was also one of the more impressive and polished efforts in this school heat. There were some impressive scenes - the hallway, jump cut sequence in particular. The acting was good and Sophie was suitably spooky in her delivery. I'm so happy that you used your teen cast to tell the story and didn't try to do anything with adult roles. The audio was a let of a let down with a lot of hiss - get a decent mic! Your ending was a little odd too, not sure why she was at the window?

Make sure you enter again next year!

An awkward young scientist finds confidence after creating a drug (suspiciously looking like an orange Tic-tac) that increases his ability to work at super speed & clarity and in turn helps him impress a young woman.

Without a doubt, this was the most polished film in the heat, with a wide variety of shots, tight editing and nice use of colour. The match cut was effective as were a lot of the transitions. Some of the audio felt a bit distant at times and that unmistakable wind through the microphone distracted on one or two occasions. Dougal Frame did a great job in the lead role and I'm so happy that you cast age appropriate and told a story that suited your cast. Your render issue was barely noticed.

Great job!

An Ebola outbreak, carried though wheat & grains, makes people crazy. Oh, there's also a teleporting toilet.

The music was good, the sound OK and there was a cool but overly long opening shot. Really, there wasn't much story here at all and in the future you need to look at your casting. Kids reading the prime-time news? Why?!? If you can't get adult actors then problem-solve a solution that doesn't affect the credibility of your short. My highlight? The mother looked like Josh Thomson from thedownlowconcept! Awesome!

An old folk law is recited causing a few evil characters to stalk the land, and one girl in particular.

This had some good humour and effective POV shots. The story, however, was all over the place, the audio variable and wind noise diminished the quality of the dialogue. While your opening credit sequence was effective, I'm not convinced though that in a film of this length you actually need such a lengthy title sequence. you really need to get the story moving.

Shot POV, a friend/brother follows his friend/brother around with a camera. They meet some other dudes and decide to make a prank video. Things go wrong...

This was good fun and had a well-played ending which did get a reaction from the young audience at the School's heat. The found-footage look worked OK, but if you're going to do it you need to think about everything that makes FF look legitimate - and those things are always well-planned. It looked a little like you felt you'd just swing the camera around.Audio was an issue - a microphone helps. And, even though it's FF you can eliminate some unnecessary wind noise especially in scenes that don't have any dialogue! Cut the audio from that bit and drop something else in!

See you next year.

Harper is a little dim and doesn't have a clue, despite VERY in-your-face hints, that the boy she is in love with prefers other boys.

One or two good moments in this as you tried to get your story moving. The split screen was amusing and I enjoyed the bread-eating montage. The audio levels were not so flash however, the dialogue was often painful, shots were overexposed and there were some pretty rough edits. So, the tech side is a definite work-on for this team but you have the promise to actually tell a story pitched at your audience. The gay comments were 100% overdone...we got it. Less would have been definitely more in this case.

Well done!

Guy meets girl; she's a bit of an internet sensation, YOLO Sway 69. Through song they try and hook up.

This had good touches of humour and some great singing. The last song, "If Only" was quite beautiful. However, there were obvious syncing issues, a sameness about the music and by using the single location and technique of cutting back and forth or circling the actors with the camera it all became a bit repetitive. Also, couldn't you have a found a actress? He did a fair job but if you're going to go ahead with a story you need to get your cast right or do something else!

Musical is something different; well done for not bailing or doing one of the softer options! (when I drew Musical there was no back-up choice, things were tougher in the old days)

MR MKB sums the plot up perfectly so I won't repeat.

This short looked really nice, was well acted and its bitter-sweet little story hit the spot with the audience. Such a shame that the audio was a bit blown out and therefore some of the dialogue was hard to understand. Some of it looked ADR'd as well which was out of sync. Easily done! The imaginary friend part was well filmed and edited - clever stuff!

Good humour and a pretty complete narrative. Well done!

Harper is the subject of a mockumentary about his bizarre sleep-bathing condition.

The documentary structure was followed nicely in this and there were some clever touches of humour. I too struggled with the age-appropriateness of the casting and was the lead really only 17? Maybe! Some of the shot selection could have been more interesting and the voice-over boomed a bit loud - perhaps too much bass. Great use of the line and the reveal at the end was well-worked.

As an aside, your team name forced me to watch TGA's "The Wham! Initiative" from 2012, in particular their song "Love Swamp".

Harper is a thoughtless jerk who finds himself, through the eating of bread, in another dimension. Will he learn his lesson?

Awesome to read that you filmed this on a phone! I love teams who use what they've got in terms of equipment to the best of their abilities. This short was well-acted and you've managed to include a degree of meaning within your story-line. As other reviewers have mentioned there was a lot of "tell" in this - unless intentional, make sure your dialogue doesn't do this! This isn't the first film this year to use the prop as a transportation device to another dimension and you handled those shifts in dimension simply, but effectively. A bit of shaky cam and wind noise detracted at times but this was an enjoyable short! Well done!

And yes, Rowan is spot on, a definite contender for "Incredibly Strange"!!

A young couple (brother & sis?) sell bread outside their house and keep an interested eye on those who walk by.

This was well acted, delivered some thoughtful camerawork and an excellent match-cut that worked perfectly! There was some bad attempt at ADR and a lot of wind noise making some dialogue hard to hear. Some of the dialogue heavy scenes become a little tedious too and overall I felt there was a lack of atmosphere. The shock ending worked well though which was well-received by the audience. Lots of potential on display with this team. Well done!

A mockumentary about a pair of competing secret agent/assassin types.

Technically one of the weaker films in the heat with quite a few out of focus shots. Some good acting though and a clever way to handle the Cat and Mouse genre without simply doing a chase film. To be honest the film is a bit of a blur so I look foward to seeing it in the screening room and updating this review.

When a man's sketch of a woman he fancies comes alive, she attempts to give him the confidence to ask her real self out on a date.

The great thing about The Gentleman's Agreement is that apart from their team logo (never change that!) they're not afraid to try out new things during the 48. Year to year they always change it up! Their challenge this year was to bring a paper drawing to life and they mostly succeeded. A number of Rom-com tropes were evident, most noticeably the ladies man friend who provided a number of funny, well-timed moments. The sketch effect itself was pretty well done, even if I did find the line down the nose distracting. The effect was missing on a couple of occasions however, especially from behind as I remember. A sweet story that did take a long time getting anywhere. I suppose by having the paper girl we didn't need to see the interaction with the real one as we already knew enough and what her reaction to him might be. So well played.

Overall, another strong TGA effort!

An at first unseen object from a broken rubbish bag is the catalyst for a critical moment in a young couple's relationship.

So, this is very cool idea that has been executed pretty well. Showing the effect before the cause is something I personally love to see in films. Initially the slo-mo reverse effect really intrigued the audience and held our attention. However, the longer it went the more tedious it unfortunately became and I just wanted to get to the point. Acting was good, it looked & sounded good and at the ending a lot of audience had a big "Ah-ha" moment. I can't help but wonder where the mystery was with this story though. Certainly the audience were somewhat in the dark due to the visuals but within the actual story and with the characters there was no actual mystery. If your genre had been Drama, you would have nailed it.

A popular film within the heat and it could easily be part of the finals, so well done! Finally, welcome Dystography Studios to the regular awesomeness of "CHCH Heat 3" from your previous battles as SpeakerDip in the typically high-powered final heat from this region!

As mentioned above, a man struggling with erectile dysfunction seeks help through "Hard X", a scientifically produced remedy. An accident with storage of the product gives it a life of its own.

The Eh Team have produced another strong technical effort here, making a slick looking short. Photography, grading, sound, editing; tick, tick, tick, tick. The match dissolve was awesome and the make-up/effects used for Hard-X were impressive. As you'd expect too, the acting from the leads was top drawer. This is, of course, a great strength of The Eh Team and fortunate in this case as the story itself wasn't especially engaging - really not a a lot happens. I felt that one scene in particular was largely irrelevant in progressing the plot. I agree too with MR MKB above that we didn't have much in the way of empathy for the main character. Hard-X as a mentor was an interesting twist and there were some funny moments provided at the end as a result.

Bound to be a finalist so I look forward to seeing it again!

CHCH FINAL comment: I enjoyed this a lot more after a second viewing and it was unlucky not to place in the top two. Strong contender for the National Final despite this. I mentioned this above but Dan Bain is superb in this short.

A rockumentary covering the break-up of the rock (literally) band, Obsidian.

Drakonian are back for another year and have produced a pun-laden to the extreme doco about a fictitious about a rock band told through interviews with the band (all rocks) and other inanimate objects such as jelly, rubic cubes...anything! The documentary structure was followed nicely, the script was well-written and the voice acting was good. I enjoyed some of the celebrity characters and "Inanimate Objects Got Talent" was a clever touch. I felt there was too much tell (even for a documentary) and we heard a lot about their music but saw/heard very few examples of it. The cutting between interviews and the puns fired ad nauseam also started to grate a little after seeing it time and time again.

Cute, competently delivered and the audience enjoyed it so I guess you, well, rocked it!

Told mostly from the viewpoint of an articulate goat, we're bombarded visually & aurally with the message that eating animals is, perhaps, not in their best interests.

Team Fireworks 2 are to the, best of my knowledge, a family team who produce low-budget, low-tech, audience pleasing shorts; charming viewers who appreciate that they are low-budget and low-tech - the old-fashioned 48HR spirit. With "Here Little Piggy Piggy" we have more of the same; random, harsh cuts, lots of black screen with overlaying dialogue, a lack of continuity or any real story and long scenes, most notably of a farmer eating bacon. The highlight was the unexpected revelation at the end which was perfectly delivered by the voice-over.

Again it has it's charm and the audience whooped it up but it just didn't do it for me at all.

Note: The category is "Incredibly Strange". This might have a place there but many of those films are actually good quality and have a story; as bizarre as it may be!

On a webcam or other personal recording device, a young woman explains that God has removed all sinners from Earth, with only the righteous left behind. Much to her dismay, she discovers that she is the only one!

Dragon V Mouse have also been in the comp a number of years, and also made the CHCH final in 2014. This short was well-received by the audience and much of success is down to the lead, Jess Lockie, who again plays it up in front of camera. Nice use of dissolves, a good match-cut, use of prop and the music worked well. There was a lot of talking to the camera though (as there was a lot of talking to Mr. Bearly in 2014) which gave it a bit of "seen this before" and also I felt the pacing at times was a bit slow. You were clever in how you approached the required emptiness of this genre by minimalising external scenes.

A good story, well-played that the audience seemed to enjoy. Finals bound...just maybe.

The disgruntled old lady next door offers a piece- offering to her thoughtless neighbour - a basket of lovely, home baked gingerbread men. But they're evil, I tells ya!

Domino were a finalist in 2014 and have been entering the comp for awhile now, producing good looking, well-edited, polished shorts. "Self-rising" is another example of this with a quirky, albeit ridiculous, story-line that is well delivered by the small, familiar looking cast. For me, the pace was a bit slow and the arrival of the home inspector didn't add the tension I'd expected, for the situation that was eventuating. That said, he was a amusing minor character, who was well-played. Technically solid, although the camera did shake a bit at one point when the actors walked past. Comedy horror genre; nailed.
I do, however, I did get a feeling of sameness with this film - Domino have created an almost episodic nature to their efforts by using the same location, actors and in a way, quirky "ding-dong it's the door with another problem situation" story-line for the last few years. Obviously playing to your strengths but time to branch out?

Finals bound again....just maybe. I pretty sure I gave you my audience vote!

Two men who are somewhat limited in the art of romance, debate their plan of action for asking a woman out.

This is a funny, light-hearted short with plenty of well thought-through moments. The breaking of the fourth wall works and things build up nicely to the twist ending. The acting was sound, with the leads generating a good chemistry, even if some of the dialogue they had to work with was somewhat lifeless. Liked the music and visually there was some good use of the camera. In a few scenes the audio struggled with dialogue seemingly overpowered by background noise.

A fun, enjoyable short!

Ringtone artist Erroll takes revenge against his lying boss.

This is a very impressive looking film, with strong performances driving a quirky, engaging story. The descent into madness sequence is brilliant and makes great use of a very cool location. I did feel that the actual revenge was a bit of a letdown, although I guess it was the best the character could be expected to do. The film wraps up a bit too quickly for my liking too.

Quirky, enjoyable and polished. Well done!

A man sets up a series of increasingly complicated alarm clocks to ensure he doesn't keep turning up late to work.

This is non-dialogue short was cleverly put together to create an engaging albeit simple story. There were a few stunning looking shots and the use of close-ups was perfect for the story being told. The music did get a bit tedious but again, suited the story.


An 80s video game and a comfy chair, work the late shift at the local (but isolated) gas station and deal with the eclectic group of characters that frequent their workplace.

Yeah, this is outstanding. Wonderful animation, great story, superb voice work and such an awesome cast of characters. The Road Cone is seriously the best villain I've seen in an animated film since Feathers McGraw. Morgan is the perfect mix of cute and creepy, Techno Douche is hilarious, and Kevin and Eddie are an excellent double act. The Teapot was the only character I didn't like and well that worked out well for me!

I've watched this so many times it's insane! Amazing stuff, Mukpuddy!

When a woman is told by her doctor that she only has 24 hours to get pregnant or lose the opportunity forever, she resorts to some desperate measures.

This was pretty good really. Some clever, engaging camerawork and editing, great use of locations and some really convincing acting from the lead. There was some good use of foreshadowing, good music and only the sound had some inconsistency. Plenty of discussion above. In regards to the mix of comedy and drama, I would have preferred that they had played this one straight as the rather gross out humour scenes cheapened the work being done by the lead actress. Too rapey? I don't think so. More a warning of how some people seek to manipulate their positions. I certainly don't think any of it was justifying any of the characters actions - including the leads. Failed in it's duty of care? Again I don't think this should be a consideration for teams in his competition - "Will we offend a young team?" should never be part of your planning. Will we get disqualified due to content - defiantly.

Anyway, I enjoyed this, it was imaginative and well-deserving of being an Auckland finalist.

An Angel of Death convinces a young boy to help her get revenge against bad people so that she can increase her power.

I've been a big fan of this team as they consistently turn out entertaining, bad-taste, shock-comedies: What would Bogan do?; Poultry Pounder 3; DeVito, Pube in the Butter, Dead Market, I'm a Horse. All delightfully mad, unashamedly low-budget and never, ever fall into the trap of going on too long. "Your Ball Sux" is of course no different. Typically acted and prone to go off in unexpected directions, this film also has some really nice touches. The coffin scene is cool and the drop into the spirit world really cool! I probably would have been happy for everything to occur there but the rest of the story then launches into a series of gruesome kills. Perhaps not the strongest of stories or endings but this doesn't hinder the enjoyment factor. As mentioned by other reviewers, perhaps the boy got into the coffin too easily, but kids do managed to do dumb things. Anyway, who cares!

If you haven't before, check out their other films and "Choose rock!"

A couple of teens have a farting challenge with dire consequences.

This short has been described as an extended fart joke and really, that's pretty accurate. Technically, it's adequate - there are some harsh cuts and variable sound levels at times. Even though the effects are pretty cheesy, they do work for the kind of film that was made. The teacher's performance was probably the highlight and I think more could have been about his descent into madness. Another example of a school film, set in a school, during a school day with no students! A class of three? Love to teach there!

Well done on making the Wellington final.

Note: Bit of shame given this a Wellington finalist that I'm the first to review it!

Our lead battles a giant, mystical testicle which controls his life and ironically causes him a lack of control!

Interesting, gross, sometimes funny, nicely acted and some cool effects. Looked and sounded pretty good throughout. Obviously suited the fantasy genre and the immature nature of the story was, I guess, exactly what you hoped to achieve. Personally not my thing as a I grow weary of dick/ball/ejaculation humour.

Nice job on making the Auckland finals.

When Annie's wanker of an older brother tells her that she "Can't do anything", she sets out to prove him wrong by swimming around the world.

I think the earlier reviews are right in suggesting that this team really nailed the children's' TV feel of this film. A lot of work went in to the sets and some good planning too with some of the peripheral action that goes on. Good performances from the cast, an entertaining story (albeit may have gone a touch long) and a nice twist in the tail.

A real feel good film. Well done!

A rugged neighbour looks set to break the rhythm of a really happy threesome who have been living harmoniously in a polygamous relationship.

Hybrid have had a pretty good record in the Auckland leg of this competition, obviously culminating in their PJ Wildcard selection in 2013. Their shorts are always professional, well thought through and they're not afraid to push boundaries. And this is why I'm a little disappointed with "Polyphony" - and I've watched it three times just to be sure! The songs have some good lyrics, they're sustained throughout and while they are used to drive the story forward, I felt there was a real sameness to them and as result, an already meandering pace of the film seems to drag even more. The singing is OK, but apart from one scene when a note is really, really belted it, there again seems to be a lack of energy and entertainment factor that is required to really nail the genre. The cast (rich resources there) certainly do their best and seem to have fun with the story, even if swinger/polygamy/multiple partner yarns are common place in the competition.

Maybe it's just the screening room and in the theatre this really played well but for me "Polyphony" just seems to fall a little flat and just didn't carry me along for the ride, which I personally demand from a musical. Auckland finalist though, so that's all that really matters!

A guy on the way to an engagement/wedding finds it difficult to let it go when needing the urinal.

This looked nice and sharp, with plenty of visual variety on show. Some of the cut-away scenes (especially of the bridesmaid) reminded me of Jamie Travis' short films. Committed acting, good sound and as mentioned nice cinematography even if there were a couple of unnecessary shaky bits and your fleckie seemed to be in shot at the playground. Ultimately, let down by a pretty limited plot and with only one song, it all got rather repetitive and the film seemed to go on and on forever. Very cool credits though!

When two burglars break into a house, they inadvertently find a Rubik's cube with very special properties and every twist of it brings a new problem.

This short is really well done. Cool little idea, well acted, nice use of FX and well-timed humour. It also doesn't go on for too long and therefore overplay its hand. Little bit of distracting wind noise over the microphone at the start and I'm sure I've used the music myself that played during the first two minutes - always weird to hear that!

Nice work!

A teenage boy is rather anxious about performing too quickly in the bedroom.

This was actually quite a sweet little film with one or two really clever moments. Standing-out was the performance of the dogey uncle, played by Bernard Beckett - he delivered his lines perfectly while casually eating a sausage. There were a few sound issues - most noticeably a lot of hiss cutting in and out between shots. The story itself was a good one but I kept thinking that it was trying to deceive the audience with it's content and would leave us with a twist. So, I was a little disappointed when it didn't do this. I also couldn't stop wondering if it was plausible that a girlfriend would be allowed by the people of the house to just go into a boy's room, knowing that sex was the plan. I suppose the uncle was dodgey however! And, maybe this is just OK these days!

Overall, an enjoyable short that was a clever take on the genre and was well delivered by this school team.

A man has a bit of a grudge to tell us about.

This sort of thing is right up my alley. Looked good, was well acted and just so damned intriguing. As mentioned above - so many questions! One of my favourites this year!

A young man's mind revisits a grisly incident.

A collection of fast cuts and close ups for the most part that adequately suited the title and nature of the story. Something different from that of your usual young team, so well done!

Morgan struggles to understand what is happening to her when she keeps revisiting events in her day.

This was actually quite a clever take on the genre and I was pleased to see that you created a story that suited the age of your actors - as such the situations were really plausible! Really good use of locations and apart from a few sound issues, the technical side of the film was competent. Some of the dialogue came across as a bit painful and I don't think you needed the titles that kept reminding us of where and at what time things were happening.

Enjoyable, engaging and well done. However, your credit music needs some credit given, I believe, as I'm sure I've used it myself!

A young boy has a bad day and what's more it's reoccurring. Something is out to get him.

This looked pretty good and was nicely edited, with the reoccurring scenes working well. The lead actor did a good job too. I felt the music got a bit grating and I'm not sure that the ending was that satisfying or that it really fitted in with what had actually happened to the boy throughout the film.

Engaging though and a good effort!

A new girl arrives in class and doesn't exactly hit it off with the other students. No worries though, they'll all sing about it!

This was a fair attempt at the genre from a school team but with only two songs the musical aspect wasn't really sustained or driving the story. The first song (2 minutes in) "If you wanna be cool", channelled High School Musical's "Status Quo" and wasn't a bad little number, with some clever lyrics. However, then the film went real crazy with a very dark song "Manipulation is the key" and the film seems to end without anything really happening! The filming was sound and I did enjoy the overhead shots.

I really struggle with school teams who set their films in a school with little thought given to how it looks - four or five students in a class doesn't really help with realism. Likewise, the tendency is to cast teens in adult roles - eg your teacher! When you have so many stories you can tell using the strength of a young cast, why do this?!

Anyway, well done on tackling the musical!

With his cardboard box time-machine, Morgan seems very much the conman as he shares his time travelling experiences with his daily audience.

As usual, this is a very polished short from these Auckland veterans. It looks and sounds great, and it should be no surprise that it's skilfully edited. The acting is convincing and I enjoyed the clever approach taken with the time-traveling scenes. I thought too, that the dubious nature of Morgan's claims was well-played and while the ending was not really a surprise, it was the ending I wanted!

Overall, this is a sweet, engaging story and one of the better ones delivered by Fractured Radius in some time. It's certainly one I'll be rewatching.

A man, struggling to cope with the death of his father, chases after his sister in order to recover his dad's ashes.

I'm a big Pickle Thugs fan and so always look forward to their 48HOUR shorts. Their 2014 effort had all their usual trademarks - the filming, the look, the sound and the creativity all working together. The story itself was reasonably engaging even if could have been told in half the time. I think if you're really going to nail a serious drama in this competition then you have to really find a way to pull at the heart-strings, which is no easy task. "These Things" doesn't quite get there even if the lead actors gave it their very best shot. I felt that this short lacked some of the pace and energy of earlier Pickle Thugs films and so just missed the mark.

I'm still a big fan though!

A group of parishioners make their confessions but is their privacy guaranteed?

Sort of a slow moving short this one and I have to agree that we don't really learn enough about the characters to discover their various motivations. Visually it was adequate, even if some of the shots lingered a bit too long. Sound was a bit hit and miss too. The location was great (even if the confessional looked like a storage cupboard) and nice to see an original song in use.

Plenty of enthusiasm again from these veteran teams.

A frustrated young man decides to get off his butt and get a girl.

This had some nice acting from the lead and he showed plenty of commitment to the cause. The internal monologue got somewhat tedious however and I would have liked to have seen more traditional dialogue scenes played out. The audio I felt was a bit hit and miss in places - the voiceover for example was often too loud. Overall, while the story was sweet it was also rather slow and would have benefited from a harsher edit. For example, while jump-cuts can be used to good effect they were a little overdone in places and went too long before the cut was made.

Nice touches of humour however and a good effort!

A couple of teens prepare to watch a VHS copy of the lost episode of "Fluffy the Vampire Slayer" but their attempts are thwarted by aliens. Madness follows.

Pretty madcap and over the top is this effort from a young team. To say that it goes in multiple directions is an understatement. Some good attempts at visual FX and depending on your perspective either some good acting from the Goths or it's all a little creepy to be watching!

Lots of fun had here and an entertaining watch.

In an effort to make fun of a nerdy girl, Morgan suggests they dance together at an upcoming Talent Show.

I have to say that I found this somewhat tedious due to the dialogue and pacing. While there were some nice shots, many seemed to have little purpose and again just served to slow things down. The training and show montage were good but it was plainly obvious that there wasn't anyone in the audience! However, given your ending this may well be explainable. Pretty solid acting, casting and story was appropriate to your resources and as a result you've produced a good little film.

Morgan is suffering from a reoccurring nightmare, forcing her to revisit a dark incident from her past.

Overall, this was a pretty good effort. While some of the shot choices were a little uninspiring or overdone they were at least shot consistently. Some of the delivery of lines were unnatural but the film was cast appropriately - despite that fact that you'd probably expect the involvement of adults at some stage. I agree that the lead's somewhat passive observation of the murder was unrealistic - frozen with fear? Self-preservation? Just seemed unlikely! Lighting was used for the most part effectively - especially at the end, although I did find the initial scenes between the two girls a bit dark. I too found the ending rather predictable, and given her fear up to that point, why did they decide to go there at night? I suppose this is how the genre plays out though!

A group of lads pitch ideas for a film that get played out in reality.

OK, so this effort from Newlands College has a lot that is pretty messy - filming, sound, editing, direction being heard, unnecessary wind noise, a tedious voiceover and you spelt your team name wrong on your title card. However, there were some clever touches of humour - the skipping & the flying dart in particular. Your casting was appropriate, as was the acting given what you were hoping to achieve.

Great that you had lots of fun but to be honest it was a long, long seven minutes...

After being chastised by her boss for taking an extended lunch break and with no idea of where she was or what she was doing, a young woman decides to film her day using a broach-cam.

This was actually quite a good idea for this genre and for the most part this team pulled it off. There was good commitment from the cast (despite their delivery being somewhat unnatural), the filming and sound was adequate, and the music choices were appropriate. I felt that the use of the broach-cam footage was at times inconsistent and the switching between this POV footage and normal footage was unnecessary and confusing.

A fair effort though and you should be pleased with what you achieved!

Whilst climbing a tree to retrieve a ball, a man gets some interesting news from his girlfriend.

This short is a perfect example of how you can make an effective, imaginative and engaging film without needing to fill the seven minutes. Despite it's length, there was more than sufficient characterisation and the single shot was an excellent choice so to hold the viewer's attention. I'd love to know how many takes you did! I also liked the way you used the required line.

Congratulations on making the film you wanted to make - a really good lesson for a lot of entrants. One of my favourites of 2014!

A private investigator is given the difficult job of finding a couple's daughter.

With a nice looking poster campaign, "Noir" my expectations for this short were pretty high. Unfortunately, it didn't quite do it for me. While there was some good camerawork at times, it was let down by some clunky editing and audio issues. The acting was OK but I felt in general the cast were too young for the characters they were playing and the story they were trying to tell. The stereotypical detective hat and coat seemed out of place on the lead and I couldn't help thinking you could have told the same basic story by using your cast more effectively. There are plenty of ways to do film noir.

A young teen has an unhealthy obsession with a romantic film, "Courts of Love". When an equally young teenage intruder falls through her window she uses the opportunity to act out her fantasies.

2012 Christchurch finalist Old School Cinema have produced a rather interesting short with "Morgan's Match". On the one hand, it's a pretty slick presentation with lots of skill on show. The acting from the mostly youthful cast is believable and they sustain their roles well. As for the actual story, well, if it was a commentary on unhealthy obsessions with teens, or the dangers of net culture or even unwise attitudes to sexual behaviour then I think it may have played out better. However, due to it's need to fit the genre it comes off as rather unrealistic. For one, the young girl is far too accepting of the situation, far too quickly and while the ending attempts to explain this, we're sort of distracted from any messages by the disturbing internet woman. In fact, the story may have been better suited to an older cast as it all feels a bit unsettling.

Certainly a film to talk about!

The unfortunate but very sweet Sarah loses her job. She needs money for rent so goes on the job hunt.

This looked good, was pretty well edited and had a nice feel to it overall. The lead did a good job sustaining her character, especially getting the naivety of the character across to the audience. I felt some of the scenes dragged a bit - the opening one in particular which seemed to want to really hammer us with the character trait for no real purpose. I too was rather unsatisfied by the ending.

Another good effort from this team though!

[Viewed from the Screening Room]

Two female assassins travel back in time to carry out a hit.

This short had some nice moments, in particular the banter between the two leads and the scene right at the end of the film. As identified by another reviewer, it all seems a bit rushed and its climax is unsatisfying. The performances were believable and nice to see the genre being used in a different way. However, I thought the audio sync looked out in a couple of places and the location used for the meeting at the start of the film looked a little "staged" - I was expecting something darker.

I look forward to seeing the other film in this double feature. Great idea!

[Viewed from the Screening Room]

A woman, recently split from her partner, finds threatening notes lefts left around her home.

This short had a few things going for it: attractive lead, some good camera-work and an intriguing storyline (even if I did see the ending coming). I thought the flashback sequence was handled well and although most of the dialogue was audible, I think a good external microphone would be a worthwhile investment. Your lead did a lot of talking out loud to herself, which started to feel a bit contrived after awhile. It also slowed things down a lot.

Nice to see a different kind of revenge story being told. Well done!

Morgan applies for job after job without success. Mum is not a great deal of help either. He finally gets a job as a Swedish Economic Advisor in a newsroom.

Some nice humour in this, I liked your police lights and there was a glimmer of a story there. However, shots were often blurry, you used a strange aspect ratio, there was a lot of camera/tripod noise and there seemed to be scenes missing. Also, reporters don't usually read their stories from pieces of paper. And finally, teens in adult roles. Ask yourself, how many films have I watched where teens are playing adult characters? If you don't have adult actors then either improvise by not showing them above the waist, blur them out or write a story that doesn't involve adults!

Looks like you had good fun though so come back next year bigger and better!

A spaceship heads towards a diseased planet with the Cure. In space, nothing goes smoothly.

This was lots of fun. Filmed entirely green-screened, the team were able to drop in some awesome backgrounds for the interior of the spaceship and the alien landscape.It actually worked pretty well (apart from one scene where legs disappeared) and when some special effects were added we had what looked like a large scale production.

Nice to see something different. Well done!

A man has an accident while playing rugby and ends up in a coma. When he finally wakes up, he has no idea who he is, so must trust a friend to fill in the gaps.

Firstly, teens playing married couples and doctors - give me strength. You could have had the same story without adult characters. Secondly, your camera and/or your tripod makes too much noise. Thirdly, your minister's homophobic rant at the civil union was awkward, embarrassing and juvenile. It went on & on and just when you thought it was over, it started again. I thought I was watching the film Australia. It also wasn't for a second remotely funny. If you're going to do something like that you really need to set it up through the story and the actions/motivations of the characters- so writing a script is a good idea.


A radio broadcast tells us that a virus has infected hundreds of people. Two surgeons work on a patient for some reason but one worries that he might be infected.

The trouble with this film is that nothing much happens. We watch a surgery for what seems like a long time and there's some banter between the actors but I got lost as to what the point was. The climax of the film is OK but it lacked any tension in the build up. All of this was played out in glorious 4:3 and accompanied by tripod noise.

See you next year!

An inspector arrives at the Dancing Institution for a tour of the facilities.

This had some good humour and was well cast. It had a strange aspect ratio or had been cropped as a stylistic choice. Either way; it looked odd. The dialogue was a bit loud in places and there was a noticeable absence of dancing!

See you next year!

[DQ - no working file submitted]

A new girl starts at school and joins a Shakespearian drama rehearsal. Something about fitting in and falling in love.

This was all a bit disjointed really with strange fade to blacks during some shots. It was also a bit noisy in the background during a couple of scenes making the dialogue hard to hear. The performance from the lead was good but there just wasn't enough story here for the cast to work with.

A couple of kids go back in time to steal Hitler's testicle. Yes, you read that correctly.

This was film was animated film that used nicely rendered 2D digital animation with basic pencil sketches. It had nice touches of humour but not necessarily much of a story that made any great sense.

Nice work!

The Foster Family is a cult where followers long for the of the potential enlightenment of the Unification Room.

This looked amazing. Again the location was fully exploited with some clever camera work. There was some good use of lighting and the general mood of the film remained consistent throughout - very unsettling. While the sound quality was good, the audio sync was out in many places, which is always distracting. The film-within-a-film aspect was really a little bit of an add-on, so not sure if the genre was really met. The acting was good - everyone looked like they were already part of a cult!

A very dark film this and one I'll be watching again..

After an altercation in a drive-way a mime is killed. The killer tries to bury the evidence but the mime comes back to haunt him.

This was very impressive looking, with the visuals fully exploiting the location. Colours were graded nicely, there was a good variety of shots and the edit was polished. It wasn't especially scary, but there were some well planned reveals of the mime character. The story itself dragged a bit through the middle but the end was suitably creepy.

Wouldn't be out of place in the CHCH final, so great job!

A body is found in a park. Never fear, Smolenski is on the case.

This short looked really good (nice new gear!), the sound was good (glad you got to use it this year!) and everything was nicely edited together. The acting was really strong (as it should be!) and your story was a quirky, humorous and well thought-out. However, why, with all your acting talent you use teenagers to play adult roles is beyond me! You could have easily told that story using teenage characters if you couldn't get any adults. It wasn't the worst example of this I've seen, as your story was short and snappy, but still, it doesn't help make it all believable.

I do think that you're a team for the future in this competition, so get your casting and story matching, listen to your teacher (and Dean, Year 10s among you!) and go for it! My expectations are high!

When hospital administration advises a couple of families that their insurance plans aren't covering costs, the families resort to desperate measures.

This was quite a dark story from a young cast. Unfortunately, they chose to have teens playing adult roles (doctors, parents etc) which straight away destroys any illusion of reality. As does the little things like reading lines from a clipboard and having the daughter have a strong accent, while the parents don't. Something also went wrong with your aspect ratio - it kept changing.

A good effort though, come back again next year!

Three young men make a 48HOUR film with Lego characters. It's not going well but will they make the hand-in on time?

OK, so as a general idea, this is a pretty lame approach - in fact in some towns you might get hunted down and thrown in a pit for doing it. However, by mixing up the structure of the film, making it look really nice, acting well, editing well and of course, using Lego, it's actually not that bad - in fact, it was quite engaging at times. Then you did the ending...

An innocent looking car, with an innocent looking message on its dashboard, is absolutely not what it seems.

This ended up pretty dark and creepy, after coming across quite light-hearted for the most part. The captures made by the car was a cool idea but it did become a little repetitive. There were some audio issues but for the most part the technical side of this film was handled well. Unfortunately, you could see someone driving the car when it was supposed to be empty at one point - all adds to the charm!

Well received by the audience - good job!

A young woman, leaving for Auckland, breaks up with her boyfriend. He only has a short amount of time to stop her leaving.

This was a sweet little story of young love. There was some nice split screening and the actors did a good job for the most part. The audio was a bit variable, especially during a key scene at the end of the film. Likewise, this scene was a bit dark and you should have ditched the umbrella as it both muffled and hid the actress's face. There were some day/night continuity issues and the contrast was a bit dodgy in one scene.

This was a good attempt at a serious film. Unfortunately there was a bit of commentary from some team members as it screened...sigh.

When an accident occurs as a result of one brother not listening to the other, only time-travel can help.

Not a bad idea here that didn't quite come together - mostly because you went for humour instead of playing it straight. The first bit of the slow-motion sequence was cool but then it got all sorts of crazy! The technical side was a bit mixed; there was some grainy footage in the bedroom, some strange compositions, loud audio and you didn't quite pull off the split screen at the end.

Creative and well received by the audience. Good job!

Morgan wants to be a basket baller but his dad doesn't think he can make it. Cue: musical chase scene.

OK, so this was interesting. Great hair, it looked OK and it has a lot of funny gags. As far as the musical aspect goes there was only one song that sounded like it was inspired by the Pet Shop Boys or Flight of the Conchord's parody of the PSBs - 80s synthesizer hell! The lyrics were clever and drove things along, but there wasn't much of a story here.

The audience loved it, so well done!

A dad reads a version of "Little Red Riding Hood" to his daughter.

Rocket Boy films have been around the comp for a bit and typically produce an intriguing film. "REaD" is no exception. This is a pretty dark and unsettling story that cleverly incorporates the genre, even if it gets a little repetitive with the switching between past and present. Nice use of ECUs and it all looked and sounded pretty good.

Overall another solid effort from Rocket Boy Films that got the audience thinking.

A group of boys playing footie in the park, kick the ball over the fence. The one who goes to get it doesn't return!

In their intro the team claims they "screwed up" but will be back in 2015. It's true; some things didn't quite go smoothly. There was bad sound; it was loud, echoey and quiet at times. There was camera noise, some bad cuts, some long, long takes and direction was heard at one point ("Chuck us the camera"). However, there were some good points too. The way you introduced a quirky character was awesome and you had a wickedly crazy light saber, plastic sword epic battle scene.

Importantly, you demonstrated huge enthusiasm! See you next year!

Two bored young boys find a dead body.

OK, let's get all of the work-ons out of the way. The audio was either too quiet or too loud and there was a lot of wind noise. There were some crazy edits and it all seemed rather unscripted. Also, with so many great stories in your lives why do something where you need to cast kids in adult roles - eg police officers? On the plus side, this is a 48HOUR classic! There was nice humour throughout, there were some nice ECUs and you used the line really well. There was a lot of "telling" rather than "showing" but it was damn funny! You did an amazing job with the autopsy scene - really well thought out - that's how you cheat the audience when you have limited locations.

Awesome work, planetfoxfilms - I hope you're back next year!

A young man keeps seeing a mysterious " Man With a Cane". Who is he? And importantly, what does he want?

Pigs Guts Films return for their final bash as a school entry. They cracked the finals and took the school prize in 2013, so as usual, anticipation was high. The camera work was good - plenty of nice angles and variety. Rack focusing was also used well albeit perhaps a little too frequently. There were some effective ECUs and transitions between scenes were nicely planned. I thought the music was a bit loud at times, resulting in some of the dialogue being lost. There was a bit of tell too - most notably when our lead reads the audience a note we can clearly read for ourselves. I realise that a V/O was driving this story, but sometimes it's just not necessary.

This was quite a mature, deep story, that was quite complex in its nature. Perhaps it was a little too complex as it became a little confusing. Also, at one of the most serious moments, some sections of the audience laughed, which I'm positive wasn't the intended reaction!

Another good effort, lads. See you on the other side.

A detective interviews suspects in a case. It's a large web of deceit!

One of the known/returning school teams here so expectations were high. Unfortunately it unraveled from the first scene when we had teens playing adult roles...sigh. It was very talky, the lighting was too yellow for the interrogation scenes and other scenes (such as the dinner one) went on for too long, making the film drag along. Some of the sound was also quite poor. On the plus side, the flashbacks and transitions worked pretty well, and the actors showed plenty of enthusiasm in their roles.

Nice job!

A teen suffers from a rare condition that causes her/him to change gender when she/he sneezes. It's hard to get a date when you have this.

This kicks off with a nice title sequence and voice-over filling us in on some of the details. It's well filmed, the editing works for the change sequences and the sound is generally good apart from some wind and even camera noise in a couple of parts - including the final scenes of the film. The pacing overall is pretty good, apart from the football scene which slows momentum at that point. The acting is OK and I am pleased to see that you cast this film appropriately.

It's a completely ridiculous idea that you've made plausible, so well done!

There are creatures in them hills.

I was in the very front row for this heat and so this wasn't the best film to get my eyes adjusted. Lots of ECUs, quick pans, zooms and shaky-cam. It was all done very well but reminded me visually of the time I went with a bad migraine to The Hunger Games. Anyway, this was something different from Knawtra who've been entering 48 for a few years now. Nicely filmed, edited, the various voice-overs/communications were effective and there was a good twist at the end. I really felt like I was there and it certainly kept me intrigued.

Nice job!

Morgan's lies are ruining his marriage. Fortunately, Saint Lyrical's Hospital has a treatment for his kind - singing!

The location here was used to good advantage to create a clever albeit long-winded story. The songs were nicely performed by the lead nurse - she had a great voice for musicals. The opening song (Welcome to St Lyricals) was well-written, catchy and got the audience laughing, even if it did go on too long. Morgan's big number, (Don't give up on me) also had good lyrics but it didn't really sound the best. However, because this was intentional, it didn't matter! Clever! I was disappointed though that when the story set things up for another Morgan solo, a rap - there was no rap!

Well filmed, good sound and probably the best attempt at sustaining the music in a CHCH heat this year. Well done!

A young man wakes up in the woods to discover he's seriously wounded.

This film starts really well and then the quality seems to drop over subsequent scenes. The cutting back between past and present is always a cool thing to do, but it needed better transitions in this case to make it effective. The audio is a bit mixed and there are some strange cuts in places. Yet at other times, things work well and we're treated to some nice looking shots.

A good attempt at the genre, but the tension probably wasn't quite there.

A catholic priest must deal with a woman possessed by a foul-mouthed demon. However, it becomes apparent that they've met before.

TBALC show off all of their usual skills with this clever take on the Rom-Com - a genre they've taken on a few times now. "The Ex" is well-written, thought-through and developed from the title down. Naturally, the acting is top-notch, so look no further than the two leads in this for regional awards this year. Technically, it's also pretty strong, even if the colour grade leaves it a little flat looking. The genre is pretty much nailed with this too and it all wraps up with a twist in the tail. My gripes are few. Perhaps the language is a bit over-the-top and a bit overdone. Perhaps the talky nature of the film is a little too much "telling". Thus, while the relationship between the characters is fully explored; that is the film. Little really happens through the second act outside of room they're in, and we have to take their word on that what they're telling us, has happened between them in the past. We also have to be interested because some of their banter gets a little repetitive. Perhaps too, this gives a feeling of sameness to the film. The perception I had was that we viewed most of this from a static camera set up, almost akin to the excellent one-shot film TBALC produced a couple of years back. They're playing to their strengths though by doing this though and so again, it's hard to fault the approach.

Enjoyable, funny, entertaining and clever. Expect to see "The Ex" in the CHCH finals and as a favourite to win it.

The events of a blind date are played out in reverse.

In 2013, Submission Impossible made the CHCH finals, picking up a few nominations and at least one award. Their 2014 offering is another clever idea but it doesn't quite impress as much as last year. I had some difficulty believing they were actually in a restaurant - it didn't look like it and the atmosphere seemed a little flat and certainly it was over lit. The audio was a bit mixed at times and the voice over became somewhat tedious, as did the repetitive aspects of the story. However, the lead actress was really good, especially given the changing nature of her character.

Overall, a good idea that probably went on much longer than it needed and therefore didn't quite grab me.

A pathologist is found dead in a hospital and it looks like the work of a serial killer.

Nicely filmed, good use of the line, nice blood and effects. It was also pretty well acted, the highlight being the awesome looking police officer extra - he was a cross between Jim Broadbent and Bill Murray. More please! The found footage aspect was well-played and overall a creepy little film.

Well done!

Someone in the flat has eaten the last steak 'n' cheese pie. Let the accusations fly!

Strang Entertainment are regular CHCH finalists and have a reputation for experimenting with their shorts. In "Steak 'n' Cheese Lies" they've played it a bit more conservatively and produced another well-crafted film. It looks good (although perhaps a little flat), it's nicely edited and the acting is strong and committed. There's a really clever use of the line and plenty of funny moments played out during the imagined accusation scenes.

Overall, another clever film from Strang, that despite a bit of a uninspiring ending, should play again in the CHCH finals.

A guy has a problem with his shower and so gets a plumber in to check out his pipe.

This had a really nice looking start but that whole sequence was largely irrelevant to the rest of the film. Breakfast montages...sigh. When the film finally gets started it's pretty funny. The cast delivers the humour well, even if some of the dialogue is rather painfully written. The strength of this film is the way subtle innuendo has been used and the general felling of awkwardness that is portrayed.

Apart from some grating guitar, this is a nicely constructed short that got plenty of laughs at the end. Might just see it in the finals!

When a ball goes over the fence into another property, one young man is chosen to recover it. Things about to get weird.

This looked really good, there was nice variety in the shot selection, there was controlled use of focus, good use of slow motion and it was nicely edited. The acting from the lead was also really good. This is, however, one rather strange story and an interesting take on the genre. I think some of the kanji subtitles needed explaining for the uninitiated, although maybe they were through some of the actions on screen - there was a lot going on! And it was an interesting decision to provide both kanji and english subtitles at times when they weren't needed.

Stylistically, you made the film that you wanted to make; so well done. I really liked it, it was very different and as odd as it all was, you could easily find this film in the CHCH final.

A man makes himself a huge feed of spaghetti meatballs. He's just about to tuck in, when a phone call reminds him that is supposed to be at a party that starts in 5 minutes. That gives him just enough time to finish his spaghetti.

This short got a huge amount of laughs from the audience and when you see it, you'll understand why. The music was good and there was tremendous commitment from the lead actor to his part. I did wonder for whose benefit it was that he was talking to himself while cooking and the newspaper on the floor in one shot had obviously been put their by the crew, but these are small grizzles.

An entertaining, original film, Well done!

A man is frustrated with his vacuum cleaner and so he gets a nice new one. Problem is, the old one is not quite ready to let go.

This short had a lot going for it; a cool start, a nice location, a hot actress, some nice camerawork and plenty of humour. It was also pretty much a template for the genre, including a large number of classic horror film tropes. However, you'll have to ask the team if the painful dialogue was intentional or not! At times the audio was a bit mixed but it didn't really detract from the onscreen action - and as things ramped up there was plenty of it.

Not a tension filled scary movie thanks to the ridiculousness of it all, but as a horror comedy - nailed. Nice work!


A little girl plays a game of hide and seek with her mother.

This was the best looking short of the heat, including a nice colour grade and various crane shots. The location was awesome, and the crew fully exploited it.The acting from both the little girl and the mum was great, with the later showing a fair bit of commitment to the role. It certainly proves to be a very dark film, with a hidden agenda, but the question remains, is it a musical? I think with this film it's very easy to forget that it's suppose to be! There are a couple of songs included which are nicely sung and the lyrics are good, but they lack any real punch. There's also a sameness about them. Maybe it's not important. I'm also yet to fully decide if the ending actually makes sense or not, so am looking forward to rewatching!

Hard to be too critical, however, because this is a very well-made short, that has had a large amount of thinking applied to it. A definate contender for the school awards. Well done!

A young man explains how, as a result of watching March of the Penguins, he wants to be a narrator just like Morgan Freeman. He decides he'll narrate his brother's life.

This was one of the best looking films of the heat. There was good shot variety, it was well edited and the sound quality was mostly OK. Likewise the acting was good with the leads exhibiting a very natural chemistry. Some of the darker scenes were a bit grainy, however and towards the end, the audio sync seemed to be out. It was a quirky idea that reminded me briefly of "Only Son". Unlike that ghost story however, I'm sure the big brother in this could have just beaten the snot out of his little brother to make him stop! That would have denied us some funny moments though!

A pretty good film that Refined Sugar should be proud of. Well done!

[DQ - late]

Morgan is obsessed with his book and continues reading it after his mum has told him to go asleep. The book sparks his imagination.

This was actually quite a good attempt at bringing a book to life - it's certainly not a new idea but Rangiora HS should be congratulated for their seemless integration of real and imagined in this film. The acting is pretty good and I enjoyed how when his reading changed pace, the action also changed pace. Good idea! The mum (even though you tried to hide her) was a bit young and make sure your music doesn't go on for too long after your credits finish!

Nice work, but be on time next year!

It's a little known fact, but when you die, you actually travel through time to important moments from your past. An elderly Morgan, is passing away and he is returned to a pivotal moment from his youth.

Another clever ploy to manipulate the time-travel genre, so well done! Your young actor was extremely committed, I loved the look of the footsteps on the beach and in general, the audio was controlled. I thought some of your attempts to play around with focus, either went completely wrong or the effect was overdone.

A nice little story though, with some obvious thought put into it. Well done!

At Southside High School we're given a tour of the school and its students by our male lead. A little later we also share in the thoughts of the other characters. Channelling, Ferris Bueller and House of Cards, they address the audience directly, while the other characters in scene remain oblivious.

I really enjoyed the majority of this. It was a clever idea, executed really well by the young cast. There was good humour, it was well written and it was perfectly cast. The ending, although slightly predictable, was nicely set-up. At times the audio seemed a bit cut-off, the music was too loud and there were some harsh cuts. For once I didn't mind the lack of students in the school environment as I was distracted by the performances. A couple of scenes could have been edited tighter or even dropped altogether but I was seldom bored during this.

Probably my favourite of the heat. Great job!

Five teens trespass on school grounds - beware the caretaker!

Some nice humour here (chocolate eating scene) and awesomely mutilated bodies! The location was good for the story - well done. I liked your chase scenes and was pleased that, even in your darker shots we could see what was going on. Sound was a bit of an issue, especially during the opening scene when your camera and/or microphone was too far away from the actors. With your story, learn not to do too much telling (eg "Let's go have a look" and then everyone goes to have a look. Just show it - the audience will get it.

Well done! It looked like you had great fun and you completed a 48HOUR film! Success!

A young woman's personal issues/memories are portrayed through a series of video flashbacks.

Some nice shots were achieved in this and the execution of the video recordings was well managed, even if the graphic overlay was largely static throughout (Eg the battery level never changed). I really liked the transitions from the photos to the video - nice! Some of the darker scenes were a bit grainy and watch out for up-the-nose shots! The piano got a bit repetitive too.

This was a deep, darkish story that looked like you'd put some thought into. Well done!

A young man is reluctantly staying with his overly religious aunt. He gets invited to The Ball, by a local girl and his aunt is excited about the preparations.

Nice touches of humour in this and the awkward mood is well portrayed. The acting is good and the casting is appropriate. It does get a bit tedious and the over-the-top laughing did my head in. While most shot selections were good, a couple of the POV shots were oddly composed to the side, where a more central position is the norm. I liked the creepy ending.

Nice work, Funky Filmers!

A young woman wakes up disoriented and alone in a room. Her captor has left her three choices as a means of escape - they're not good choices in case you're wondering.

Some nice shots in this (especially some of the close-ups) and the fake CTV footage was authentic looking. The acting was effective and the dark tone, generally consistent throughout the film. Obviously inspired by Saw or the like, the team did a good job here, even if I felt the ending was slightly anti-climatic.

Your intro blew my ears out. Good job!

A girl runs from her attacker. Pretty soon she's dead and it's all over the news. Two cops investigate.

There was some good humour in this, a location I liked and in general, it was nicely shot (although I wished you hadn't got the "No students past this point" signs so obviously in shot.) The acting was good and I always appreciate some effective"Crazy Eyes"! Casting is an issue here though. Teens playing adult roles - it always bugs me! Watch "Brick" to see how it can be done. There was a bit of tripod/camera noise in parts and the overall sound needs working on for future projects. Little things will help too, like making sure the phone is connected to something and TV reporters don't usually take notes during a live interview.

Overall, a good effort, so well done!


Morgan is found face down in the playground - murder! Revenge must be served.

There's some effective camerawork in this with a good variety of shots. In particular I liked some of the angles you used. Sound is OK, in parts, and the music is good. I felt that perhaps the film was too long and needed a tighter edit. At times it was all a bit jumpy too and the fight scene was a little grainy. I'm sure some direction was heard at one point which is always amusing! I really liked the non-linear structure that was used and the death scene was cool!

Nice work, Chookie!

After a spell in psychiatric care, a young girl returns home. She's still a little bit disturbed, however.

Nice opening, nice jump-cuts, some spooky music. The lead actress is also suitably dark and disturbing. On the downside, there were a few audio gaps and unnecessary wind noise during a non-dialogue scene. The "Next Day" title cards hinted of time-management issues - way better to show it's the next day, rather than tell us it is.

Some potential here though and I liked the overall mood of the film. Good stuff!

A man lies dead or dying in the sand. The cops connect the case to Madam Foster and her house of ill-repute.

When this started, I thought, "Here comes the City Winner!". It looked great, had awesome costuming, a very cool main location and had the feel of a dark, unsettling piece. As mentioned, the acting was pretty effective and many of the audience would have recognised the street folk duo of Jed & Hera getting stuck into their roles. Hera, of course, smashed it a few years ago in the Outwit's "Béchamel". I thought the audio was a bit loud at times and in general the film was a bit slow-paced. The ending by contrast felt rushed and I agree that perhaps they had a larger tale to tell, which there just wasn't time for. A shame really.

Great stuff!

A group of friends out cycling end up at a spooky Bed 'n' Breakfast.

The strength of this film was the excellent butler/hotel manager character. His opening number "What do you have to fear?" was awesome and really well constructed, with clever lyrics. I loved how he kept "skating" in. I wished the remainder of the story had focussed on him as a character and his interactions with the guests. Instead, we lurched into a zombie film with the second musical piece, "Ahh, Zombies!". A lengthy tango sequence followed which slowed everything down and it all wrapped up with a Thriller-like finale, "Together Forever". There was a bit of sound missing at times and some of the shot choices lingered for a bit too long.

Musical is tough, but as mentioned by others it looks like you had plenty of resources on hand. Shorter and snappier with more butler may have been better.

A couple check into a hotel on their wedding night. Nerves about the prospect of consummating their vows fuel doubts about the marriage as a whole.

This was a well-crafted short with nicely controlled night shots and effective editing (especially the split screen work). The two leads show great commitment to their roles, offering genuine, believable performances. There's well-timed humour and obviously a lot of work went into the script. I loved the family dinner scene - a great use of flashback. Unfortunately, the audio was a bit variable in places, the music too loud and some of the mirror shots struggled with focus.

In 2013, LCD's film "Bourbon Legends" was one of my favourites and I picked it for the CHCH finals - sadly the judges didn't agree! With "Something New", LCD just might have cracked it in 2014.

At Time Travellers Anonymous - a self-help group discuss the times they keep travelling back to.

This looked and sounded good, had nice transitions between times and was a humourous, sweet and ultimately poignant story. However, it did get a little tedious a one point and a lot of park scenes had focussing issues. I also think you took a creative approach to the genre.

TTA was well received by the audience and tore at the heart-strings of many.

A group of young friends gather at a house and it is revealed that one of them has powers! He vows to teach the others his secret.

This is a pretty good effort from a young team with limited resources and skills that are "still developing". There were nice touches of humour through-out and you had great fun with your effects. I loved how you handled the earthquake bit - funny! Yes, it was often hard to hear what was going on, there were some crazy pans, focussing, tripod noise and really loud music. Your actors broke the 4th wall regularly but who cares - you had plenty of energy and as others have said - you got your film in, within the 48 hours. Awesome.

See you in 2015.

A couple of cops investigate a crime that has all the tell-tale signs of being committed by "The Twins."

There was some good banter in this between the leads and the required line was used well. However, the film was also a bit too talky and there was a bit too much telling, rather than showing. Scenes were well lit and there were some nicely composed shots. There was also a lot of background and/or camera noise which was rather distracting. I loved the recap of events at the end - a real highlight of the film.

Overall, a solid effort - well played!

LabourForce politician, Morgan Foster is a serious threat to Nationwide Prime Minister, Brian Clemens. The embattled PM decides to uses his resources to find some dirt on his rival.

The visuals and sound were pretty good in this short, and the set-pieces (news report, montage and Little Rock recreation) were well-planned and executed. I thought the line was used really well and there was obvious strength in the acting talents. I thought the story was a bit too dialogue driven and I would have liked more to happen visually. It was a throw-back to "Yes Minister" in many respects.

Shame about the DQ as the film seemed popular with the audience. Nice work!

A couple of 48HOUR film-makers at the pointy-end of the competition race against time and other obstacles to get their film in on time.

I actually really enjoyed this given it was one of those dreaded 48HOUR films about a 48HOUR film. (and I wanted to hate it because of that!) I thought the acting from the lead male was great - especially his suddenly shift from calm director to bat-shit crazy when things started to fall apart (something I can relate to!) I felt the desaturated colour was an inspired choice and gave the film a nice edge to it. The line was used well and there was some effective use of shaky cam. Perhaps the French bits needed subtitles an the 48 seconds to go seemed like a long 48 seconds! It was pretty obvious how this one was going to end but hey, you're not the first team to do this in 2014.

Funny and well-executed. Nice work!

A woman arriving at a conference is mistaken for an expert proctologist - Dr Ramsbottom.

I thought the fake airport scene was nicely done, the line was used well and we've also got an original song playing through the credits. Technically, there were a number of random cuts, shaky camerawork, and audio that was at times really loud and also out of sync. I found that the dick jokes, although well-delivered, got pretty old, rather quickly. With this genre, the mistake identity actually needs to be plausible and I found myself wondering whether she would really go through with this situation - she really didn't protest too much. And I know, yes, she's a liar.

A good start to the heat and the audience appreciated it! Well done!

A hard-assed mercenary is sent on a mission by his mentor - he must infiltrate a heavily guarded island and eliminate the rogue, Dominic Rodrigues.

This short was a real crowd favourite thanks to a massive (and I mean massive) killing sequence where our hero takes out everyone who crosses his path. It's pretty funny and well constructed, and without it there wouldn't be much of a film at all.

A tribute to all those terrible 1980s action flicks - nice job!

[DQ'd - LATE]

Morgan Foster is a handyman who chooses the wrong couple to rip off when he does a job for an elderly woman and her rather disturbed daughter.

Mrs E Movies have been former finalists and taken out a few acting awards as well thanks to their always superb lead, Janice Grey. "Undertaking" is a creepy little film, that aside from a few focussing issues, looked and sounded pretty good. Performances are strong, even if the story itself meanders along somewhat. It certainly channels "Silence of the Lambs" in a few places and the splatter scene is a real highlight.

Good stuff, Mrs E!

Daryl has Dance Tourette's. In a mockumentary style interview, he reflects on his troubles.

Don't let the name fool you; No Budget Ninjas brought the resources of Whitebait Studios to the table in this amusing, well-made short. It was one of the best looking films of the heat, it was funny and the casting was spot on. The lead did a great job in portraying Daryl, and used his long legs with great effect! I did start to get a bit tired of the situation though, as essentially seeing his body react to music was the only thing happening in the film. So, while amusing and appreciated by the audience, there really wasn't much story there of any consequence.

Took out the audience vote so nice job. Always good to see a former student of mine involved in a 48 film too.

A man needs a replacement testicle but maybe having one is actually enough.

This had a great start, it looked and sounded good, and there were a couple of nice transitions between scenes used. The acting from the lead was really enjoyable and other characters played off him pretty well. I did find the story a bit confusing in places, and it seemed to run out of steam a bit at times.

An interesting idea for a mystery film that just didn't quite get there.

A man turns up at confession with a major problem - his Magic 8-ball has gone missing and he now has nothing to help him make life's important decisions.

This was a nice idea, with plenty of humorous moments. It was well-acted, looked good and contained some crazy special effects. The audio mix needed work - it was at times really loud and then at others, very quiet.

Overall, a nice little story that was well thought through.

[DQ'd - LATE]

When a drunk man accidently dies in a cemetery, Death sets him three tasks to complete by midnight, or it's off to Hell.

This was a pretty madcap experience that got plenty of laughs from the audience. The acting from the lead was really committed and he had a number of challenges to get through, from some painful dialogue to most notably getting hit in the nuts several times (I'm sure the first one was real!). On the downside, the audio was a bit mixed and there were some grainy night shots at times. The real stand-out scene in this film was when Death turned up. Not only was the actor superb, the visuals, sound and editing worked really well together to create a memorable sequence.

Funny, brave and appreciated by the audience. Well done!

An old home movie shows us the origins of a sibling rivalry. Fast-forward to the present day and they're still at it, only now, the younger brother has had enough.

This was essentially a massive chase movie, that had some pretty good action sequences - most notably on jet skis. The film looked pretty good, apart from a few focusing issues, was well acted by the two leads and we were nicely deceived by the ending. The audio was a bit mixed at times and the ADRing obviously proved challenging. I also thought that some of the transitions slowed the film down too much.

Overall, a good idea for this genre that many younger siblings in the audience could relate to.

A cautious father refuses to ever let his son leave the house to play with other kids. However, his son discovers a nifty trick.

2012 City Winners and National Finalists, Picton Pictures return to the comp after having a break last year. "An Inconvenient Hoof" was a shadow-puppet film and so it was interesting to see how they'd approach 2014. Well, the scissors and glue and cardboard are out again, but this time they're out of the shadows. Simple, but effective and working cardboard cut-outs were manipulated during this clever little story which was well-received by the audience. The voice-over also works well and the film is nicely paced.

Son & Moon, is a sweet little film that has a definite feel good factor to it. It lacks the dark humour of it's predecessor but it still a quality effort.

[DQ'd - Late]

A woman goes to a restaurant for a blind date and ends up with the wrong man.

This silent film had a rather interesting mix of traditional title cards and modern speech bubbles containing symbols, telling as what was going on. It was also perhaps inspired by Nosferatu the Vampyre! Certainly the crazy eyes and creepy walk were nailed by certain cast members!

Weird, over the top and worth a rewatch.

[DQ'd - corrupt file]

Two young men negotiate a property deal with a shady character. It all feels a little dodgy and one of the young men starts to have second thoughts.

This short maintained a consistent tone throughout, sucking the audience in with its sense that the two guys were in over their heads. There was some nice camerawork and the lighting mostly worked well - at times I thought the shadows were just a touch too big across the faces. The performances were good from all the cast and I was pleasantly surprised to see a cameo from a former student of mine - nice one Laura!

Overall, a well thought out little film that set-up its ending superbly - shame about the DQ. I enjoyed your One Directionesque intro too Nice job!

Lots of random video clips play as a man reflects on his life. (maybe!)

Incarnations of The Vault have been weirding as out for few years now, and their epic "Blue Rising" is a 48 classic. So, what did Grey Falling bring us. Initially, I thought very little! However, as the focus increased on the man reflecting on his past, the video clips seemed to make more sense. The music at this end of the film seemed to work really well too and it all began to feel quite emotional. I thought I knew where it was heading and it was all going to make sense, when a familiar animated bird popped up and the audience went WTF.

Always pushing it. Always different. I hope this really isn't RIP Vault.

An elderly father is less than impressed with his grown son's compulsion to play a "Dance, Dance Revolution" type game, rather than finding love. However, as these stories go, sometimes love happens when you least expect it.

Robocrop return for their fourth year in the comp, with the DQs of the first couple of years now a distant memory. In "Pads of Promise" they've used a simple boy meets girl story, kept the whole thing really nice, and avoided any conflict that you might have expected in this genre. The acting from the two leads is very good - especially the girl, who is very natural in the role. There are nice touches of humour and the dialogue is well written, albeit a little long at times. Visually it looks great, so all that new gear must have been worth it! Unfortunately, the audio had a few issues, most noticeably during the main dialogue scene, where there was a constant 'boom, boom" of either the microphone or from whoever was holding the pole. Bit distracting!

As mentioned, the lead actress was great in her role but I felt she looked a bit young for the part - for a while I even thought she was his daughter! And then it just felt creepy! I also found it a little odd that the son had such a thick Scottish accent while his dad didn't even have a hint of one! I suppose this can happen? The main dialogue scene I felt got a bit talky and slowed things down a bit too much. I enjoyed the ending though and we were nicely deceived by it.

Overall, a nicely put together short that worked and made one smile at the end! Good job and I'd like to cast your actress in a project of mine one day!

Morgan has an rather interesting obsession with his friend's car and when he borrows it for a date, his friend becomes suspicious.

Ever since "Cornchip", TGA have crafted a reputation for making polished, engaging shorts that really push creative boundaries with their fresh ideas. "Love in Reverse: A Musical" does all that you'd expect from TGA - it's funny, well edited, it looks great, sounds great and the performances from the two leads are enjoyable. However, the musical genre did give them a few problems. While the three songs have clever lyrics, they're a bit painful to listen to as the singing is not strong enough.The duet at the end is probably the best of the bunch, but again only due to some well-timed lyrics and even then it's not stuck in my head!

The audience seemed to enjoy it however and it did cap off an epic heat that contained many veteran teams.

Morgan arrives at a fancy restaurant and while waiting for his blind date, he is mistaken for the chef. Of course, he naturally proceeds to mischievously take up the opportunity. Prepare for chaos.

The Eh Team is back with an interesting short that has many of the features of their previous entries. There's clever dialogue, great cinematography, sharp editing, humour and strong acting performances from all the cast. Their use of the required line was the best of any heat. Hamish Parkinson was as expected, perfect in the lead role, even if I was at first rather shocked when he opened his mouth and spoke. Such a contrast to 2013!

Although certain set pieces make the story entertaining, the reality is that it's pretty weak and underwhelming. I think the mistaken identity aspect was a bit of misfire and it didn't make sense given the real chef seemed to be already at the restaurant. The explanation for his sudden lack of moustache was also a bit convenient for my liking. Perhaps more could have made of the potential contact between the real chef vs the imposter which may have given the characters more to actually do, and created a better opportunity for a more satisfying ending.

Despite my misgivings I'm sure this will be seen again in the CHCH finals. It's just not the home run we saw last year.

In 2013, the Gangsta Pirates made a very well received converging storyline film. With Axiom, plot wise I got a touch confused. Certainly there was a secret being kept from the daughter and by the end it obviously becomes clear...just not to me!

The acting however was very effective, there were some nice shots in the park and the audio was good. I did find it a bit slow in parts and maybe some tighter editing would have helped.

Another intriguing film from the Gangsta Pirates and is one that I'll be rewatching to see what I missed!

[DQ'd - copyright broken]

Uncle Morgan recounts to his nephew the story of when he made a film.

I enjoyed the voice-over, the funny performances and the random shit that went on. I wished it had, had a bit more audio design, as it was crying out for some music to fill all the dead patches.

Audience loved it for the 48HRSness of it all. Well done, Team Fireworks!

Morgan finds himself mistakenly in the Ladies' toilet and quickly at the mercy of a playful woman who knows he's there.

Visually pretty nice, sounded good and it was well edited. The story was a sweet little slice-of-life, that was executed well by the two lead actors. The ECUs were good and the use of the ball was also well thought through. As with Mr MKB, I grew weary of the opening shots of toilets and sinks, so much so I thought the romance was going to be between them!

A cute little story though that can't help but make you smile. Nice work!

Morgan makes excuses in order to avoid going out to a party. She'd rather stay home a do a puzzle with her teddy bear; Mr Bearly.

Nicely filmed, good sound, good musical choices and clever use of ECUs. This short was also funny, well acted and engaging for the audience. They also managed to successfully achieve an uncomfortable tension towards the end, (which isn't always easy to do) and the lead helped with this by doing a great job at being bat-shit crazy!

Dragon vs Mouse are another veteran team in this Heat. Great to see them back again with what just might be their best effort to date. Great job!

A guy wakes up from a night on the couch to find a package for his flatmate on the doorstep. Only problem is: it's ticking!

Domino have been competing for a few years now and as usual have produced a quality short. It's nicely shot, sounds good and the music is great. Shaky-cam is used to good effect when it's time to create a bit of panic and everything seems nicely controlled. The acting is great and again shows what can be achieved with a small cast, if the story is good. I did feel that it was slightly drawn out, but the ending saved it. I loved that ending!

Nice job once more, Domino. You got my audience vote!

Our lead finds himself in financial difficulty and as things go, gets himself into further trouble when he loses at poker.

In 2013, The Dark Circle made the CHCH finals with their very dark and very clever film, "Stop 32" - so the question was, could they follow it up? Well, there were good performances, some clever effects - especially the blood splatter- and at times some of the camerawork matched what they'd achieved last year. The audio, however, was often hard to hear and the repetitive nature of a lot of the scenes made things rather confusing. For a time-travel film, there really wasn't a great deal of emphasis on the genre at all. However, when we finally got to the time-travel the audience enjoyed the over the top, comical action on screen.

[DQ'd - Audio issues]

A bored male baby sitter tells two young boys the story of "The Abandoned House at the Bottom of the Hill", eventually send them out to find and explore the mysterious property. Years later the grown boys attempt to do it all over again.

I liked how this take on the genre moved away from the normal medieval costumes and accents, into a realistic modern story. The filmed looked good and there was obviously some thought put into shot composition. The acting was consistently solid through-out. I did feel that the story meandered along somewhat during the grown-up journey and at one point I got a little lost. Perhaps the story wrapping up a bit sooner could have helped this.

Bad luck on the DQ!

Our lead faces an intense training regime and some testicular obstacles, in order to get his partner pregnant.

This film was well paced, acted and in general, it looked and sounded good. I liked the POV shots, the training montage was entertaining and I thought the line was used well. This film was also funny throughout, the audience seemed to enjoy the bedroom action and they even threw in a surprise ending. CTV did a good job at being creative with the genre here, and have produced a quality short!

A tween, Morgan, explains how she's not a child anymore and needs to grow up. She decides to bury all of those things that are stopping her becoming a woman; and that means everything.

This short started really well, had some solid acting from the lead and technically, was pretty sound. The humour worked well and the audience seemed to enjoy it. I felt that it was channelling "The Sleeping Plot" for a while with its filming of adults, and general storyline, but it eventually went in it's own direction.

Enjoyable and appreciated! Well done!

Two guys walk along the street talk/singing. They go to the park and dance. Then they have a rap battle with a girl at the park and then go home again.

Really, while fun, this is not much of a musical. There's some breaking of the 4th wall and a lot of seemingly random unscripted dialogue. There's some good natural acting and the dancing was fun - even if we'd already seen it in the opening intro.

Great that you gave a challenging genre a real good go!

A married couple have a car accident on the way home from dinner. Fast forward to the present and we learn that the husband has survived and there was also a daughter in the family, who is potentially struggling with the loss of her mother. Also struggling is her Pop, who blames the father for the accident. Just as well that she has a time-travelling device.

There are some good performances in this - Pop is particularly enjoyable and his opening exchange with his grand-daughter (also nicely acted through-out) is well-written and funny! On the flip-side there is a bit of telling from other characters "Let's hang at the park and get some pizza on the way." - yuck! The ending was nicely set up and includes a nice slo-motion sequence.

A really good film, that may have been spoiled a little with some unintentional humour during the serious bits!

Liked it and voted for it!

Couples go through an interview process with the hope of being sent to Mars. This involves isolation testing where the couples have to learn to live with each other.

An interesting short, with touches of the deep and meaningful at times, and then at other stages touches of humour. Nice use of split-screening, good sound, effects and filming. While this was quite an original approach for this genre the film itself was a little slow paced. Despite this, the ending was nicely set-up and executed.

Defiantly worth a rewatch. Good stuff!

Two woman discuss their relationship together and other things in a café and ultimately other places. One of them has a multiple-personality disorder which is putting serious strain on the relationship.

In 2013, Cat House Films made the CHCH final with their dialogue rich film and also entertained with their stunning team intro! "The Real Me", shares some similar traits with last year's film - it's dialogue heavy and has two strong female leads. It's nicely shot, has good audio and utilises available light well during some of the night scenes. The montage sequence is one of the strengths of the film and they nail the feel good factor of Rom-Coms by the film's end.

Another strong effort from Cat House Films.

A woman asks mechanic/handyman Morgan if he has seen Dave. Morgan says he hasn't. So where is he then?

Cahoots were a 2013 finalist with their quirky film Faulty Goods so I was keen to see what they'd come up with in 2014. "Ball Bearing" looks and sounds really nice. The use of the character trait is well-handled, with an understated performance by the lead. The single location is visually interesting, there are nice transitions between scenes and importantly, this film tells its story without the need to fill the seven minutes..

Dark, mysterious and there's an interesting twist in the tail. Voted 3rd in the Audience vote.

After falling victim to an April Fools' Day prank from his flat-mate, Morgan plots revenge, drawing up a list of his own devilish pranks. However, he doesn't find it as straight forward as he planned.

In 2013, Black Banner (formerly Mockingbird Productions) were DQ'd for being 2 seconds over the 7 minutes in their film "Exam". It was a great shame as it was potentially finals bound. In the wash up, it was their credits that were too long, so they kicked their credit designer to Wellington, changed their name and got back in the game! "A Prank too Far" is another example of their talent in taking a simple idea and executing well through nicely timed humour, careful shot selection and believable acting from an appropriately chosen young cast. The pranks were well set up, the music worked and it's always nice to see a joke made at the City Manager's expense.

Some of the night shots were a bit grainy (any available light would have helped) and there were a few audio issues in some scenes. It had a slight "I've seen this before" feeling to the story but luckily, just as I began to think it was going to go on too long, they cleverly wrapped things up.

The audience loved it, voting it No. 1. Awesome job, Black Banner.

The film opens with a naked man being chased through his property by a young woman wielding an axe. We flashback to the origins of this event as the young woman is convinced by another woman to actually murder the "Creepy old man next door", instead of just fantasying about it.

Now Andrew Todd warned the audience that this film had "dong hanging" in it, but it "wasn't too bad." Conveniently he neglected to mention a far more graphic scene within the film that I won't spoil here - and yes, "wince" is the word. This film had a great location - a very cool old house that was well used to show the tone of the film. Some of the visuals were quite striking on the big screen - the use of slow motion was particularly effective. That said, there was also some average stuff - the blurry close-ups of the sketches and the other quite weird/random shots/scenes that were sliced in. Performances from the three leads were convincing.

Weird, different and at times unexpected! Nice work!

Morgan "Max" Foster is the host of a lone survivor reality TV series, in the style of Bear Grylls. However, a TV News show starts to discover the truth behind the show.

This short had some nice touches. The performances and humour were good, the TV News reports nicely handled and whoever recorded the audio given the number of challenging outdoor areas deserves a pat on the back. I thought that Max really needed to be looking down the lens of the camera during his solo piece-to-camera scenes rather than at the LCD screen. Also, I was confused why the TV station kept playing his edited TV programme even after they became suspicious of its authenticity. Maybe just me.

Popular with the audience and took out 2nd place in the vote. Well done!

A female and male prisoner talk neighbouring cells, dreaming of escape. They imagine what life and meeting each other would be like outside the walls of the cell.

This had a fantastic location, that was creepy and allowed some wonderful textures and colours to be exploited on screen. Likewise there were some engaging shots - the lantern was one that springs to mind. At times it was a bit hard to hear the female prisoner and there was a bit of noise (camera or outside) through some interior scenes. While the acting was good, it did all become a bit too dialogue heavy and verged on becoming a little boring.

A strong, if not unexpected, ending had the intended impact on the audience. Well done!

Morgan and her boyfriend play a Q & A honesty game which turns rather dark when Morgan reveals that she has an imaginary friend who helps her with her "decision-making".

This short was well acted and a great example of how to use a small team effectively. There were some nice tracking shots and the eerie music built the tension well. Some of the darker scenes needed to make better use of available light, as things got rather grainy.

Clever, creepy, rewatchable! Good job!


Mr Foster starts receiving boxes delivered to his door that contain sinister single word notes. The plot thickens and gets a bit disturbing.

Ok, so this looked (apart from some grainy night shots) and sounded pretty good. It also most certainly kept the audience intrigued. There were some nice POV shots and plenty of stop motion/timelapse/jump cutting to create a lot of spooky visuals. American Horror Story anyone? What the actual mystery was is certainly a discussion point and this is one film I want to watch again to see what I missed.

Effective, engaging and well liked by the Heat 1 audience who voted it No.1.


In Parkstone Ave, a young couple driving home from a dinner party hit something on the road. Morgan lies to the driver about what they've hit, which will have consequences down the line!

One of the good things about this film is that it didn't outstay its welcome by going on for too long. It was short and snappy and told a clever little story, which was executed well. The acting was good, the line delivered well and flashbacks scenes nicely thought through. Whether the genre has been adequately nailed will be up to the viewer. It's more of a plot-device here rather than actually driving the story.

Was enjoyed by the audience so well done!


A young man awakes from a dream in which an event had occurred that had left no survivors. He goes to a party.

Yeah, I didn't take great notes on this one - perhaps because I got lost in what was going on. I did note that there were cool effects, some of the audio was lost, there was tripod noise on occasions, some quick day/night scene changes and a 4:3 aspect ratio was used - this may have been intentional?

I thought your intro was cute! Well done! (I promise to revisit this review once you upload to the Screening Room)


At Dr Foster's Asylum, a group of nurses begin the night shift. They are given strict warnings about their interactions with the patients - warnings they'll need to heed if they are to make it through the night!

The opening shot was great and when more was done like this, things looked good. However, many of the other shot set-ups were inconsistent or slowed the film down. There was also a lot of camera noise and mixed audio levels; especially when dialogued was ADR'd. That said, there were also some real highlights - the security camera footage was well thought through, the blood was realistic looking, the toilet kill superb and I loved the toast on the walls! (maybe it's always there?)

One thing to think about for next year is your casting. In "Night Shift" you had teens playing adult roles - why do this? You have so many cool stories you could tell using a young cast. Do it!

A young woman creates a song, which her friend/sister (Morgan) claims is crap and will never get her anywhere. Morgan steals the song, sends it to a producer and suddenly it's on the radio! Young woman is not happy and seeks revenge!

This has a nice beginning and is a simple idea. The story does become a bit disjointed in places and the same song being used over and over becomes somewhat tedious. The revenge sequence is fun to watch and must have been fun to make!

Four lads muck around at school, go to a house and watch TV, go to school and shoot some hoops. Grim ending.

Little confused with where this was going and what was actually going on. Not sure if you actually had a script! The audio was hard to hear in places and your darker scenes were very grainy - you can light night scenes; you just have to be creative! The film needed some music and it all seemed very long and drawn out - especially as nothing was really happening!

That said, it did manage to have a grim tone at times which made for a good ending.


A very young man is interrupted from his cat video watching by a text confirming an internet dating request. He gets himself ready and has a real ball on the date. It's love at first sight!

This had great touches of humour, a couple of well constructed montages and the team did a great job with the genre - I imagine Rom-com wouldn't have been your first choice! Technically some improvements can be made for next year. Direction can be heard at the start of one scene, there's a bit of ADRing gone wrong and some crazy edits. Likewise you need to have a think about your locations: eg why was he getting ready for a date at school? Why was the date at school?

The highlight of this film was the acting of the lead. Crazy, cool eyes and just an obviously energetic character. Reminded me onscreen of a young Hamish Parkinson. Dude, I'd love to cast you in a film of mine.

A cool idea and popular with the audience but ultimately DQ'd for YouTube video infringement.


A young woman receives a text warning her that armed thugs are about to enter her property. She has a choice: trust that the texts will help her or submit to the intruders.

This short has some good camera work and it looked really nice on the big Readings screen. There was some nice subtle humour, the acting was good and the story execution was kept nice and simple. The debate often is with this genre how much time-travel is enough? In many ways, the time-travel aspect in this is somewhat of an add-on, rather than a key feature of the plot.

Popular with the audience though, picking up second place in the vote. So, great job!


Once upon a time, a knight is caught by his wife, in bed with another woman. She's not happy about it and curses him with the Liars' Curse (he can only speak lies). The knight embarks on a journey to get help to remove the curse.

A story-telling voice over gets us into the story and is what you might expect from the genre. There's good humour, solid acting, it generally looks good, the montage is effective and the film ends strongly. As with many school films, the casting is sometimes a bit of a stretch - eg: teenagers playing adult roles. The audio is a bit mixed in places and some of the shots go on way to long, resulting in a few boring to the eye, scenes.

A pretty good film that used the genre well and proved popular with the audience. Well done! (3rd in Heat)


A young man is woken by a call from his boss at the Video Store. He's overslept and it's going to be a race to get to work on time! As is the case when you need to get somewhere fast, their are a lot of unexpected obstacles in your way.

A really good job was done with this film. It was a simple set up that was nicely executed. It looked good, was well edited and contained a good variety of shots, such as the use of a GoPro. Transitions between scenes were effective and the acting from the lead was great! The integration of the required character was cleverly done as well. I thought the music got a bit tedious and a soundscape was missing at the start of the film. I'm also unsure about the use of subtitles in some parts - I'm sure there must have been a reason!

Nice work overall and I look forward to seeing your future efforts. I thought it was one of the better films of the heat so you got my vote!


A young man and woman have relationship issues. The young man goes to a doctor for help.

Ah, first film and first review for CHCH 2014 - and what's more, a musical to kick things off! This was rather odd and disjointed piece that left me confused as to what was actually happening. It also didn't help that the film finished really abruptly. The audio quality was a bit mixed and really for a musical there wasn't a whole lot of singing. When we did get to a song (Liar, Liar) it was actually a pretty engaging one - a dark, sultry little number that wouldn't have been out of place in the opening titles of a Bond film

As always, musical is tough, especially if you haven't done the 48 before and have limited musical resources!

DQ - Late

It’s the 1970s (or 80s) and Jimmy Delta and Morgan Foster are two hot-shot detectives. Jimmy is out to get revenge for a lower, lower back injury suffered at the hands of Crazy Tracy Tracy; the head of the Neon Panthers gang. Over a cup of tea, they recount their respective versions of how everything went down.

With Rising Tide, JAGBOG make a return to their low-brow comedic roots. The film has strength in some of the performances, (Mumbling Marvin I loved – “That’s my knees, man”) the general visuals and some nicely edited sequences. However, I found that very quickly the whole thing lost momentum. The “truth and lies” retellings whilst entertaining, are dragged down by the office cut scenes connecting them. As a result, the use of the character trait becomes a bit tiresome and really, there’s very little story here.

I’m sure that the audience will love this film at the screenings though. There’s enough entertainment, silliness and touches of subtle humour to make it well worth a watch.

* Viewed in the Screening Room

Despite the fact that the fate of the woman in the film was pretty clear, this short kept me engaged throughout, as I sought to understand the motivation of the lead. Certainly a grim little piece that was enhanced by its black and white shades. As mentioned above, perhaps some of the language bordered on a little over the top but it was certainly delivered with passion from Vic. Perhaps too, the camera lingered a bit too long in the wider shots and I think a bit more hand-held shooting may have been useful to add to the uneasiness. Nice job.

At a brewery a cleaner is murdered by some sort of unseen entity. Some time later a new empoyee starts at the brewery. During his orientation he is warned by crazy Vic about a haunted gas bottle/valve. It seems that Vic, however, is the only person who can hear it. Strange things start happening...

Robocrop must have been mightily relieved to have a film this year that was still in competiton at the screenings, following a couple of years of disappointment. The word was that they'd kept things simple for 2013. This proved to be pretty accurate and while this short looks good and is nicely edited it lacks the real pace and energy that I've come to expect from a Robocrop film. As a horror it was all a bit flat, with no real tension, no real scares and a rather lifeless story. I did like the eerie drone running through it but it didn't really build to anything. It may have helped if there was a central character for the audience to care about.

Solid, likeable but it just didn't grab me!

Vic can't sleep. She seems anxious. We see the scene of a hit and run accident. We make assumptions as to the cause of her anxiety. We see the city of Christchurch and how Vic is moving through it at this point in her life, and what attention it is paying to her.

This is quite brilliant really. A real experience to view. According to Richard Lord he took over 7000 shots to create the stop-motion effect - and it works so very, very well, sweeping Vic and the audience along in the story. Really beautifully shot, well-acted and an awesome soundtrack.

I think this film has a great chance of taking out Christchurch. Not only is it an intriguing and well delivered story but the techniques used to show that story is a real point-of-difference.


Vic can't sleep. He takes pills, lots of pills and passes out. He didn't really think this through though, because he forgot about his fish, his cat and his dog. They are very concerned about their welfare given the condition of their owner.

Using pets was a brave and clever trick in this short and it works...for a time. The fish part is no doubt the strongest and things were building nicely and then the film just seems to finish. I imagine there was a limit to the cooperation of the pets! As such, a promising story and situation sort of runs out of steam. Loved by the Heat 10 audience though so well done!

Vic has just received bad news over the phone and it's about to get worse - ECQ are at her door for a post-earthquake final assessment. The house is a wreck but they're not very reassuring. However, it seems that Vic has a friend on the inside and that a bit of hacking may just save her house. She goes to ECQ headquarters to put the plan in action.

Upshot always make good, solid films. This one is an obvious dig at EQC and has some genuinely funny moments - the entry to the ECQ building being my favourite. Pretty well filmed, good editing (apart from the long telephone call at the start) and overall another solid effort!

Nice work!

Vic can't sleep. He sticks a sock on his hand and it comes to life! As they talk they think back to a day at the park. Bromance montage! They decide to go see the "guys", sockpuppet friends in the park. Things get a little crazy from there.

Could have gone places - didn't. Well actually it did as there was lots and lots of walking in one bit which was really unnecessary. I found the music annoying too and really the story relied on socks doing ridiculous things. I think you should have just stuck with the two of them and developed a story!

It's Victorian London and Inspector Victor Meyer is dealing with his case load, an estranged wife and his arch-nemesis, The Sandman. It's all a frightfully good romp.

This started awesomely with an entertaining, over-the-top duel that obviously foreshadowed later events. There were some clever moments - the carriage ride for example and a lot of witty dialogue. I did find some of it though a bit hard to understand through a combination of loud audio and just a little too much speed in the delivery. Great costuming, clever use of locations and nice attention to detail - the sunburn on The Sandman's face for example.

Not convinced that the story was that strong but I'm sure this will get a nod for "Best Script", given the way the characters are developed. As mentioned in other reviews, Steve Austin steals the show with his performance as The Sandman - great piece of casting and he seemed to really enjoy the role.

No doubt will feature in the finals, but this short is not as clever or engaging as their 2012 effort.

Vic can't sleep. He lies in bed. He goes on his computer. He looks up insomnia He investigates cures for insomnia. There's music.

Pretty sure this team was the Cutting Crew last year and produced an odd, but intriguing film with a guy in green. Not sure if we can classify this short as nailing the genre. There are lots of instrumentals with speaking but not a whole lot of singing until the end of the film, with the track, "I've got a problem". Filmed and edited pretty smoothly this relied on a lot of POV shots.

A fair enough effort; but one song, a musical does not make.

Vic, a teacher, can't sleep. She stays at work really late. There are strange forces afoot, however, and we see that another woman is trapped in some sort of scary limbo world inside a desk.

So good to see suspectTV and their excellent team logo back. Last time they were around they got Horror as well - that's what happens when you skip a year! Pretty nicely shot and edited. The two main actors did a fine job and things worked along to their logical conclusion. It did take a while to get into the story though and I found myself drifting off somewhat. I also got a little confused about who was stuck in the limbo world originally - had probably been set-up but I missed it and was surprised when we went back to Vic in the classroom as I thought it was her! The limbo sequences were also a touch long in my view - I sort of got the point.

A good little horror/thriller that was nicely received by the Heat 10 audience.

In the near future, a man (a downed pilot) tries to avoid detection from a, (sort of) relentless cyborg/big jawa creature, while escorting a young woman to the hatch that leads to the underground city where humanity survives.

One of the heavy hitters in Heat 10, Strang have always set the bar high with challenges they set themselves within the 48HOURS. Multiple split screens, a DVD commentary over a feature film and now 3D. For me, while this was a great technical achievement it was certainly at the expense of the film as a whole. The audio suffered in places and there were visual glitches as well. More importantly, not much happened in the story. This was a simple get from point A to point B and wait for the inevitable. I was disappointed that the creature didn't play a larger role in keeping the tension levels up. This character was hardly in it at all.
Apart from one glory shot, the 3D was a bit pointless. I took my glasses off a couple of times to see what it was like and there was very little difference. Still, I'm not about to tell you how to go about your film-making!

I don't believe this is a strong enough film to make the finals, and would only do so due to the 3D being a point-of-difference. The audience vote probably supports this opinion too. Great work though; ambitious as always!

Vic can't sleep. He plans to see a thearpist. He struggles at work. He goes to see the thearpist and then his life changes when he has a car accident.

I only really wrote down that the sound was a bit low and overall the story was a bit muddled. Might be one I need to watch again!

Vic has to rob a woman in order to pay off his bar tab. Expect things to not go smoothly.

This had the basis for your classic crime story but it all got lost in chunks of wordy dialogue that was drowned out in the bar by all manner of background noise. This film did its thing, offered a twist in the tail and then provided us with a public service announcement to round things off. Classic.

While Vic is driving to pick up her sister, her husband digs up a mysterious box in the garden. Its contents put him in a race against time.

This story was well set up, nicely shot and edited. Technically, a really strong effort that really engaged the audience. The acting was strong and the film was well-paced from start to finish. A couple of picky things though: One; the finding of the box was a bit too coveinient for me and you really do need to not think about how it got there - 'cos it doesn't make any sense if you do! Likewise I couldn't help but think I'd seen a chunk of this situation before - and I had in the 2007 film "Premonition"!

However, I'm reaching for stuff really. This is a very strong effort and a certainty for the finals. Awesome job!

Vic visits his doctor who probes him about his physical and mental health. Vic mentions that he now has a girlfriend, but we soon see the reality - he's infatuated with a woman and is stalking her. Eventually things take a bit of a turn.

As you would expect from this team the presentation is very slick and the black and white filming and or colour grade really looks good. I loved two things in particular - the in-car driving shots and the end scene. Convincing, genuine acting, that was really engaging. Being picky, one telephone conversation became a little hard to understand and the comical nature of the doctor's voice diminshed a little of the tension that had been created. Excellent music choice too, that really exploited the eerie tone.

A finalist for sure and one of the top three I've seen this year.

VIc Meyer is a vampire who hasn't slept sicne his last feed. He doesn't really like feeding on humans but eventually thirst gets the better of him.

Really nicely shot but saying this nailed the genre would be a bit of a stretch. It starts with more of a poem than a song, and in fact the only decent song track comes a bit late in the piece. Enjoyed the bath scene - nicely done. Not really strong in terms of story but at least it all looked good.