Over the past couple weeks, several incredibly well-made short films have released online and received some well-deserved attention. Some have received Hollywood's notice and it seems to be more and more common for features to be sourced from shorts, or at least the industry seems to be flirting with the idea more.
"The Leviathan," by Ruairi Robinson was released as a proof-of-concept piece that has drawn the attention of Neil Blomkamp and Simon Kinberg as Executive Producer and Producer, respectively, which should help get funding. This is familiar territory for Blomkamp, whose "District 9" started life as a short film.
Dark and eerily beautiful, Mischa Rozema's "Sundays" has ignited a bidding war between major studios for the feature treatment. Not bad for a $50,000 Kickstarter-funded short.
In addition to original pieces, there have been some adapted shorts that really transcend the notion of fan fiction. While it's unlikely that either of these pieces will morph into features, they are incredible accomplishments and the filmmakers deserve recognition.
"Star Wars: TIE Fighter" is an 80s/90s Anime-style adaptation of Star Wars from the Imperial point of view. Kudos to Paul Johnson for playing with both form an theme.
Finally, we have a dark, adult adaptation of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers -- Joseph Kahn's "Power/Ranger." This originally received takedown notices on Vimeo and YouTube over copyright concerns, especially since there's a Power Rangers movie in the works. This short is smart, though -- the kids who grew up with Power Rangers on afternoon TV will love seeing something this edgy.