Short Sited Film Festival v12.0: 2 Disc Special Edition (2008)
Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary-all 16 short films.
Audio-Only Track-Intermission Music (mixed in Dolby 2.0 & 5.1)
Featurette-Animal Instincts Acceptance Speech (0:38)
Short Film-Cowboys and Indians (7:03)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Short Look At [SS_v12.0] Film Festival (1.41)
Multiple Angles-Animated Festival Opener (2:37)
Featurette-2008 Non-finalists Montage (2:11)
Notes-Press Releases (19 pages)
Gallery-Design (16 pages)
Teaser Trailer-Short Sited The 13th (0:41)
|Year Of Production||2008|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Tom Subjak|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||Varies|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Varies||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
The Short Sited Film Festival is an annual event based in the Illawarra Region of New South Wales, Australia. An important local cultural event, the festival enjoys firm support from local media and industry and is a vital platform for showcasing our superb local filmmaking talent. 2008 marked the festival's twelfth successful year, this time with a Sci-Fi theme.
This is the first time the festival organizers have attempted to make a DVD release of their finalist's films, and the result is outstanding. A lot of work has gone into the content; the menus, extras and overall package is first class to say the least. To be honest, I found it a little odd at first, watching this DVD and recognising local landmarks on my big screen. I'm certain anyone from the region would get a kick out of watching this collection of short films.
The content (sixteen short films and extra material) is spread over two single-layered discs, labelled Session One and Session Two.
A big thank you to festival director Tom Subjak for providing this disc for review. Anyone who is interested in this excellent DVD package or the festival itself should visit the Short Sited website. For readers who live in the Illawarra region, this DVD is available to rent at your local Video Ezy store.
I was pleasantly surprised by the consistency in the video quality of these short films. Aspect ratio, resolution and colour depth does vary from one film to the next, but not to the point where any stand out or become unsightly. Despite the variations in aspect ratio between films, all are presented in a 16x9 frame. Some are window boxed on all sides (a black border), presumably to allow for reduced resolution in the source. All together, this is a great presentation of the material.
Colours are bold and bright throughout. Some films have undergone digital grading, which makes a big difference.
MPEG compression artefacting is minimal. The most dominant issue is DV video grain, which is to be expected given the budgetary limitations at play here. There are no film artefacts involved (other than those that have been introduced intentionally).
There are no subtitles included.
The content is split over two discs. Both are single layered, DVD5 formatted.
Like the video presentation, the audio varies a little from one film to the next. Some are extremely polished, while others contain noticeable hiss or background noise. As I said above, these are excusable considering the scale of the productions on offer.
All sixteen films are presented with stereo Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, encoded at 448Kb/s. Only Tumbler has a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio option, accessible via the Film Database menu.
The English dialogue is generally easy to follow in these films, despite the mild differences in mix quality. One recurring issue I did notice is that many films seem to have mixed their background music too loud, which threatens to overpower the dialogue at times. There aren't any dire ADR or audio sync issues as far as I can tell.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is an outstanding, completely thorough DVD package, one that the festival organizers and participants should be very proud of.
All sixteen of the short films presented on discs one and two are accompanied by an optional audio commentary. These include worthwhile contributions from the directors, writers and some of the actors, and more than a few interesting anecdotes regarding their filmmaking experiences. Some of the commentaries are a bit on the dry side, and I do think it is a good thing these are short films, as it forces those speaking to get to the point rather than waffling on.
A selection of music that was commissioned specifically for the festival, composed by Adrian Sotomayor. The music is playable two ways; stereo with a video reel of sponsor logos, or, a selection of great surround mixes separated into eight individual tracks. The surround mixes are very immersive and worth checking out.
A couple of brief adverts from the festival's sponsors. It's a good thing these are relegated to the main menu and aren't forced on us in a manner akin to anti-piracy advertising.
The two lads who made the film offer their thanks for their award, all the way from Adelaide. This piece can be found in the Film Database menu.
This film won the audience favorite award at the 2007 festival. Directed by Phillip Hayes, it follows a pair of kids playing cowboys and indians in their street.
A glimpse of the festival night, and a few words with punters and security guards in the foyer.
A short sequence that was deleted at the last minute from the festival opener.
The cool animated opening sequence is presented in three angles; storyboard, basic animation and finished product. An optional commentary from creators Tom and Adrian is included.
A montage of images from entrants' films that didn't make the final 15.
Two commercials promoting the festival; one for entrants, the other for the screening.
Radio advertising for the festival.
A few stills of the adverts that were placed in print media, monochrome and colour.
All of the press releases that were made regarding the festival, announcing the finalists and the winners. Photos included.
A gallery of all the graphic art work that went into the programmes, posters and the like.
A little promo piece for next year's festival.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The transfer is great.
The extras are thorough and insightful.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.|