Short Sited Film Festival v12.0: 2 Disc Special Edition (2008)

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Due Out for Sale 19-Sep-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Various 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)
Trailer-Sponsors (2:35)
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)
Deleted Scenes-(1:26)
Multiple Angles-Animated Festival Opener (2:37)
Featurette-2008 Non-finalists Montage (2:11)
TV Spots-(0:43)
Radio Spots-(0:51)
Gallery-Advertising (4)
Notes-Press Releases (19 pages)
Gallery-Design (16 pages)
Teaser Trailer-Short Sited The 13th (0:41)
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 90:03
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Subjak
Studio
Distributor
Studio Unknown
Distributor Unknown
Starring Tom Subjak
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $24.95 Music Adrian Sotomayor


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    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.

    Disc One

    Disc 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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This is an outstanding, completely thorough DVD package, one that the festival organizers and participants should be very proud of.

Menu

    The menu pages on these discs are superbly animated around the festival's Sci-Fi theme, with suitably eerie music throughout. All of the content is 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentaries

    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.

Disc One

Audio Track- Intermission Music (21:15)

    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.

Sponsor Trailers (2:35)

    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.

Disc Two

Featurette- Animal Instincts Acceptance Speech (0:38)

    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.

Short Film- Cowboys and Indians (7:03)

    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.

Featurette- Short Look At "SS_v12.0" Film Festival (1.41)

    A glimpse of the festival night, and a few words with punters and security guards in the foyer.

Deleted Scene (1:26)

    A short sequence that was deleted at the last minute from the festival opener.

Multi-Angle Feature- Animated Festival Opener (2:37)

    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.

Featurette- 2008 Non-finalists Montage (2:11)

    A montage of images from entrants' films that didn't make the final 15.

TV Spots (0:43)

    Two commercials promoting the festival; one for entrants, the other for the screening.

Radio Spots (0:51)

    Radio advertising for the festival.

Gallery (4)

    A few stills of the adverts that were placed in print media, monochrome and colour.

Notes- Press Releases (19 pages)

    All of the press releases that were made regarding the festival, announcing the finalists and the winners. Photos included.

Gallery- Design (16 pages)

    A gallery of all the graphic art work that went into the programmes, posters and the like.

Teaser Trailer- Short Sited The 13th (0:41)

    A little promo piece for next year's festival.

DVD Credits

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Availability of this release is limited to the Short Sited website. It's also available to rent from Video Ezy stores throughout the Illawarra region. I should also point out that the discs are coded for Region 4 only.

Summary

    Short Sited v12.0 is a fantastic DVD package. If you're a fan of independent or short-film making, this is a must.

    The transfer is great.

    The extras are thorough and insightful.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Monday, October 06, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplaySanyo 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 DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.

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