Review of SCAD shorts

By 01/01/2008
Review of SCAD shorts

SCAD in SCADshorts stands for Savannah College of Art and Design, but also a lot more than that as each month the site offers a new short film by the school’s students that, being untitled, must be appropriately named using the SCAD acronym. The site started in February 2007 by the Dandy Dwarves, a collective of SCAD students and alumni (they also have their own production company), as a forum for presenting the work of SCAD’s promising young filmmakers. Videos arrive once a month in need of a S-C-A-D title; participants with the first, best and/or most accurate title can win a video iPod.

“Quick,” a short film about an irritated, hormonal robot under orders from her lame parents would be titled what? Scantily Clad Android Daughter (by Britt Spencer), naturally. And that’s how it goes with SCADshorts, whose videos are not only usually funny and unique, but involve a brainteaser for added fun.

Most of the films play as clever, single concept commercials with quality production values and seamless visual effects for such low-budget projects that show off the quality and talent of the small Savannah college’s student body: a bingo game turns into a disco mosh pit (Senior Citizens Aggressively Dancing, by Todd Beyer); love blooms in a taxi cab due to comical subtitles accompanying the passengers’ conversation (Stylized Captions Arouse Desire, by Kevin Phillips); a freakish mouth on a marooned sailor’s foot that drinks up the ocean (Sailor’s Curse Avoids Drowning, by Christian Simmons).

Most of the videos come unadorned, but users’ title guesses as well as behind the scenes pages are often available for perusal.

The most entertaining short, and the most difficult to fit into the SCAD title mold (at least for this would-be puzzle solver), is a single take (but not really) thriller by Kevin Phillips about a gumshoe whose car gets taken away by hoodlums while he’s goofily ordering at a local bakery. You won’t believe what this 2006 graduate is able to achieve with just a camera and a few actors. Okay, guess the title yet? Stolen Car Angers Detective. I slapped my hand against my head, too.