A lot can happen in just a few minutes. Short films are a testament to this idea by proving that compelling stories can be told in little time. We believe that music plays a large role in shaping a powerful story through picture. A perfect soundtrack can cut to an emotional core and leave a lasting, powerful impression long after the credits roll.
We compiled some of our favorite music-driven short films we've recently seen. Each of these pieces contains an amazing balance of musical and visual harmony. Enjoy and share your thoughts by commenting below.
1. Watchtower of Turkey // Leonardo Dalessandri
We've watched this one more than we care to admit. It's because there's always something new to catch hidden in the incredible collage of quick and stirring images compiled together into one of the most unique films we've seen to date. Filmmaker, Leonardo Dalessandri shows a lush and gorgeous narrative of Turkey through the lens of its people, places, sights and sounds. Using the powerful soundtrack "Experience" by Ludovico Einaudi, the score builds from a delicate flutter of piano and strings into a exhilarating rush of orchestral flurries and drums. The soundtrack dips and rises in intensity as the imagery dances alongside it in perfect unison.
2. To The Makers And Artists // Story & Heart
Drawing from so many different forms of inspiration, processes and creation, our friends at Story & Heart have created a narrative unlike any other. In just over a minute, you witness a collaboration between 32 different filmmakers celebrating the joy of creativity and craft. Guided by an inspirational VO, our track "Great Divide" gently marches along with bouncy piano and rises in perfect time with the pinnacle of revelation with strings and a resounding pulse from the drums. This colorful pairing is a motivational ode, sharing insight into the rich world of art and the intimate spaces in which we create.
3. Whim // Carson Nyquist
We all love a good montage. Why? Because they're awesome. In a short, condensed span of time you get to see trials and tribulations leading up to moments of euphoria. Filmmaker, Carson Nyquist presents a different style of montage that moves in beautiful, cinematic form. This sweet film presents a bright and touching atmosphere highlighting determination, failure and eventual triumph. Ryan O'Neal's orchestral soundtrack follows the life of the protagonist in a series of sweeping images that build into a nice slow reveal and epiphany. Pure magic.
4. The Important Places // Gnarly Bay
Everything about the new film from Gnarly Bay is wonderful. From the interesting narrative -- tinged at first with sadness and nostalgia and then sentiment and hope to the sweeping nature shots -- this piece of art bottles the complex emotions of family, aging and memory. Gorgeous landscape footage melds beautifully with the calm, atmospheric music from Marmoset Artists, Gregory and the Hawk, Bryan John Appleby, and Bell Plaines. A lot of the editing merges the old with the new --footage from the 1970’s contrasted to crisp and clear time-lapse footage. There's a sense of magical realism in this piece that spans many different emotions, all captured within a general of awe of nature -- this is truly beautiful.
5. Lost In New Zealand // Ben Steensels
Filmmaker, Ben Steensels calls this his “manic trip to New Zealand,” and that description fits perfectly with the way this video feels. It’s a magical creature like Watchtower of Turkey, edited in fast cuts and swift rolls that keep up a breakneck pace right along with the rapid, intense notes of piano. The editing has a cool way of making long, drawn out processes like a boat docking or a raft kicking around in the current seem clipped and almost comical in its heightened speed. Water falling backwards, clouds, zooms in from the top of a tree in the forest to the tiny ridges in a fern leaf are a few of the small details we like. Filled with whimsy and a humorous tone, Wim Merten's soundtrack keeps pace with steady piano hits and quirky melodies.
6. Frequency // Ben Worley & Dave Altizer
Something old makes something new. Filmmaker, Dave Altizer teamed up with composer, Ben Worsley in this bizarre alternate universe of a film. There are a lot of a lot of tight, close up shots and short, choppy edits, all used really well to create a kind of quirky, comical timing. There’s not much music, but we included this because of the way the sound design plays in -- cutting in and out of what you hear and can’t hear with the radio frequency playing. Take a trip to the astral plane with this one.