How Much Help is Too Much?

We’ve recently found ourselves enchanted by the British series Black Mirror. When science fiction first began to appear in film and on television, we hoped this is what would happen.

After the monster features, and after the space opera and superheroes, we knew there would eventually be a place for thoughtful, insightful explorations of how technology affects and  changes us.

This short film looks like something that would have appeared on the anthology series, except that it’s French. (and isn’t the British television forbidden by law to present such?)

This beautifully crafted SF film explores the possibility that there might be such a thing as too much help.


We are always enchanted by the minds of modern short filmmakers; the ones who understand that 100 minutes is no longer the gold standard for movie length.

You can rub elbows with some of the most creative filmmakers in the SF Bay Area if you circle your calendar for Saturday, Dec 10th, and make sure to get to the Meet & Greet at the Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland CA.

More information can be found here.

The event begins at 3:30 and runs until 5:30. In addition to seeing some of the top films from this past season of the 48 Hour Film Project in San Jose and San Francisco, you will also get to meet some of the top filmmakers and organizers.

It’s a good bet you’ll have fun.

Just a Moment

It seems that we’re increasingly obsessed with capturing the moment, preserving the moment,  recording the moment…

Here’s an idea though.

Could we simply pause to relish the moment?

The opening shots of the video tell us that most of the visual activity happened in 4.2 seconds. That truly is amazing.

We think it’s also okay to be amazed by the moment.


Another source of amazement that constantly inspires us is that breed of filmmakers who repeatedly set out to make a short film in just 48 hours. These are the participants in the 48 Hour Film Project.

The competition will be celebrating its 15th year in San Francisco, and its 10th year in San Jose during 2017.

You can meet some of the filmmakers and organizers who make it happen on Dec 10th at the Octopus Literary Society in Oakland where a mixer will spring up at 3:30pm.

Sound of the Age

The coalescence of events from events from early November of 2016 will stand in history as a pivotal moment. We’re reminded of the depiction of 1968 in the mini-series “From Earth to the Moon

One outcome is that the number of otherwise civil and courteous people who regularly invoke the F-bomb will turn out to have reached an unprecedented peak. It’s also likely that the Angry Face emoticon on Facebook will turn out to have spiked at a level many times higher than ever since its introduction.

Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright will probably occupy a place in this era similar to that of Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie. This performance will probably be the “Alice’s Restaurant” of our time.

Or… maybe it’s just a beautiful moment. Either way, we commend it to your attention now.


Artists everywhere are considering what they can do to contribute to the future of our society. Many of them will show up at the SF Bay Area 48 Hour Film Project meet & greet scheduled for Dec. 10.

Competitors, organizers, and fans of the 48HFP will drop in at the Octopus Literary Society for a gathering on Saturday, 12/10 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. You’ll find more details on the Facebook pages for both the San Francisco and the San Jose 48 Hour Film Project.

Outta This House!

If there were justice instead of simple rules of baseball, this would be worth two runs all by itself. Take a look and see if you agree.

We’ll be back this season with lots of news about online series, festivals, indie film releases and more.

Next episode of Be My Guest is only a few weeks away. Some important announcements about the 48 Hour Film Festival dates for 2017 are about to go public. And we have some staff favorites to share with you, so stay tuned…

48HFP Awards Nominations 2016

The 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) is the oldest and largest time-based filmmaking competition in the world. It is now conducted in over 120 cities worldwide. San Francisco held its 14 annual competition earlier this summer and the Awards will be presented on Oct 22nd.

Here are the nominees for the 14th annual San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project.

Audience Choice Finalists

Group A

  • Repertoire – Inspect the Uninspected
  • Demogorgon – A Better Place
  • Michael Bolton Scream Machine Team – The Host
  • Barewitness Films – The Big Kick

Group B

  • International High School – Morbid Artistry
  • The Letter 6 – Dave’s Delivery
  • Hardly Even Films – Christmas in August

Group C

  • Heem Team – Hip Road to Ster Town
  • El Molino High School Digital Media – Over the Fence
  • Feintly – Enclave

Group D

  • Fish Eye Films – Browler Bros
  • Team Bugbear – Volition
  • Sixty Sixers – Dirty Work

Best Trailer

  • Curly Haired People – Wrong Guy Wrong Place Wrong Time
  • Hardly Even Films – Christmas in August
  • Madras Mantle – Oliver’s Tryst

 Funniest Moment

  • International High School – Morbid Artistry 
  • Curly Haired People –  Wrong Guy Wrong Place Wrong Time
  • TBP – The Hanging Chads

Best of the Late Films

  • Fabulist Films – On The Case
  • Fluck The Dimshut Production – The Road To One
  • Wineglass Productions – Dead Roses

Best Costumes

  • Heem Team –  Hip Road to Ster Town
  • TBP – The Hanging Chads
  • Naptime – Loyalty

Best Choreography

  • Barewitness Films  – The Big Kick
  • Team Bugbear – Volition
  • Bay Area Natives – Foursquare Forever

Best Original Music Score

  • Team Bugbear – Volition
  • Repertoire – Inspect the Unexpected
  • Sixtysixers – Dirty Work

Best Use of Line

  • Repertoire –Inspect the Uninspected
  • Naptime – Loyalty
  • Sixtysixers – Dirty Work

Best Use of Prop

  • Demogorgon – A Better Place
  • Bay Area Natives – Foursquare Forever
  • Naptime – Loyalty

Best Use of Character

  • Square Marden – Rough Answers
  • Sixtysixers – Dirty Work
  • Repertoire – Inspect the Unexpected

Best Sound Design

  • Savage Six – The Escape
  • Feintly – Enclave
  • Repertoire – Inspect the Unexpected

Best Child Actors

  • Lily Gibbons as Young Lilly – A Better Place
  • Jack Gibbons as Young Jack – A Better Place
  • Jane Gibbons as Jane – A Better Place

Best Actor

  • Robert Watt AS Mr Lentwell – Dave’s Delivery
  • Mark Rachel AS Oliver Lentwell – The Big Kick
  • Ryan Wiley AS Reginald – Hanging Chads

Sometimes a Small Voice

In a world of big production values, loud vitriolic debates, and self-indulgent superstars – can something like this make a difference?

We’re still drying our eyes over here. (And then the song loops and our Kleenex supply dwindles further.)

Maati Baani’s channel has more. We recommend it and encourage you to subscribe and give a big thumbs up to the videos you like.


Don’t forget to save the dates for the San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project screenings on the weekend of Sept 10 and 11. Over three dozen filmmakers put together short films to entertain premiere audiences and you can be there to see it. Details are on their website.

How Big is It? (Really?)

By now, most of us who are paying attention know that the traditional mercator projection is quite inaccurate when used for the world map. But did you know how inaccurate it is?

Take a look at this enlightening (and delightful) journey around the world. You may have a moment of deja-vu when the narrator lapses into an homage to Yakko Warner’s iconic “Nations of the World” rap.

We think a student of the world could spend several hours just following the clues and links stuffed into that fast-moving piece.


Although we hope cartographers and historians will do their best to tell the truth, storytellers and narrative filmmakers are not expected to observe that restriction. That’s why we’re glad to know that San Francisco independent filmmakers are setting out today to create a new crop of short films as part of the 48 Hour Film Project.

You can learn more at their Facebook page, or just subscribe to this blog and we’ll be sure to remind you when the premiere screenings and awards show are announced.

Trust us, this is worth your 4 minutes