One of the challenges of every Oscar season is the smaller categories. True, everyone has probably seen Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook by now, but nobody ever really seems to know about the other categories. The ones that films of these statures are not even up for. I am of course talking about the Best Short Films, whether they be animated or live action. Until 2006, you would be out of luck in seeing most of them outside of the shorts precluding Pixar's latest. However, thanks to Shorts HD, there is a way to see these brilliant pieces of work.
I first became aware of Shorts HD's program called the Oscar Nominated Shorts last year. I have long been interested in seeing what these mysterious categories held. While it didn't work out that I could go out and see them, they have ingeniously used technology to their advantage. Releasing them in a bundle, I was able to buy 2012's nominated shorts in the animated and live action categories and watch it a'la Video on Demand (VOD). Along with a few additional shorts that didn't make the cut, the experience is one that I would recommend, especially since I feel it is a relatively cheap way to discover what is considered the best of shorts without just voting blindly.
This year, Shorts HD continues to expand their programming to more theaters across the nation (check here to find a city near you). I am unable to comment on the presentation of theater quality, but it has been going for seven years now, and I can only assume it is top notch and very similar to that of the VOD presentation.
For those unable to make it out to see these showings, don't fret. Starting on February 19, the Oscar Nominated Shorts 2013 VOD program will become available. While pricing is unavailable, I assume that it will be relatively the same price as last year ($8.99 for either Best Animated Short or Best Live-Action). Check your local distributor for further information on how to view things. I usually go with iTunes.
What are the shorts that will be featured? They are:
Adam and Dog
Head Over Heels
Death of a Shadow
Also, the website gives information about Best Documentary Shorts. I am unaware if there is an additional release plan for it. It would be an interesting expansion.
Mondays at Racine
I am personally looking forward to giving this year's nominees a go. Hopefully I will make it out to a theater. Otherwise, please do yourselves a favor and if you like great entertainment that is only kind of recognized by the Oscars, give these a chance. I guarantee it will be well worth your time. Upon completion of watching these, also keep an eye out for my reviews and predictions for the winners.
Click here for more info.
Click here for more info.