May is one of my favorite months for one reason, and one reason only:
SHORT SHORTS WITH SHORT LEASH
…if you are a family member or friend with a May birthday, you have my deepest apologies.
Not sure what Short Shorts with Short Leash is? Well, it's everyone's favorite summer block party (in my humble opinion) that encourages its attendees to wear the shortest shorts possible.
Like 1970's short.
…Okay, so actually there's a lot more to it than that.
Short Shorts is in fact a summer block party and it does encourage attendees to wear short shorts, BUT its real purpose is to be a summer film festival that fosters community by bringing everyone together to watch high quality short films from talented local filmmakers on a big outdoor screen in the middle of a parking lot, surrounded by cool local shops and vendors, while devouring the most delicious Short Leash Hot Dogs. And did I mention it's free?
Makes more sense now? Cool, right?
And when they say short films, they mean it. All of the films accepted are under 15mins. In fact, they average about 5-7mins each….hence the name "Short Shorts", which is what we call it for short.
…please tell me you caught that horribly brilliant pun. ;) Haha.
Anywayyy, the event (which celebrated it's 5th anniversary this year, congrats!) was created by Theater13, a really rad local production company, who partners with Stinkweeds, a really rad local record store with a really rad parking lot for really rad events. :) Both companies share a passion for supporting local artists and strive to produce events that people really do love to attend. It's a perfect match. And Theater13 does a killer job curating a variety of content that's well-made and quite entertaining for anyone regardless of age or interests. Bonus points for being family-friendly!
So how do I play a part in all of this? Well, not only do I simply love to be an attendee each year (although, I have to admit - I usually forgo the short shorts) - for the last 3 years, I've had the honor of sponsoring and documenting the event. Believe it or not, I'm actually pretty involved in the Phoenix film community. I've always had a huge passion for film & theater, and that passion grew exponentially when I started working on independent films in 2010 as a set photographer (aka unit stills photographer), merging my love of photography with filmmaking. So, when I'm not working with my portrait clients, you can sometimes find me on a film production taking stills and documenting everyone working behind the scenes. I'll do a blog post one day sharing the story of how I got involved and what exactly I do, but for now, if you'd like, you can see some of my work here. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay connected.
Back to Short Shorts…
So this year, rather than just document the event, I decided to do a photo booth for the first time. Because who doesn't love a good photo booth at an event? We had lots of summer-themed props, and a backdrop made of an old-school picnic blanket with short shorts hanging on a clothesline. Everyone got a pretty good kick out of it, and I had so much fun capturing people being goofy!
And as usual, I loved the bands that performed during the first half of the party, and was super impressed by the selection of short films shown once the sun went down. You can check them all out here. I'm always amazed by the talent we have here in Arizona that usually gets overlooked. Our film community is little, but it's like the Little Engine That Could. Everyone keeps pushing to be better. Never in competition with each other, more like in competition with themselves. Those are the filmmakers that grow and continue to tell interesting stories with a voice all their own. It's really exciting to see and easy for me to support. I'm so proud of all the filmmakers in Phoenix, who have razor-sharp focus and are giving it their all.
And a million thanks to EVERYONE who attended! Without you, we wouldn't have had our biggest turnout yet! We loved seeing all of the chairs, blankets…and couch…filled with familiar faces, along with new ones. I hope you liked what you saw and will join us again next year!
Until then, here are some of my favorite images from the event. Enjoy!