Fantastic Fest 2015: The Eccentric Director Behind The Weirdest Festival Entries In Austin

David Davis in one of his short films that recently screened at Fantastic Fest 2015.
David Davis in one of his short films that recently screened at Fantastic Fest 2015. David Davis

The short film program “Shorts With Legs 2015” captures the weirdest stuff you can see at the Austin, Texas Fantastic Fest. Here’s the official Fantastic Fest description of what was in store this year from this most unique of short film experiences:

“Christened after last year's DIY tour-de-force I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS, this programme compiles the strangest and most compelling eccentric short films we've seen all year, from polished excursions into existential surrealism to enthusiastic reveries of outsider art madness. You'll experience unusual aspect ratios, all manner of mediums (including VHS), broken 4th walls, the occasional flagrant disregard for continuity editing and plenty of endearingly alien performances; all of which culminates in the most mind-meltingly bizarre short film submission this programmer has ever seen! As Bené would say: ‘These shorts are weird, man.’”

Indeed they are. And while the short film block was loaded with old woman monologues, silent magic battles against goat gods, service animal fetishism, and alien paranoia, perhaps the strangest shorts in this very strange collection were those of David Davis.

The only filmmaker to have multiple entries in the “Shorts with Legs” category at Fantastic Fest 2015, David Davis’ Reverse Effect captures the tone of his diverse work perfectly. Largely shot in front of Davis’s computer desk, bizarrely bookended by blaring metal, Reverse Effect is about a man and his wife’s experience with a pop-up ads’ free time travel trial.

David Davis’ “Reverse Effect”

Reverse Effects from David Davis on Vimeo.

It’s simple sci-fi, almost like a living comic strip, but undeniably vigorous and fascinating.

David Davis himself was there for the Fantastic Fest screening and shared a bit of his filmmaking motivation. “I just needed some way to spend my spare time,” Davis told the Fantastic Fest audience.

If you’ve seen a David Davis film then you probably won’t be surprised that his directorial origins are suitably lo-fi. “I was walking through CVS and I saw a disposable video camera and I thought ‘I could do something with this.’”

David Davis’ “Alike & Different”

Alike & Different from David Davis on Vimeo.

Check out David Davis’ Vimeo page for a taste of Davis’ particular style of passionate short film creation.

So what’s next for Davis? Well… it’s as fittingly hard to describe as the rest of his work. “My current project now is I’m the curator for David Davis Video and I’m the spokesperson for Earth Park which is a park where aliens live.”

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