Furfangs, The

Directed By: Andrea Ricca

What do you need to make a film? According to moviemaker Andrea Ricca, just one cameraone computer, and zero budget! Now I’ll admit that I had never heard of Mr. Ricca until just recently, when it was recommended that I head over to his website to check out his third, and most recent Independent short film: The Furfangs. And when I did, the first thing that caught my eye was the well-designed movie poster — a very Critters inspired scene featuring sharp-toothed fuzzballs with ominously glowing white eyes and mischievous grins. The film already passed the first test: the creatures looked promisingly excellent.

Weighing in with a playtime of just over five minutes, a one-man cast, and not a single line of dialogue, The Furfangs is a highly entertaining endeavour. It focuses around a middle-aged man, who one night receives some very bizarre guests… of the extraterrestrial variety. Though initially deceived by their cuddly appearance, the tribble-sized aliens bare their teeth (quite literally) and turn into the houseguests from hell. The man must use his wits to rid his home of the alien threat before they demolish his house, and wreak further havoc in his life.

Andrea Ricca proves that all you need to make a great movie is a love of filmmaking. It’s impossible not to like this short flick: twisted creatures, tongue-in-cheek humour, and tight editing prove that Mr. Ricca has a genuine knack for making movies. The creatures interact perfectly with the live-action main character, and for a no-budget production the CGI is done amazingly well. It’s no wonder that Andrea’s previous films — also employing large quantities of CGI — have already been featured in SFX Magazine, and even scored him a Rondo nomination.

Short films are hit and miss. Virtually anyone with a camera can make a movie, but it takes someone with a keen instinct for pacing and editing to produce a great short. The Furfangs is a shining example of microcinema at its best: energetic, creative, and fun from start to finish. What’s really impressive is how Ricca manages to create the illusion of decent production values, while in reality having literally no budget. How does he achieve this? Well in addition to the excellent attention to lighting, CGI rendering, and editing, there’s one aspect to a movie which is supremely important (yet often neglected) in the Indie film industry: music. Music is the soul of a film, and if it doesn’t match what’s happening onscreen the results can be disastrous. What really sets this apart from other short films is the highly appropriate soundtrack, courtesy of Gianfilippo de Mattia, whose amazing score complements the film perfectly.

So there you have it, folks. If you haven’t been able to tell, I really dug this short film and highly recommend you check it out. You can watch it either by going to Andrea Ricca’s website, or by viewing it on YouTube. If you like it, leave him a comment — I’m sure he’d love to know his films are being enjoyed.

Kudos, Mr. Ricca. You’ve made an excellent movie!