This weekend’s short flick is a giant monster film about an unlikely monster. It’s called The Legend of Ol’ Goldie (UK-2008; short [7.31 min.]; dir. Matthew Snyman], a poignant tale of a lonely boy and his problematic pet, made with a surreal visual sensibility that is highly affecting. I was particularly taken by the colour toning, the whimsical beauty of the imagery and its excellent FX. An award winner, The Legend of Ol’ Goldie has been a favourite at a whole run of film festivals.
Who says you can’t be best friends with a giant goldfish? When a lonely young boy catches a mysterious goldfish whilst fishing on the lake, no one is prepared for what lies within. The boy’s troubled home life leads to an emotional bond with the goldfish, based at least in part on their similar circumstances. Everybody needs friends, right? So together these two form a special bond… But when the goldfish starts doubling in size after every meal, the boy finds it increasingly difficult to keep his new friend a secret…
Firstly, the Trailer:
And now, here she blows — The Legend of Ol’ Goldie:
Interestingly, Snyman is working on zombie web series called The Dead Must Die. But more on that later.
Creator Bio: Matthew Snyman
I’ve been interested in Film and Design since I was a small child. I grew up in South Africa and lived next door to a Special Effects Studio, and a famous horror film location. Even the house I grew up in was eventually bought by a film production company. So I really didn’t have any other choice but to become interested in Film and Design.
My family emigrated to the UK when I was 14, and I studied film at high school and came top in the UK. At the same time, my older brother began working as a feature film animator and is now considered one of the best in the world, having won the Maya Master Award, a lifetime award – despite the fact that he is only 27 – culminating in his work on ‘Avatar’. So I’ve always had a lot of brotherly competition! To catch up to my brother, I went to film school at the University of Westminster Film School (The oldest in Europe) and I graduated in 2008 with a BA (hons) in Film and Television Production. During my time at University I won many student awards including a Kodak/British Television Advertising student commercial award, and a Royal Television Society award. But the university endeavour I am most proud of is co-founding the project to restore the UK’s first cinema on Regent Street in London to its former glory.
After University I made my first non-student short film about a boy and his pet giant goldfish: ‘Goldie’ aimed at a young audience. The film has played all over the world in over 20 film festivals and has been viewed by over 150,000 children at travelling festival locations. It was recently awarded a KIDS FIRST BEST! award at the Santa Fe Film Festival. This film and my university work helped me get picked for the international MTV show “Engine Room” where I represented Europe with three others, against teams of the best young Digital Artists and filmmakers from around the world… I was chosen out of pool of 40,000 entries. Unfortunately I lost the grand prize of $400,000 by a single point; this made me very sad. But I did get to meet some of my film and design heroes, such as Stefan Sagmeister, Mark Osborne, Pete Connolly and Kevin Smith (who described me as his greatest enemy!)
The success of the show helped me find work easily (which is hard for most film graduates, especially during the recession!) Since then, I have been working predominantly in London as an Animator and Director at a company called Nomadic Films; but I have also done some work in NY for some major brands. My clients have included Pepsi, MTV, HP, Coca-Cola, Tango and Rocktron. And my work has been shown at Times Square, the Houses of Parliament in London, and at the White House.