Who doesn’t love a good short film?
Bertie Gilbert has been inviting us into his inner world for a long time now, whether through beautifully crafted short films, aesthetically pleasing chats to his camera or the odd music video that feels more like a fever dream. Making films since he was just 15 years old, he’s been making most of us wonder what we’re actually doing with our lives for years, as we’ve watched him grow into one of the most interesting storytellers on YouTube. Putting our quarter-life crises aside, Bertie has a wonderful catalogue of poignant, funny and creative videos that we can’t help but want to celebrate.
Let’s talk about some of those lovely projects, shall we?
Co-written and directed by Sammy Paul, Playground is a gorgeous exploration of how we deal with grief and loss, with a broken rocket ship and a snip diddler thrown in for good measure. The heart behind this short film is staggering – it has a signature bittersweet and ultimately very human quality that makes it utterly captivating.
Playground will keep you coming back to it time and time again, especially when you need a good cry. It’s that kind of honesty and universality, in fact, that makes so much of Bertie’s content so endearing.
Shot in Paris on a Super 8 camera, Bertie’s music video for dodie’s You couldn’t have a more romantic setting, which apparently makes it perfect for a song about being heartbroken? Bertie explains in his insightful follow-up video why the romance works so well, “To most of us, that combination sounds lovely, but when you’re heartbroken, that world is a nightmare.” Enter two terrifying papier-mache head antagonists, just to really hammer the nightmare part home.
This light-hearted and nostalgic video is soup for the soul, and we can’t recommend it enough if you want a smaller dose of Bertie’s vivid imagination.
STOMPING GROUNDS (2018)
A stunningly well-crafted short film about how ambition can often be all-consuming, Stomping Grounds is a triumph that stomped its way through the festival circuit in 2018, even winning Bertie the First Flights Young Talent Film Award at the New Renaissance Film Festival. His most professional film, yet still highly personal and imaginative, we think it’s a must-watch for aspiring filmmakers and storytellers everywhere.
Shout out to Bertie for using Declan McKenna’s music, so we can appreciate the beautiful cinematography while also vibing to some great indie-pop.
LET IT BE (2016)
Like many of Bertie’s short films, what makes Let It Be so charming is its ability to make you laugh and cry in such a short space of time. Tom Rosenthal’s soundtrack is the perfect complement to this melancholic yet hopeful story as Martha and Carl find Death in their back garden. Superbly acted, masterfully edited and rich with symbolism and intricate hidden details, this one is definitely worth a rewatch or 12, whether you prefer the Beatles’ earlier or later music.
MY LIFE IS A SONG FOR YOU (2020)
Rounding off this list is one of Bertie’s most recent projects, a beautiful extended music video for Tom Rosenthal’s My Life is a Song For You. Subtitled “a film about grief and art”, this one tugs hard on the old heartstrings, exploring how grief and art are so often intertwined in a very inspiring and uplifting way. Bertie called meeting the people featured and making the film a “wonderful, cathartic experience” and we have to say we feel the same about watching it.
Once again, the passion and heart featured in all of Bertie’s films both shine bright.
So, there you have it…
Five of our favourite Bertie Gilbert projects. We’ve loved seeing Bertie’s more casual videos lately, as he’s talked about everything from the Harry Potter films to his love for Kermit the Frog. We have no doubt that Bertie is one of the most exciting up-and-coming filmmakers on YouTube and we can’t wait to see what he does next!
Are we missing your favourite Bertie film? Be sure to tweet @TenEightyUK and let us know!
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