How To Be A Human (United States, 4 minutes)

Directed by: Matthew Lumas

A set of ceramic eyes is magicked alive and proceeds to orchestrate the construction of a humanoid creature out of inanimate objects. Belts, shirts, Halloween props, all come together to form the creature. In an attempt to recreate life, the creature searches the Internet for the meaning of humanity. Browsing the web presents the creature with the words: love, hate, pain, emotions, and companionship. A quick look around the room shows the creature two groups of posters. The first group of posters is full of misery and pain, the second full of love and happiness. The creature moves to the latter group and tries to imitate one of the posters by holding its own hands. Finding no feeling from this, the creature spots a potential companion, a stuffed dog, and brings it to life with the touch of its hand. The dog springs to life and cuddles up to the creature who begins petting it. A huge smile appears as the creature feels happiness. Trying to further imitate the poster, the creature reaches for the dogs paw and squeezes it in an attempt to hold hands. The dog promptly bites the creatures hand, and withdraws. The creatures smile turns into a scowl of rage, and in a fit of anger the creature kills the dog. Immediately overcome with grief, the creature's face softens into a look of shock and sadness. Outside the house, the creature digs a hole to bury the dog in. After placing the dog in the shallow grave and covering the grave back up, a single tear wells up in the creatures eye, and falls. The tear falls and lands on the creatures hand, now transformed from a plastic prop into a real human hand. The creature flexes the hand, in awe of its new form.

Review:

How To Be A Human

By: Conor Murray

Filmed frame by frame, "How To Be A Human" follows a creature that comes to life, striving to become a human and see what living is truly supposed to be. When inanimate objects suddenly join together to form a humanoid being, the creature tries to understand what it means to be alive. Turning to the internet, the creature attempts to learn about emotions and relationships and the things that must be experienced rather than read about. Scanning the room for clues, the creature attempts to recreate the posters on the wall by holding its own hand but to no avail. When its attempt at a relationship with another being does not turn out as planned, the creature soon learns how to be a human. The amount of work needed to film a frame-by-frame production is always immense and the short does it very well. It's a very touching piece about trying to discover ones own identity. "How To Be A Human" is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be shown at the festival on October 12-18, 2015.