Thursday, February 4, 2016

Traveler





And... I'm back.

Sorry about disappearing, folks. These things happen.

So, anyway, let's get back to it... I've got a couple of short films on deck, some good, some bad, and some kind of meh, all of which I will be sharing with you this month. The first film up is called TRAVELER, and it is written and directed by Simon Brown

Here's the official synopsis: A group of friends build a jet-powered craft to teleport across the universe. It’s only when they succeed that their problems begin

Mr. Brown appears to have done a lot of commercial work before now, and even though this looks like it's basically one of his first longer genre works, he seems to have a nice style. However, right from the start, between the weirdly brief synopsis--which even lacked some punctuation--and the fact the short film is described on his site as "teasing the world of a bigger feature", I'm already getting an all too familiar, and not-that-great, kind of feeling about this one.

Well, only one way to find out...



First off, that looked great.

I liked everything about the look, from the ship designs to the locations to the general aesthetic, it's all real sharp and slick... sure, there's maybe a few too many dutch angles, but hey, people love their flourishes. The point is, I think the guy has the chops to do longer, good-looking, and cool genre projects. And I'd certainly be interested in seeing more from this one. 

However, the problem with this short film is an all too common one. In a nutshell, it's all tease and no substance. There's too much of an eye on grabbing the attention of some hypothetical bag of money that would then finance the larger project, and not enough attention on making a short film that stands on its own. Yes, it's intended as a smaller piece of a large project, but it should still be its own story.

Plus, worst of all, the thing basically stops right when all the interesting stuff starts happening. Why would you do that? Do we really need all that set-up when there's almost zero pay-off? No, and in fact, doing so almost sours all of the good that came before. What this film really needed is less confused meandering at the launch site by a bunch of characters we don't know, and more on the crazy repercussions they stumbled on to. That makes sense, right? I mean, when you're advertising your awesomeness, you should probably focus on the coolest shit you've got.

It's definitely not bad, but it's also not whole enough to be really good either.

Traveling on,
Jon 


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