A short film, to me, does it’s job by leaving you hungry for just a little more. Due to the nature of a short film (any film 40 min or less), we dont get a full back story to our characters and often times we as viewers as dropped in a specific moment in the characters life. We get to see things unfold just as the characters do, essentially we get a slice of their life. That is exactly what a short film is, a slice of Life. We don’t always need those elaborate back stories to get into the film, or to understand the characters.
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Such is the case with today’s Short Film pick Breath by Toby Meakins. The film can be seen over at http://www.shortoftheweek.com and at a run time of 5min (less than that because the credits take up about 1 min) you can literally watch this while you eat your cereal or have your coffee in the morning. It doesn’t take up too much of your time, but trust me when I tell you that by the end of it you will be thirsting for more. Although Breath is a horror short, Toby decided to go a different route within this genre. Instead of relying on blood, guts, and screams the film is carried by suspense and story. To sum it up the short is about a ghost you can only see when you hold your breath. This film gave us just enough information to draw our attention, but by the time you think you figured it out the film takes a turn and leaves you with more questions than you when you started. A good short film has the potential to be a feature, and this one can actually go so many different ways if ever adapted to be one. BUT not all short films regardless of how good should be turn into a feature. Sometimes less is more and although the potential story lines can be fascinating, I think Toby Meakins accomplished something wonderful within the confines of 5 minutes.
One of the first things you will notice about this film is the cinematography. The location is absolutely perfect for this film, an abandoned Church I’m assuming as you can see a beautiful stained glass windows depicting a saint praying on his knees. It was perfectly orchestrated to give us that weird sensation we feel when where in a dark place. The color of the film is cold, almost grayish which can be associated with death, sadness, depression. The characters clearly were not in this place to party and have a good time, and the actors were not that bad. After watching twice I realize how the main character seemed pretty confidant, and sure the entire time. He knew what he was doing and he wasn’t scared as opposed to out second character who was the complete opposite. He looked scared, confused, and angry. Once we reach the climax of the short we see that although it is labeled a “horror” this is actually a love story at the very essence. What wouldn’t you do for Love? Love makes people do some crazy things and once we realize this we can understand what takes place in the short. Does it justify what happens, no, but at least you can sympathize with the character and understand what he is going through. This is where our minds start to race because now we wonder how did this happen in the first place? How does this character know what to do? How long has he been doing this? BUT like any good movie it is up to our imaginations to figure it out!!!