Short Circuit


The basis of a good short film is getting all the elements right. The idea needs to be sound. It has to be simple enough to fit into a brief narrative, but it still has to engage with the audience. The script needs to be tight. With only a limited time available the story has to be brought to life. The execution is crucial. Usually the film will have a minuscule budget so creativity and imagination are hugely important. When done well the results are often better than a big budget, full length feature. A prime example of how to do well is the 2013 film Short Circuit.

A driver is motoring along a dirt road when he hits a rather large pot hole. Cursing his luck he reverses out of the hole and continues on his way. A short distance down the road he sees a car broken down on the side of the road with a man staring intently under the bonnet as if seeking divine intervention. The driver, being a helpful sort, asks if the guy needs any help. He expresses surprise with the response he gets. The man is immediately rude and aggressive towards the driver. The driver cannot understand what the problem is. After all, he is just trying to help out. The man is already up in the driver’s face threatening serious violence. The driver retreats to his car and after expressing himself with a few expletives goes on his way. This is not the end of the story, though.

This is a very well done short film. In just over five minutes, it conveys a story that on the face of it looks straightforward. There are some elements to the tale that seems odd and gets you thinking about what is in fact happening. The driver (Dave Campbell) is a puzzling character. Talking to himself all the time even when he is in conversation with The Man (Randy Mars). It is a fine comedic performance that immediately draws you into the film. Within the space of half a minute, the personality is one you engage with and want to find out more about.

All the credit for the film has to go to Marina Bruno who wrote, directed and edited the short film. It is a difficult enough job getting one job done to a high standard never mind three. The film is edited with precision and economy which drive (sorry!) the story along. As it should be, the story is the foundation of the film. It is a very clever set up and execution that leaves a smile on the face.

Overall an imaginative and well executed short film. Recommended.

John McArthur
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