Pages

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Moving Fantasy Romance "Stop/Eject" Asks What Would You Do If You Could Turn Back Time

"STOP/EJECT" (2014)
Genre: Fantasy
Length- 16:57
Company: Jigawatt Pictures / Triskelle Pictures
Website: Official

Kate (Georgina Sherrington) watches from the windows of a thrift store as her husband Dan (Oliver Park) is struck and killed by a negligent driver.  Devastated, she finds herself afloat in a world that has lost all of its meaning.  When she returns to the thrift store to retrieve her purse, which she understandably forgot in the trauma of the moment, she by chance uncovers an old cassette player.

An old cassette player that can rewind time.

Kate rewinds reality to moments before the accident, but can she stop Dan from his death or is the past inevitable?

THE MEANING OF FANTASY

"Stop/Eject" is the latest film from director Neil Oseman and a completely realized, full blown and effectively produced short fantasy film.  He co-wrote the film with screenwriter Tommy Draper, and together they've managed to lend new wings to a cliched idea.

There is so much to like about "Stop/Eject".  First of all, its heart is in the right place and it knows what it's about and what it's here to do.  I came very close to crying over the course of its sixteen minute run time, and that's no small accomplishment.  It never feels soapish or over the top.

Even Dan's death is done tastefully -- and, in a brilliant directorial move, the actual accident is viewed through the reflection of the thrift shop front door.  When the car's about to hit Dan, the door swings open and we never actually see the point of impact.  Sometimes, implying is far more powerful in the eyes of the viewer than showing blood and broken bones.

I don't want to expose too much, because this is a short film you really do owe it to yourself to watch, but let's just say that there is more to it than a 'race against time'.  It's a beautiful short film that deals with very real and raw emotions, and does so in a classy and inventive way.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 3.5 / 5.  Oseman and Draper's script conveys everything you need to know in a very rapid fashion.  This storyline could easily be a feature, but these guys break it down for you in sixteen minutes -- that's no easy feat.  I felt the beginning was a little rushed, and Kate's final decision seems very sudden.  Apart from that, it's a well written story that provides a great skeleton for a visually rich short film.
Directing: 5 / 5.  Oseman's direction makes this story as emotionally striking as any feature film in theaters in recent memory.  The car accident sequence was a great move, but I liked the scene where Kate discovers where all the cassette tapes are hidden as well.  You could isolate any sequence in this film and feel emotion, solely from the way the camera's set up and the choreography of the actors.  It doesn't hurt that he also gets solid performances from all of the actors, either.
Editing: 4 / 5.  The film is cut incredibly fast for the first few minutes, and perhaps this was intended from the writing onward.  I didn't feel like I knew the characters well enough to really feel anything for Kate or Dan one way or the other.  After the accident, though, the pacing settles into a groove.  The coloring is spot on and the end credits are perfect.  All in all, a very professional presentation.
Sound/Music: 4 / 5.  I much enjoyed Scott Benzie's score -- a soundtrack which was RECORDED by real instruments, no less!  Organic and memorable.   There's also a nifty little pop song at the end performed by Andrea Kristina called "Stop/Eject" that will leave you charmed.  The sound design by Henning Knoepfel makes sure that you hear everything you're supposed to hear.
Acting: 3.5 / 5.  Sherrington is completely believable as the bereaved Kate.  Park is charming and silly in equal measures, doing a good job of making the character of Dan endearing.  Therese Collins is a little monotone as Alice (the shopkeeper), but her performance doesn't detract from the short at all.

Final Grade: 4 / 5.

Visit the official website of "Stop/Eject" right now so you don't miss out!  When it's released online officially, I will post the link here so come on back now, ya hear?

Check out the trailer below!






Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!