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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Award Winning "Mallas, MA" Puts Up The Score: Ghosts 1, Con Artists -1

"MALLAS, MA" (2013)
Genre: Comedy
Length- 7:37
Company: Team Fix it In Post
Website: Official Vimeo

Ghosts -- and the supernatural in general -- are big business, but you can't count on them to perform for the camera.  If you need something fabricated on location, you bring in people like con artists Brian (Tim Cox) and Maria (Maria Natapov).

And then there's Sydney (played by twins Uatchet Jin Juch and Nekhebet Kum Juch), a lonely girl who squats in the basement of the building where Brian and Maria are assigned . . .

A SHORT'S SHORT

"Mallas, MA" is a short film created for the 2013 Boston 48 Hour Film Project by co-writer and director Sean Meehan and the incredibly talented Team Fix It In Post.  It won Audience Choice Award at the time, and it's been circulating the Internet ever since.

Though billed as a "buddy film", I would classify it as a simple comedy.  The audience is treated to a strong pair of leads in Cox and Natapov, but their interplay is not particularly important.  The characters Brian and Maria bungle their way through attempting to stage ghostly antics, only to find themselves face to face with the genuinely supernatural.

While not a particularly original idea, it works here.  It's not hysterically funny either, but the short running time, peerless production quality and the acting is so top notch that it's a very easy watch.

Stay around through the end credits, too -- the best laugh out loud moment's buried in there and you don't want to miss it.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 2 / 5.  The script, written by Meehan, Daniel Berube and Todd Mahone is derivative but it does succeed in moving the plot forward.
Directing: 3.5 / 5.  Meehan's got a great visual eye and the film unfolds through a series of attractive locations and photogenic actors and actresses.  I particularly loved the crane shot at the beginning -- that was one heck of a shot.  Director of Photography Rick Macomber deserves a shout out here as well.
Editing: 3 / 5.  Berube and Meehan handle editing duties here, and their film unfolds so quickly that you could conceivably blink and miss something.  The transitions are solid, and the colors are big and bright courtesy of Rob Bessette's work.
Sound/Music: 3.5 / 5.  Cesar Suarez offers up a score that sounds like a cross between the themes of The Walking Dead and The X-Files.  The sound design as a whole is solid, but there is a second or two during the conversation with Sydney in the basement that cut out unexpectedly.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Cox and Natapov were completely in control of their characters and came across as sleazy but not gratingly so.  The cast as a whole were more than good enough for the material in the script.  The Juch twins also did a fine job, emoting through facial expressions.

Final Grade: 3.2 / 5.  

Don't forget to check out "Mallas, MA" on Vimeo and visit the official IMDb page here!



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!