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Monday, September 7, 2015

"Parallel" Examines Life, Sci-Fi & What It Means To Love In Smart New Short Film

"PARALLEL" (2015)
Genre: Sci-Fi / Romance
Length- 11:28
Company: Stories By The River

Henry (Paul Kandarian), sick, summons his daughter, Veronica (Erica Derrickson), to his bedside.  She doesn't know what to expect.  But Henry's brought Veronica here for a reason: he has a story to tell.  A story about when he was a young man, fresh out of college, and the Higgs Boson particle was discovered, and theories were put forth about alternate universes -- with new evidence that made all the science fiction sound so much more possible.

And most importantly, about the day that he and his scientist co-workers managed to contact one of these alternate universes, and the beautiful woman he met there -- Anne (Kate Paulsen).

Anne.

And how they fell madly in love.

A SMART TWIST

"Parallel" is a short film written and directed by Mikel J. Wisler, and it is his smart script and the beautiful visuals he conjures up with cinematographer Rajah Samaroo that makes this film sing.  Clocking in a little shy of eleven and a half minutes, it doesn't have a lot of time to develop characters and relationships, which means it does a lot of its painting in extremely broad strokes.  The setting, the color scheme, the somber score all do their part to fill in the blanks.  The results toe the line between truly affecting and melodrama, but it is always enjoyable.

The metaphor of the film's title and theme carries a surprising punch, and there's a real moral to the events that take place on screen.  Wisler and company deliver a thinking person's short film that taps into some pretty primitive areas, including what it means to exist in the field of time, what it means to live, to love and lose and finally to die.

It's serious, it's smart, it's even a bit of a tear jerker.

I highly recommend "Parallel"!  Check it out!

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 4 / 5.  There is a depth and intelligence to the story that you don't often see in most short (or longer, for that matter) films.
Directing: 3.5 / 5.  The visuals look great (all about those gorgeous exteriors!), and the camera movement kept me in it.  It's a professional and emotional show.
Editing: 5 / 5.  From the cuts to color grading, there was no way this short could've been edited better.  Trevor C. Duke did an awesome job as editor, with Stephen Webb and Wisler handling coloring duties.
Sound/Music: 3.5 / 5.  Good sound recording throughout.  I liked the score, also composed by Wisler, overall, but it felt maybe a little heavy handed at times.  Still, quite effective.
Acting: 4 / 5. Very good performances by everyone.  Not a lot of dialogue by anyone but Kandarian, granted.  Special notice has to be given to Juan C. Rodriguez, who plays the young version of Henry, for delivering a "Noooo!" moment that didn't seem over the top or cheesy at all.  Well done!

Final Grade: 4 / 5.

Don't forget to check out "Parallel" right now and visit the official Stories By The River website!



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!