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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mature Look At The Thin Line of Teenage/Adult Relationships In Triskelle Pictures' Short Film "Night Owls"

"NIGHT OWLS" (2015)
Genre: Drama
Length- 13:28
Company: Triskelle Pictures

Kent (Jonny McPherson) lives alone in his childhood home, but it's not much of a life -- not in terms of his past, or a future.  When down on her luck teen runaway Mari (Holly Rushbrooke) shows up on his doorstep in the middle of a rainstorm, he makes the decision to let her in, and the two find that though their ages may be different, they have a lot in common when it comes to broken families . . .

DIFFICULT FAMILY TREES

"Night Owls" is the latest short film from Triskelle Pictures, the company that brought us the moving fantasy/romance "Stop/Eject" in 2014.  This time, Sophie Black takes on directing duty and teams up with Tommy Draper to write a screenplay that deals entirely with reality -- namely, the tricky world of relationships.

What we have here is a film with only two characters, so their onscreen chemistry has to be enough to carry the movie.  While Rushbrooke and McPherson give it a fine try and perform their roles with as much charisma as they can manage, I can't say I ever quite felt like the bond being developed was genuine.

But the questions posed by the film are perhaps more interesting than the onscreen activity.  Is it possible for a teen and an adult to be genuine friends?  Can a real friendship be forged quickly, and if so, how long can such a relationship continue?  Is there ever a situation in which it is OK for a teenager to kiss an adult if the teenager meets an adult mentally on the same level?

And is a kiss ever just a kiss?

These are pretty big questions being asked, and you have to hand it to Black and crew for delivering a short film that will make you think.  "Stop/Eject" was a mournful examination of time, soulmates and love lost.  "Night Owls" is a meditation on relationships themselves.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 3 / 5.  Really substantial subtext going on throughout the film, but what's actually taking place feels like a tiny slice of a feature length film.  I'd love to see where these characters go from here.  It does feel a bit incomplete as written, and their relationship never feels completely genuine.  I think this is because we never see either character being themself in their own environment before they meet, so we can't really see how they become someone new by entering into a relationship.
Directing: 3.5 / 5.  Some great visuals from Black, as can be expected considering her previous work in "Stop/Eject".  Some of the interior shots suffer from "two people talking in a small room syndrome" -- there's only so many ways to make that look interesting.   Still, Black knows the language of cinema, and "Night Owls" looks great.
Editing: 4 / 5.  Theo Leeds and Richard Winter edited the film and the shots transition and sequence perfectly.  Drew Scott Davis has put a beautiful cinematic sheen to the film with his color correction -- you could play this in any multiplex and it'd fit right in.
Sound/Music: 4 / 5.  Beautiful soundtrack from a variety of sources, with original music aplenty, including a beautiful track played over the end credits.  The dialogue suffers a little in the doorway though, you can really hear some echo.  But overall, Adam Fletcher's done a good job capturing the actors.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Very solid performances from both actors, who are without question professionals in every sense of the word.

Final Grade: 3.7 / 5.

Don't forget to check out the trailer for "Night Owls" at Triskelle Pictures' official website until it finishes its festival circuit and follow the creators on Facebook!

Check out Triskelle Pictures' last film, "Stop/Eject", and our review, right 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!