The Short of It – Record/Play

Leigh Miller is a writer, filmmaker and short film enthusiast. His new column, THE SHORT OF IT, will showcase the best of science fiction & fantasy short films; locally and to the far reaches of the cosmos. Record/Play Writer/Director Jesse Atlas has combined all the elements perfectly with his latest short Record/Play. A deserved official selection at the Sundance Film Festival, Record/Play is a sci-fi love story about “war, fate and a broken Walkman that transcends space and time”.

Time travel stories are common and can be fraught with complex and confusing plots and explanations. The best ones, like Record/Play, keep the paradox simple and  Atlas’s use of audio expertly bypasses any reliance on lengthy exposition. The sound design is fantastic throughout Record/Play, as one would expect from a film about a time-travelling Walkman, and really holds the great script, cinematography and acting together. Combined with an intriguing story and interesting characters we don’t question what’s possible, we simply enjoy.

Atlas’ previous sci-fi short film, Now And Nowhere, relies heavily on visual effects to put the viewer into a different world and highlights why, if not done well, VFX should be avoided. In Record/Play he relies more heavily on his strengths as a filmmaker, which ,ultimately, is what the science fiction/fantasy short form world deserves: more great stories told well in a shorter medium.

According to an interview with Atlas at Sundance, Record/Play has been picked up to become a feature length film. Why? It works so well as a short – near perfect even. Some stories don’t need more time. Most stories need less time. Allow the writer/director the opportunity to make something new.  We should be celebrating the short form, not looking at a film like Record/Play and trying to harvest a two-hour feature from it.

Sure, Neill Blomkamp’s  short, Alive Joburg, was great, but the filmmaker acknowledged it as an exercise in potential more than storytelling. It was built to be a small part of a larger whole. A film like Record/Play has reached it’s potential and is fantastic. Celebrate and move on.

Local News

Melbourne based filmmaker Joe Russell, along with producer Anna Russell and star Josh Geary, have just released a Teaser for their science fiction short film called Queen Of The Bees.

“After the Great War of 2025, Earth is in a hopeless state of decay. Ten- year-old Alex is a pick pocket, hustling tourists to support himself and his sick mother. After years saving for an airfare to the colonized moon of Titan, where Alex hopes to find a cure for his mother’s illness, he winds up on a vendetta with the alluring Queen of the Bees.”

Due to hit festivals early 2014.

You can follow Leigh @_frankyfingers:

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