New Dark Comedy Short Film!

Hey everyone! Just released our 2nd short film of the summer, "Again?" I would very much appreciate any critique or feedback that is constructive and not purely negative. Other than that, I hope you enjoy it as this is probably our most ambitious short film to date! 

Watch it here: 


  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    I'll be frank, I couldn't finish watching it.  It wasn't because of the dark theme, though you did take on quite a challenge creating a story where the lead character is a serial killer.  There were two key reasons:

    1. Pacing.  For me, this dragged.  I even started watching it at double-speed, but even at that pace it felt like several of the scenes took too long.  One example: the opening interrogation. What made this drag for me was largely the lack of variety in camera positions. It was just one long shot on this guy.  If you don't want to show the person interrogating him, that's fine, but even using additional camera angles on that one guy would still help the flow. I think several of the other scenes could also have been improved by breaking them up into several shorter shots instead of one long shot.

    It would also help to have more shots with a moving camera. In the first six minutes, all but four shots have the camera on a tripod. When you lock off the camera so much, and don't vary the scene with a mix of wide, medium, and close shots, including different angles on the same scene, it definitely makes the pace feel slow.  Simply adding energetic music under a locked off shot doesn't make it feel more engaging.

    2. I couldn't buy into the lead character's memory issue.  He mentions his neurological disorder, and then says, "I'll forget where I put the body." Okay, forgetting where you put things I can understand. However, the way he reacts to finding his former kills tells me that he forgot more than just the location. It's like he forgot that he killed the person at all. In fact, the way that he reacts with such shock, fright, and disgust (including delayed shock, as in the fridge situation where he goes so far as to pull out the arm and stare at it for a second before reacting), it's almost like he forgot he was a murderer. So how can he apparently forget so much about the core of who he is, and yet open the story talking about the axe being his favorite weapon, and about his "unusually smart mind?" With these strong character inconsistencies coming up so early in the short, I couldn't get past the first third of the story before losing interest because I just couldn't find any way to connect with him as a character.

    You've got small moments in here where things work.  I like your use of the freeze frame with narration, and the closeup on the dead guy's pockets as the lead takes the pill bottle instead of the much more valuable cell phone tells an interesting mini-story in just a couple seconds.  However, the bigger story has to work first and foremost, and for me, it doesn't.  Sorry.

  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 984 Enthusiast
    edited July 2018

    I understand what @jsbarrett is getting at but I enjoyed it.  I got immersed quite early and liked the acting of the lead character. Some nice cuts between shots and little touches (pushing his own eyebrow up for example).

    I did pick-up on the double-take to the dead bodies but I thought that was simply on finding a dead body in strange places.  Maybe he could have looked at the arm in the fridge a bit more quizzically (as if "Now why did I put this in here?)

    A couple of things I did imagine was a) He would be hard to interrogate if he hadn't taken the pills as he would have no recollection to answer questions. or b) the killer was schizophrenic and the pills 'dampened' the good character.

    Anyway. probably could have been cut by a few minutes but thought, overall, it was a pretty good job.


  • JMcAllister
    JMcAllister Posts: 593 Enthusiast

    I enjoyed that...

    I actually liked the fact that the pacing was inconsistent, with some bits feeling very slow and other bits not... in my opinion, it generally helped show the way the character suddenly loses track of what he was doing.


    The fact that the toy was bugged was too obvious though... I'd guessed it was bugged before he even got in the car, which meant that that final scene had no suspense. I think it would have been better to cut out the line where the police officer says "Gentlemen, I think we've got this one" to leave a little bit more ambiguity

  •  @jsbarrett thanks for the in depth critique! I can only say that the style must be for some and not all. I will definitely take your comments into consideration when writing another short of this particular genre. 

    @DafterThings and JMcAllister Glad you guys enjoyed it and had some pretty interesting thoughts to add, appreciate it very much! 

    Since I'm planning to submit this into festivals I'll be sure to take a hard look at what could/needs to be changed in order to make it more appealing. Again, (pun intended), thanks for the great feedback!