InReview occasionally gets film review requests from independent filmmakers, which we’re happy to do when we have time. Our latest film review request is a short film directed by Travis White, called “Why Haven’t They Fixed The Cameras Yet?”, which is only four minutes long and is publicly available on YouTube. Feel free to watch the film below.
According to the film’s IMDb page, it was shot on a budget of $2,000, which explains its length, and for the most part, it looks good and professionally shot — even if it does mostly take place in a parking garage. There are things I liked in this short film, and things that I didn’t like, and I’m not going to pull any punches because this film was produced by a small creator. While $2,000 is pennies compared to what it usually takes to produce a film, I’ve also seen many brilliant short films produced for far less, but I wasn’t expecting it to be blockbuster quality. Without further ado, let’s jump in what I liked and didn’t like about this film.
What I liked
It’s premise: This film has a pretty good premise that works for a short film. It follows a woman (Lee Eddy) who leaves her holiday work party late only to find the security cameras broken, and she suspects a womanizing coworker of foul play (Lukas King). Said woman flips the script by using the camera’s absence to fill him in his car, to supposedly kill him before he hurts anyone.
The cinematography: This film doesn’t look bad, although I do admit that its cinematography does look painfully standard. Still, it looks good for $2,000. I like how the film plays with its broken camera a little from a lighting perspective, and wish the filmmakers had more room to be creative.
Its atmosphere: For a portion of this film, it does a good job of building up the parking garage of the office as this eery, creepy, and bitter place, when it’s not ruined by a distracting voice over by Eddy.
What I didn’t like
The voice over: Lee Eddy’s character communicates with us entirely through a voice over that communicates her inner thoughts at the time, and it just doesn’t work. I have to admit, audio quality played a portion into this, as while the rest of the sound design is standard but appropriate, the audio quality of the voice over is distractedly bad. I also felt disconnected with Eddy’s delivery and the way her scenes were shot — her line delivery in this is very forceful and crass, whereas her facial expressions and the pacing of the film is more slow and wary. It creates this weird disconnect that pulls you out of the film.
Not enough drama: It’s very hard to communicate complex themes and stories in the span of four minutes. As such, while I understood the conflict between Eddy and King’s characters, there wasn’t enough here to really get me deeply emotionally hooked. Still, I feel like there’s a bud of a good story here, especially with King’s character as a corporate villain who uses his position of power to get away with terrible things. In real life, we’ve seen powerful men use their vast fortunate and corporate connections to commit atrocities for years while their crimes remain under either legal or cooperate lock and seal.
This is a good start for a film, but it falls a little short as a finished product. I like its premise, though I wish the film did more with it, and I mostly found it enjoyable, though painfully uneven. The voice over’s audio quality and tonal incompatibility with the visuals take a lot away from this film, but it is by far not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.
I encourage the filmmakers to keep at it. I think this film could work better with a little tweaks, but I encourage them to take bolder risks in their next project, and to experiment more with style and premise.