But Let's Not Talk About Work - Short Film Review

★★

Directed by: #ColinDodds

Written by: #ColinDodds

Starring: #KyleMinshew, #AshleyBloom and #KatLee

Film Review by: David Richards


Colin Dodds’ comedy drama ‘But Let’s Not Talk About Work’ follows protagonist Adam’s dating life as his paranormal profession begins to crumble in an economical crisis. This fresh perspective of the combination of real world and demonic come as a pleasantly intriguing concept, which I for one, did not expect to captivate me. The surprise comes as the production fails to hold its own when delivering such a complex premise.

The initial idea of NM.ECS (Non-mortal Element Contract Securities) is unique but is explained in ineffective way leading to the plot being confusing and ultimately lost. Although the 4th wall breaks are a nice touch in expanding the audience’s knowledge of this concept, it fails to fully communicate this. All other cutaways and inserts are appreciated for their experimental approach but get lost amongst the complicated plot in being too brief and furthermore confusing. In saying this, the process of time also gets lost until the climactic scene in which we learn that a significant amount of time has passed since the opening scene.


The irony of the title is humorous and relative to the entirety of the plot, which I enjoyed. On the other hand, what I did not enjoy was the miss-hit comedic beats of the script which, although noticeable, do not work due to the dialogue being engulfed by the constant explanation of the protagonist’s profession and in turn the plot. Another element of production which contributes to the failed beats is the mismatched pace of the editing. The edit tends to cut at the wrong moments leading to jumpy scenes and mis-timed transitions between them.


The performances of most actors are well executed and work with the characters involved within the narrative. In particular, Kyle Minshew’s portrayal of protagonist Adam is exceptional and strong.


Mathew Dublin’s camera work is inconsistent in quality from shot to shot within certain scenes, but the compositions tend to hold their own. The soundtrack occasionally carries that of an 80’s drama theme which suits the aesthetic. The sound design works in most scenes but can sometimes feel too heavy and much like the editing, does not transition well. The production design is basic and doesn’t add much to the image of the film, however, neither does it take away. The fake cat sits as a clear representation of the productions low budget. Yet this sits well with me as it adds to the almost 80’s style and comedic aspirations which serves as an accurate reflection of the type of short film this is, one which is self-aware of its poor production value, so embraces it.


Considering the noticeable skeleton crew with director Dodd’s and Director of Photography Dublin taking the reins on most technical departments of production, it comes to no surprise that the outcome is rough around the edges. However, in light of this minimal crew the final product of ‘But Let’s Not Talk About Work’ in being a fully formed short film is respectable. The core idea of this short is strong and with much work could be explored further.