Updated: Feb 4
Directed by: #JordanBlady
Director Jordan Blady’s new short is a phenomenal five-act mini documentary, which captures drag performer, actor and activist Matt Shally as he takes us inside his life in Tbilisi, Georgia.
This. This is what I absolutely love to see. A filmmaker who enjoys his work, and a subject who enjoys being who they want to be. Not only is that already amazing, Comfort Zone is shot on film and features a fantastic music score. I won’t spend too much time expanding on Matt Shally, as I’d love for anyone reading to watch the film for themselves and hear it from him. I’d love to talk on some of the technical aspects that particularly jumped out to me, as this is a very well made film.
As explained in the behind the scenes feature, director Blady shares that he decides to shoot on film for real subjects, and I have always found that it brings out a warmness not always present with digital. DOP Igor Smitka captures five acts spread over six minutes with a striking eye for colour. The sit-down interview style scenes have stunning backdrops, with the centrepiece being Shally. There’s a great contrast between the colourful life he lives within the mundanity of everything else around him. You get the sense that he has indeed found his comfort zone, at least to some degree. Of course the behind the scenes also make mention of having security close-by, which is a frustrating notion, that we can’t feel fully engrossed in the things that make us happy without the judgement/interjection of someone else. The world will always be filled with cruelness, but it’s the sparks of light like Shally that make it special.
Working with a range of talented creatives, Blady mentions the music score which I found to be a very unique and quirky supplement. Vazha Marr uses synthesisers and plucky sounds, adding that sense of wonder and colourful exploration. As the film comes to a close there’s a more airy, free-sounding atmosphere which drives home that feeling of being comfortable in your place and setting. The sharp editing keeps the momentum going through every act, yet it doesn’t feel rushed. The six minutes pass and when complete it feels as if you’ve experienced a fairly big chunk of Shally’s life, which is tough to achieve.
Jordan Blady has certainly grabbed my attention with this film and I’ll be keen to check out more of his work. He seems like a guy who adores his craft and the grind of filmmaking. There’s really not much else I could dive into without spoiling the beauty of this short, so I do hope you’ll give it a watch. Comfort Zone is a stunning little short.