Directed by: #GillianGreene
The romantic vision of #Hollywood being a land of milk and honey for actors has long since been debunked. Too many stories, fictional and real, have emerged about the tragically astounding odds stacked against performers actually landing significant roles and careers simply by lugging their butts to La La Land.
This doesn't seem to bother the numerous #filmmakers still yearning to depict the acting equivalent of the American Dream in all its flaws and glories, not to mention the huge audiences that still gobble this stuff up (see the success of The Disaster Artist).
Short film Fanboy, from director Gillian Greene, takes a conventional yet cinematically impressive look at this classic story of a guy from the sticks trying to make it in Hollywood.
Fran Kranz plays the aforementioned hopeful, Jeremiah, who ups and leaves his video store job, flogs all his valuable movie merch for a plane ticket, and travels to Hollywood in the hope of landing an audition and/or role in the new Sam Raimi movie.
What Jeremiah discovers when he is there is that dreams only get made when the stars align, literally.
Devoid of clunky egotism and regularly funny, Fanboy has the ability to combine naivety with cynicism without the whole thing feeling sluggish. In fact, there is a lightness to the movie that comes from the slick #cinematography and editing (Christophe Lanzenberg and Mu Sun respectively) as well as a chipper array of songs that accompany many of the scenes.
As with any story about acting in Hollywood, you need celebrity cameos! And with Fanboy, you get a terrific selection given this is a short film. J. K. Simmons rocks up at one point, as does Sam Raimi himself. Not to mention David Paymer as an angry ice cream customer whose scene with Kranz is one of the best in the film. The whole experience of these starry tidbits felt like a lot of favours were called in but did certainly add an air of whimsical fantasy to the story which was perfectly complementary to the plot and Jeremiah's journey.
Where the storyline fell a little flat is in Jeremiah's motivation. He seems to go big and bold for an acting role without too much explanation or background. He doesn't mention wanting to act earlier in the movie and seems more eager to impress his attractive coworker Tracy (Emily Arlook) than engage with any serious thespian leanings. His impassioned speeches later in the film would have felt more authentic had there been any kind of struggling artist history mentioned previously.
All that being said, this is a fun film and one with plenty to enjoy cinematically. There are some funny scenes and banter (in particular from Reggie Lee and Jed Rees) and the high production values offer a nice injection of escapism to go along with the easygoing nature of the storyline. Go in expecting something like Hail, Caesar meets Midnight Cowboy meets The Disaster Artist and you are somewhere (probably not really) in the right ballpark.
Watch the official short film trailer for Fanboy below.