Directed by: #SeanRichardBudde
Machine Baby, written and directed by Sean Richard Budde, follows a paparazzo who wishes to chase down top stories surrounding the pageant industry. Unfortunately, the story takes a dark turn as he discovers the twisted and surreal horrors which are attached to America’s beauty contests.
This short film certainly is an unusual piece and does not entirely base its premise on conventional storylines that often portray the basics, such as ‘sense.’ However, it becomes evident that the film is a comment on the corrupted world of pageantry with use of horrifying and graphic images.
The #cinematography is done well and does truly create a dark and warped atmosphere. Attempting to not give too much away here, but the setting with which both audience and photographer discover the soon to be Miss America, creates for an almost a dungeon- like feel. The unsettling basement further strengthens the victim’s helplessness, as she is surrounded by methods of torture and places this short piece within the heart of the horror genre.
The beginning Machine Baby piece gives warning to those who are light sensitive as the audience are dazzled with a jarring light effect which creates for a foreboding and uncomfortable sensation. As Miss California waves and smiles eagerly to the hundreds of cameras and paparazzi, the juddering of the lights takes away any sense of joy and beauty from her completely. This light movement certainly confuses whilst simultaneously frightens the audience and solidifies their expectations for more disturbing and grisly scenes.
The piece does take a sharp, perhaps even abrupt turn as the storyline thickens. Delving further into the horror genre with images of the strange, unnatural and just outright bizarre!
At face value, this short film may not be easily digested by the average film-goer as writer and director Sean Richard Budde integrates scenes which feel out of place or abnormal to the storyline. Nonetheless, although some scenes may appear extraordinary, the story can be seen to unravel once a deeper look into the film’s message is considered, thus, allowing the audience to appreciate it from a whole new perspective.
Although there was a majority of scenes which seemed to confuse, the entirety of the film does indeed portray America’s beauty pageants as a cruel and almost manufactured process. Churning out a repetitive image of what constitutes as ‘beauty’ to the world. The film strips down the façade of glitz and glam and highlights the danger of pumping this image out to young women. All in all, an interesting although slightly peculiar film with an important message within.