Directed by: Philip Brocklehurst
Written by: Philip Brocklehurst
Starring: Jonathan Skye-O’Brien, Allie Denison, Roxane Cabassut
Lockdown and social distancing laws have made it incredibly difficult for filmmakers to work over the last half a year. But some have persevered and found workarounds to the problems Covid-19 has produced - but to varying success. And “varying success” is certainly the case with Writer/Director Philip Brocklehurst’s lockdown-produced, ten-minute-long short film, Moving On. A film which concerns Vincent (Jonathan Skye-O’Brien), a young man, struggling to move on from his relationship with ex-girlfriend, Michelle (Allie Denison). So broken up is he that, after not too much thinking, he deduces he has only two options left: find someone else or take his own life. But what if you can’t do either?
A small group of three – all of whom had to film their scenes and send the footage to Brocklehurst to edit – comprises the entirety of the movie’s cast. The characters themselves are relatively standard genre concoctions; unremarkable in construction or development. But the screenplay, performances and dialogue (despite having occasional delivery and response problems) are really quite good. And when you factor in the unique circumstances surrounding the film’s construction – the actors were stuck in their own homes, miles away from one another and could only be directed through Skype – the fact it turned out as well as it did is impressive.
Moving On truly is both a product and a victim of its time. And nowhere is that more apparent than in its aesthetics. It won’t surprise you to hear the camerawork is a little basic; as I said before, the actors recorded their scenes on their own cameras (likely phone cameras), while editing, too, (I believe) was done from home. It’s noticeable at times, sure, and at its worst, it’s a little disconnecting. But, of course, lockdown presented a considerable stumbling block to overcome, there were always going to be issues left and compromises that had to be made.
On the whole, though, I feel that Brocklehurst and his team have very competently made these difficult circumstances work for them. Performances are solid, the dialogue feels natural, and the pacing is spot on. And at the end of the day, while I don’t think Moving On is as good as it should perhaps have been, it’s much better than it could easily have ended up.