Directed by: #LeeNeville
Starring: Lee Neville and #PhoebeGast
Director Lee Neville chooses a song to tell the narrative in this underperformed short film, Not the Way it Feels, with a poorly generic plot.
The lyrics tell the viewers about the loss of a significant partner and the upset that can come after this, something we have seen and heard a thousand times over in various films and pieces of music. So, to tell something again which has been done before, the film has to have an edge over the others. It needs that aspect that makes you want to watch this movie and feel invested. However, Not the Way it Feels is not that film – it disappoints instead. The film wasn’t helped by the performances either, I understood the emotions each character was going through but I felt no connection with them or sympathy for them.
Neville directs, writes, produces and stars in this short movie which reflects the ambition and passion he has to create films and the attitude he possesses. You can tell that the creative mind is there because of the route he chose with the song acting as the script and having the talent to place his vision on screen is a victory for him personally. However, this film didn’t quite work out in the greater scheme of things for Neville, it must become a great learning curve for him in his #filmmaking career.
The score is the song itself as like the script is the song for the actors. The only thing you hear in this movie, apart from some ambiance noise near the end and actions from The Caller (Phoebe Gast) is the song, ‘Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)’ written by Jim Croce and performed by Toby Lightman. Having the song as the script and almost becoming the narrator of the film means that the viewers have no choice but to listen closely to the lyrics. Therefore, the song should be of high quality otherwise it could crash and fall due to the attention span of the viewers and with a short film it’s easy to turn off and skip to the next one. Overall, I feel the song did not deliver, I am far from a musician so I could be talking nonsense, but I can sense a good song even if it’s not my choice of genre, but this didn’t meet the mark. I could tell The Caller was obviously upset and not behaving normally so that’s what I associated her with, but the song just left me confused.
Neville has the aspiration to make it in the film industry and having the responsibilities of all the roles he has brought upon himself shows the dedication that he has, one of those roles that I haven’t mentioned is the editor. Although, there aren’t any amazing editing moments to point out that doesn’t mean it was done poorly. Neville proved that he can edit to a standard level which is more than a lot of other people wanting to do the same career. He has managed to convince the viewers of their conversation on the phone with the cuts and fading in and out between each character.
Making a short film can be one of the hardest films to create because of all the limitations: the lack of funding, talent and experience etc. These struggles can hold back a truly inspirational uplifting narrative. I think Not the Way it Feels had been impacted heavily from this.