Written by: #JackArcher
Oh, it’s a familiar sight: the panic backstage as a band prepare to go on and perform the biggest gig of their lives! Panic usually caused by a member of the group who has decided to have a breakdown over something trivial; or gone missing; or, in this case, after the lead singer has passed out after taking a pill. But rarely is this cinematic rock-and-roll staple displayed with such strong comedic inflexion and entirely within 15 minutes...in a single shot.
Set during the 1990s, we follow the misfortunes of a typical 90’s band on the eve of their biggest performance yet. Lead singer, Ryland (Sky Cheema), Bassist, Simon (Tobias Cornwell), Drummer, Miche (Phoebe Farrington), and Charlie’s (Ed Newman) plans are almost scuppered however when Ryland downs a mysterious pill and collapses onto the sofa. This mishap precipitates a string of increasingly humorous events as the rest of the band, and their foul-mouthed and stressed out manager Martin (Christopher Mulvin) struggle to rectify the problem.
The humour in On In 15 is excellent. There are moments where the gags fall a little flat or where line delivery feels a little awkward, but it’s easily forgivable considering how much it gets right. Writer and co-director Jack Archer’s script is largely to thank and has a thoroughly enjoyable feel throughout. Performances from the cast are also superb and compliment the movie’s writing and directors Jack and Joseph Archer’s choice of filming method exceptionally well. But standouts, for me, come from Mulvin’s less than managerial display and Farrington’s no-nonsense, only female member of the band, who, it turns out, is the only one with any common sense.
Where On In 15 really shines though is in Dominic Howlett’s superb cinematography. The film is shot with a handheld shaky-cam look, which adds to the behind-the-scenes atmosphere of the movie. Most impressively, though, is that at no point during the 15-minute runtime does the camera cut away. This is a 15-minute long single take, which is no mean feat and takes a great deal of planning and skill to shoot. Especially when there’s so much physicality, movement, and intensity running through the film. The filmmakers, crew, and cast should be commended for even attempting it, let alone pulling it off so convincingly.
On In 15 is a brilliant piece of comedic filmmaking, one that’s as technically proficient as it is funny (very). There’s something instinctively British about it all, and the 90s setting works a treat. There are a few issues, but this is a well-written, well-paced, and good-natured movie with excellent direction and a superb cast at the top of their game. Well done.