Pace Short Film Review

★★★★

Directed by: #DannyMiller

Written by: #DannyMiller #DanielJillings

Starring: #DanielJillings #SiobhanFinneran #FayeMcKeever

Film Review by: Matthew Sawyer



Pace is based on true events and tells the story of Jason Steele (Jillings). We meet him at the desk of a police station as he is suspected of having committed a crime. First-time director Danny Miller gives us a quick flip through of what is about to come. Throughout the rest of the film, we are given flashbacks that gradually reveal details about the crime.


As an Emmerdale fan, I am familiar with Danny Miller in front of the camera. I think it’s safe to say Miller is just as competent behind the camera as he is in front of it. Miller has spent most of his life working with fellow creatives. He is able to balance the story well; we get a lot of quick cuts and flashes of images. The editing can feel a bit choppy in parts but overall, it serves as a very good story telling technique. By not revealing what the actual crime is that Jason has been charged with, Miller builds tension and leads us to speculate about what could have happened.


One of the main things that stands out is the incredibly high production value. The film was made for only £2000, yet it has a remarkably high production quality. Miller has successfully drawn on the expertise and talent of his colleagues in the industry, forming a strong cast and crew. At around the 3 minute mark, we are introduced to DS Howard played by Siobhan Finneran. A face who is recognisable to most people in the UK. Finneran does a good job with what the script gives her, which unfortunately isn't much. However, the script offers co-writer Jillings the chance to showcase his talent and he certainly delivers a stand-out performance.


Unfortunately, while watching the film I couldn't shake the feeling that I was watching a really good episode of a soap. A lot of the techniques and the cinematography all feel very much like a soap, which is unsurprising given the backgrounds of the cast and crew. The script is strong but not amazing. It does nothing wrong but I wouldn't say anything stands out either. That said, the fact that it is based on a true story does give the film a grounded quality. Jason’s dialogue is raw and highly emotive, and Jillings rises to the challenge of portraying an anxious, remorseful man. The film successfully delivers its message; the power of just one punch can impact so many lives.


Miller has made an excellent debut with this emotional, high-quality short. I am certain that he has a great future behind the camera and I would be interested to see what he could do with a bigger budget.


#MatthewSawyer