Directed by: #ConnorMower
Written by: #KatyCase
Rufus and Friends, directed by Connor Mower, follows a group of ex-child stars who are invited back for a reunion special of the show that brought them stardom, but when the friendly mascot starts killing members of the cast and crew, the group must band together to survive.
The first thing you notice when watching the film is the cinematography. This short is a student film, but Georgina Sheridan uses smooth camera movements and well-lit sets to make this look like a professional production. The colourful clothes worn by the main cast stand out amongst the bare corridors of the studio. Lighting is also used very well. The characters are always clearly visible, and the neon lights add to the bright charm the film has. Although the film is visually clean, the same cannot be said about the sound design. The difference in the sound levels between the characters in the scene did make some of the dialogue hard to hear, so audiences may have to keep adjusting the volume.
The plot does add a surprising twist onto a straightforward narrative. From the description, you would expect the story to unfold entirely inside the studio, but the writer, Katy Case, takes some unique turns that will have audiences constantly asking: “What’s going to happen next?”.
The film does get off to a rocky start, so audiences may be surprised to realise they have a massive smile on their faces during the second half. A lot of the comedy genuinely worked. The editor, Lauren Gibbons, uses an extremely creative swipe transition for a visual gag. Rufus and Friends wasn’t made to be taken seriously. The characters are all stereotypes and the actors play them with no subtlety at all. The plot is completely bonkers and off-the-rails, but it’s clear that everyone knows that. It’s that self-awareness that makes the film work.
You can tell how much fun the cast and crew had when they made this and that passion leaps through the screen. The end credits also reinforce the creativity behind this project. It doesn’t break new ground or try to be anything it’s not, it’s simply a group of friends putting their skills together to make something they can be proud of, and this is a worthy enough short for that.