Written and directed by #BenedictCohen
Short Film Review by Jack Bottomley
In creating a film or another piece of work (like Television, radio or magazines), you are often swallowed up by the story you are helping to tell or relay. Being a part of such a story is exciting and often a remarkable experience. However, it is easy to forget that, among the cast, crews and creators themselves other untold stories exist. These tales may not be of a fierce war between families for an iron throne (or maybe they are, times are tough after all!) or of an alien race fending off militant cruel invaders but what they are is as real as real can be. Rushes is inspired by such stories and with a fresh approach and a human core behind the tech-heavy film industry it reflects, this is a delightful and insightful short.
As part of a crew working on a CGI motion capture production, Alice (#KirstenFoster) and David’s (#JedOHagan) past is slowly revealed via the rushes (raw visual/sound footage at the end of a day’s filming) of the project. Presented in a found footage style (a technique that saturated horror for a few years and one I am still a fan of), Rushes is a surprising offering and one that has you hooked by its simple but realistic story of love, regret and life.
As the film begins, you initially think you are about to see an interpretive arthouse-style project, as the two cast squawk at each other and stomp into frame in costume. Naturally, it is all a part of the film these characters are working on and as Rushes progresses it shows the reality behind motion capture film work. This reality of funny dotted costumes and odd-looking gestures/sounds is used to delightfully humorous effect at points in the film. As the characters make light of what they are doing and the film - in rather original fashion - takes you behind this increasingly popular way of creating film/TV to show the people underneath the CG dinosaurs!
And as these people, stars Kirsten Foster and Jed O’Hagan excel. Hagan is funny and charming as David, whose past feelings begin to surface in-between the takes and time the cast have to talk. While Foster is passionate as Alice, as she thinks on the trouble these old feelings could cause but cannot deny the connections and meaning that the past contains. Both actors are excellent at the front and centre here and their work ensures that Rushes excels dramatically and comedically at times too.
The story seems to build, as the “found” rushes footage begins to detail the past between David and Alice and writer/director #BenedictCohen cleverly uses the technologically complex backdrop of this industry to tell a story far less complex but maybe even more pure. The film does seem to rush (so to speak) the ending, as it adds more layers to its narrative device all at once but is still a short film that makes superb use of an idea to cast a stage light onto the people behind the creation of such audio-visual works and - even moreso - their lives, relationships and pasts.