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Selling Out - Short Film Review


Written by: #LucyScottSmith

Still from Selling Out

An actress realises that perhaps her life isn't going to turn out the way she'd imagined.

Selling Out is a new comedy short from George Hackforth-Jones, written by and starring Lucy Scott-Smith, and follows a budding actress as she applies herself to countless auditions with plenty of variety. The film has 8 minutes to present us with a story filled with humour and it does so effortlessly. From the opening before the main title even appears, the comical vibe that Scott-Smith created in the air is sharp enough to be cut with a knife.

The film is speedy and intercuts between a phone call that Lucy shares with her dad, and the auditioning process. It seamlessly jumps in and out of these scenes and constantly plays for laughs and lands every single one of those moments. There’s a scene where an enthusiastic director instructs Lucy to turn on an imaginary kettle. She does so, but to his dissatisfaction, that it is, until he gives her some outstanding direction (very intentionally sarcasm, a sort of satirical act). It’s these small moments of genuine comical genius that make for subtle comedy that actually works.

As much as there is comedy, there’s some emotional depth included in the film’s final moments. Lucy questions her life, her career choices, her future as the potential face of a tampon advert. There’s a delicate mix of humour and seriousness that is simply wonderful to watch. The term ‘selling out’ can be hurtful, but to some it’s a way of surviving and maintaining a healthy existence. Though it can come with problematic concepts — the credits include a carried-over phone call from the scene before and shows just a little portion of that.

Scott-Smith’s writing style is clearly very inspired and has a fun glow about it, and taking the dive into the world of auditioning was a perfect pathway into her writing journey going forward. Hackforth-Jones seemed to have understood the assignment and directed his way through the script with attention to detail in the performances and his understanding in the structuring of scenes. Selling Out is a brilliant short with a few well-earned laughs and a fantastic flow. It’s certainly worth checking out.



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