Written and Directed by Elliott Fox Starring Abdoulie Mboob, Tim Shoesmith, Dominika Mari, Elliott Fox and Jonathan Ranger Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
In this day and age it feels like everything about us is for sale, we advertise ourselves on the internet daily, Instagram, Facebook, the list goes on, then Facebook tells us to post memories of something we posted on the social media platform 5 years ago...the cycle of keeping us attached to these sites never ends.
But what if you could sell your memories? What if they were a viable commodity to a certain company? How much would it cost for you to part with your treasured memories?
This is the premise of the 2015 sci fi short by Elliott Fox called Virtuality, a film about a young man who awakes inside his own memories as a mysterious figure guides him through, but this figure has a deeper agenda than just being a tour guide inside someone’s mind.
The company ‘’Virtue Realities’’ gathers people’s memories in order to create a perfect universe, yet our protagonist is having none of it, and like a maverick of his own mind he uses the power of thought to outrun these pesky memory stealers.
Fox has a stylish approach to his filmmaking, sci fi is one of those genres, like horror, that when done on a budget must be considered very carefully otherwise it can look cheap and tacky which often makes it a throwaway piece in many people’s eyes.
Yet Fox avoids this, the sets are simple but he applies light with great thought, allowing for the atmosphere and movement of the characters within the scenes to be dictated by the colour and intensity of the lights used.
Skills such as these are what make directors in the infancy of their careers stand out, can they adapt their ideas to smaller budgets, can they make a scene come alive when often using inexperienced actors, and Fox clearly has mastered his craft within the realms of the low budget short film.
Performances from Mboob and Shoesmith are believable and competent, there is not a great deal that draws you in about the characters in the sense of their development but that does not detract from their intensity during their scenes.
Virtuality is an interesting piece, don’t get me wrong, it’s stimulating visually and has an interesting soundtrack that reminded me of the old Silent Hill games, but the storyline can often feel a little confused and lacking in a constant narration to help guide the audience along, we must remember that sci fi deals with themes that are meant to be out of this world and so it is important to keep a narrative that allows those of a shorter attention span to keep up with these tales from the future.