25 Jun 2022
Written and directed by Spencer Anderson, Satellites is a spectacularly immersive short film that questions reality whilst offers an opportunity to become more centred. This six-minute piece follows a woman in a spacesuit as she wanders a quiet and desolate planet and contemplates her existence. We do not know the specifics of her journey, but for a brief moment in time we find ourselves captivated and eager to understand more about her life and the lessons on humanity that she has learnt along the way.
Astounding cinematography is the crowning glory of Satellites, with the breath-taking landscape of Cwmystwyth in Wales creating a rocky illusion of space. The jumbled rocks and disorientation that the camera creates for the viewer is very clever and the film feels entirely vibrant. The decision to use the beautiful Welsh landscape creates a vibrant and intriguing film, as we are visually stunned. Alongside this, the all-consuming visual effects and camera angles distort reality and allow us to believe that this astronaut really could be anywhere in the universe.
The writing of this short film is beautifully crafted, with a focus on the struggle and often inability for a person to feel grounded. Anderson’s script talks about ‘feeling lost in orbit like satellites,’ as thematically, space is used to explore the realities of a person encountering feelings of emptiness. Tamzin Murray’s narration muses over how people can be unsure where to turn when experiencing personal pain, which in turn causes an overwhelming loss of faith. Yet despite Anderson’s musings on these negative emotions, Satellites is ultimately a peaceful watch. There is a surprising feeling of contentment as a lonely astronaut wanders in the beautiful backdrop of an unfamiliar planet and offers some hope for the future.
Whilst aesthetically the film is a spectacle, and the jargon on space is well-written, there is minimal plot direction. However, it leaves plenty of room for intrigue which is the marker of an effective short film. This is an engaging and slightly mysterious film with excellent potential.