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Sign of Omission

average rating is 3 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Jan 11, 2024

Film Reviews
Sign of Omission
Directed by:
Gabriel Brown
Written by:
Gabriel Brown
Anusia Battersby, Lee Harding

Writing, and the process of wiring invariably brings around conflict. Whilst writing as a duo or in a group brings a wealth of ideas, it also brings dispute between those with different ideas, as well as vast differences in writing style, which is unique to every individual. Even writing, or creating, alone will inevitably bring around conflict with oneself, as two opposing thoughts do battle in the mind to decide which one is more advantageous to pursue. ‘Sign Of Omission’ recognises the conflict that occurs between two writers, and how that may be symbiotic of their relationship, but fails to say anything thoughtful about this.


Claire (played by Anusia Battersby) and partner Daniel (played by Lee Harding) have been working on their script for over six months now, and cracks are beginning to form in both their professional and personal relationships as they have come to a point of stagnation in the writing process. The time pent trying to brainstorm ideas is now fraught with raised voices and rising tempers, as what once seemed like a good idea now appears to be the worst of ideas, and ultimately extremely destructive towards their relationship.


It is their fourth argument of the day, and they are scuffling over minor differences, which are then blown out of proportion into a big deal. Claire is nitpicking over the smallest holes in Daniel’s grammar, and, rather than simply making the amendment, she decides to use it as the spearpoint of an attack on his intelligence. Daniel has realised that the differences in writing is reflective of the bridge that has come between them in their relationship, yet he is hesitant to bring this up, fearing Claire’s reaction.


‘Sign of Omission’ is both written and directed by Gabriel Brown, yet whilst the screenplay is engaging, if lacking the precision needed to truly hit home, his directing is bold throughout. The camera swings between Claire and Daniel as they tear into each other’s writing processes and then their personalities, underlying the see-saw nature of their relationship and the differences between them, with the camera’s wild swings highlighting the gulf that lies between them. It’s a technique that works well in the more intense scenes of conflict before the camera calms down in the moments of quiet, throughout reflecting the intensity of their argument and impressing technically.


On the other hand, the script, while solid enough to tell an interesting story, lacks the necessary added touch to elevate both it, and the performances of Anusia Battersby and Lee Harding, beyond the ordinary. While the two share the screen well, you never truly buy the fact that they are partners in anything other than writing.


Nevertheless, ‘Sign of Omission’ is a solid film, one which explores the conflict that is part and parcel of the wring process, and how that can damage relationships with those around you. Whilst it fails to explore the complexities of the relationship in enough detail, it nonetheless displays the dynamic between the two in a compelling manner, making for an interesting watch.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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