Nov 29, 2021
George Eddy, Georgios Hartofilakidis, David Pearl
The Affair is a sharp and slick short film, which portrays the chaos and bluster seemingly inherent on film sets in a unique and impressive form, whilst delivering dark humour which is unintentionally amplified by recent real-life events.
A first-time director (George Eddy) does his best to keep his film ‘The Affair’, on track and ideal to his artistic vision. Assisted by his camera operator (Georgios Hartofilakidis) and assistant director (Barney Cremin), he is set up to realise his masterpiece. But when his lead actor (David Pearl) storms off the set, delusions of grandeur lead to a spectacular meltdown…
The Affair feels like a truly dynamic and lively short film which brilliantly explores how the need for control can cause people to completely lose sight of themselves. George Eddy’s Director character is a well-meaning rookie, who scrambles throughout his patched-up production to bring his ideas to life. Increasingly emboldened, his certainty of stepping into his lead actor’s shoes is a trigger for some brilliantly dark comedy – but also a statement on those who never quite learn that filmmaking is a team effort – and no matter one’s talent in their chosen area, some jobs are best left to the experts.
The short is one-shot throughout, and the ‘shaky-cam’ style gives an intimate feel to viewers who will feel placed onto the set itself. Focus is largely on the Director, whose actions and methods influence much of the misadventure swirling around him. Even at times when the camera transfers into the ‘in-universe’ film, it still maintains the sense that it is the Director’s world we are seeing. A concluding cutaway, which features one of the piece’s best lines, is enhanced by the choice to cut away from him – showing that even the most loyal of crew do not share the same artistic fervour.
The cast give great performances and each member gets their moment to shine. George Eddy is hilarious as the well-meaning but clearly out-of-his-depth Director, who always appears one setback away from a breakdown. Writer Georgios Hartofilakidis is similarly highly-strung as his committed camera operator – though less due to artistic endeavour and more to do with a volatile temper. David Pearl, who plays the obnoxiously precious Lead Actor excels in the unappreciated difficult task of giving a bad performance in-character. His Leading Man clearly cannot deliver the Director’s vision – and Pearl hampering his own professional instincts to the perfect degree is especially deserving of praise.
The film is cast in an unfortunate shadow, with a key scene unfortunately echoing the recent real-life tragedy on the set of Rust which resulted in a crew member’s death. A clearly unintentional and unpredictable coincidence cannot be used as a mark against The Affair, though it does impact on any audience’s experience of the film in such close proximity to a major news story. The malfunctioning film set we see on screen does not feel quite as jovial in this light – and the scene in question inherits an unintended power in various ways thanks to this.
Unlike it’s ‘in-universe’ counterpart, The Affair is a well-made, witty and engaging watch, with great performances and direction.