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average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Jul 11, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Jacob Stockton
Written by:
Jacob Stockton
Harrison Emmonds, Juliette Taylor, Craig Pearson, Brad Oliver

Somewhere down in Tinseltown, Jake (Emmonds) wants to be an actor. He's got a part-time job in the local independent cinema and takes a drama class over at the theatre, although he doesn't really think he's a stage actor. Also in his drama class is Maddie (Taylor), a girl that Jake has got his eyes on, that is if he can lift them from his shoes where he feels it's safer to keep them when in social situations. Thankfully, Maddie has a bit more about her and gives Jake more than one chance to ask her on a date, which eventually he gets around to doing. If only now he can stay on his medication and keep the two imaginary interlopers, David (Pearson) and Teresa (Oliver) out of his mind and his life.


Taking on the roles of a devil and an angel on Jake's shoulders – or his Id and his Superego depending on how deep you want to get – David keeps putting Jake down and tries to push him into bad decisions while Teresa tries to support and reassure him in order to boost his confidence. The pep-talks aren't really working though and in a moment of panic Jake/David makes a fatal error in what feels like a daft turn in the movie but which then sets the scene for the rest of the events to come.


Writer, director and DoP, Jacob Stockton is showing us what he can do in his thirty-six minute short, Tinseltown. He's built this film from the ground up and has done his best to get what he envisioned on screen. There's an obviously amateur feel to the production; for example there's not much thought put into lighting, the character interactions remain basic, and the acting can be a bit ropey; but Stockton also shows us his skill through his direction and shot choice. Some of the establishing shots are excellent and show a good eye, while the feel and style of the film remain consistent throughout with a lot of the good times coming from the music choice and how the film is put together.


It must be said that Stockton seems to be much better at directing shots than directing people and Tinseltown falls down at times due to its character driven scenes. There is a fun point where it feels like the film is falling into Weekend At Bernie's (1989) territory but what it definitely owes most to is The Voices (2014), where Ryan Reynolds keeps the talking heads of his ex-girlfriends in his fridge.


There's quite a bit of fun to be had in Tinseltown and perhaps quite a lot more insight into the subconscious meanderings of Jacob Stockton than might be felt strictly necessary, so there's good and bad things to be taken away from it. If you can handle amateur cinema and a little bit of weirdness you might as well spend half an hour or so in Tinseltown.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film
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