Friday, October 3, 2014


Whilst on my weekly routine of scouring Short of the Week, I came across a four minute film called "Tyler". After finishing a short of about the same length about children myself, I was interested to see what it was about. What I saw was the opposite of what I expected. Director Sam Benenati created something that I consider a cross between a film, a music video and poetry. "Tyler" concentrates more on emotions and visuals than a completely concrete story, which I believe is why it's so strong. Coming from a writing background, I find it very difficult for me to come up with experimental concepts rather than a locked down story, so I found this film refreshing and inspiring.

The sound design immediately jumps out at you. The entire film is a fluid, memory-like sequence, which was perfectly assisted by the overlapping music and dialogue. The shots were just as beautiful. I am a huge fan of natural lighting, and in this film, it really humanized each of the characters. 

Although the film is technically about a young boy who falls in love with his older brother's girlfriend, it really touches on each of the characters' relationships with each other, even with the missing father figure. Dakota Allbecker, who played the young boy, did a phenomenal job expressing the character and interacting with the older actors. Short of the Week writer Ben Watts reported that Benenati had "a knack for directing children without making them feel precocious or 'child-actor'-y", which I admire much more now that I have worked with children myself. I think "Tyler" is a very successful short film and I plan on looking up more of Benenati's work.

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