Short of the Week

Brink

Jeremy has been in love with his best friend, Evelyn, since before he can remember. He decides to profess his love for her through a simple, thoughtful letter… but there’s a strong chance they will never see each other again.

I haven’t gotten around to writing mini-reviews of the Tribeca short films that found their way onto YouTube. I guess I caught up in the process of promoting our Great Film Competition Winner, Matter Fisher, and maybe felt that the three mega-posts I did for the shorts in the Tribeca Screening Room sufficed. They don’t though, these YouTube films are different, and probably represent a stronger program than any of those 3 I featured during the fest.

So why not go ahead and do an updated post? I was in the process of doing so when I ran across some conflicting information. Some reports say the films will be up another 3 weeks. Other reports state that the films were due to be taken offline yesterday! These aren’t official reports, and I did just confirm that the films are indeed online, but in the absence of official word from the festival or YouTube, I want to make sure you get to check out my personal favorite of the bunch.

That film is Brink, a Shawn Christensen film. Shawn graduated from Pratt Institute for Illustration and Graphic Design before opting for the rock-star path, forming the band Stellastar*. Now he is going the filmmaker path, creating short film gems such as this one, and selling feature screenplays.

Jeremy has been in love with his best friend, Evelyn, since before he can remember. He decides to profess his love for her through a simple, thoughtful letter… but there’s a strong chance they will never see each other again.

Brink is one of those mass-romantic films I am simply a sucker for. It is a lovely film, shot on the Red Camera with old Zeiss and Cooke lenses, but more impressive than that is its ability to directly immerse the audience into its narrative, via a smart script and great photographic technique.

While a somewhat sleepy, dream of a film, with little dialogue and liberal use of slow-motion, script-wise the film smartly engages the viewer from the start with Jeremy’s voiceover of his letter-writing. From that point you know the motivation of his character, and of the film, and it is compelling irrespective of the stakes, which slowly unfold via a sublimely simple and well-executed sci-fi premise. Too often filmmakers go atmospheric from the get-go and fail to establish audience connection to their characters until far too late, spoiling whatever meager goodwill they have garnered from fickle short film audiences. Christensen does not make that mistake.

Furthermore, the film shows off excellent shot choices and camera technique; a ton of slow zooms erase the exterior world and its ongoing drama, very literally privileging the fear and hope inside Jeremy’s own head. Cinematically, the careful and slow camera movements, executed by Christensen himself as DP, enraptured me. There exists great style in some of the more unusual shot decisions, and I especially liked a couple of the rotating camera shots which jived perfectly with the world’s “lack of grounding”.

Christensen is in post production on a new short, a longer 20 min piece entitled Curfew, that is currently raising funds on IndieGoGo. Consider donating. I don’t know Shawn, but based on Brink, I really really want to see Curfew. Follow Brink on Facebook or Shawn on Twitter, and check out the rest of the Tribeca shorts while you can in the YouTube Screening Room. In addition to Brink I would especially recommend Home, and The Ignorant Bliss of Sun and Moon.

~
Co-Founder of Short of the Week, Sondhi lives in Brooklyn working as a Curator for Vimeo. Follow his musings on online video, direct distribution and branded content: @jasondhi.
  • http://twitter.com/bellawonder Wonder

    That was amazing.

  • Felonious Punk

    Thanks Jason. I guess we are all a bunch of babies that need our food cut up into small pieces (or, in this case, each individual movie reviewed). I kept thinking this would be gimicky, as I do with most sci-fi, and it does have that layer, but the romantic aspect somehow keeps the movie’s feet on the ground. ;-)

  • Jason Sondhi

    Ho! I saw what you did there Felonious. Careful, I got my eye on you =)

  • Jason Sondhi

    For all that tried to watch DNAUXB, we jumped the gun a bit. Look for it on Monday

  • Deana Lee Eager

    I thought this was beautifully done. Great score. I just emailed Shawn Christensen to request it for The Rose City Shorts Fest! Can’t wait for ‘Curfew’. The trailer looks great. Thanks Jason:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondhi Jason Sondhi

    For all who love this film, you might be want to head out to the theaters to see the Taylor Lautner vehicle “ABDUCTION” which Shawn wrote. 

  • Hans J. Eiðisgarð

    I liked “Brink”, but “Abduction” doesn’t sound like a good movie. Of course, I might be wrong, but it has got really bad reviews and only has a 5%-rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondhi Jason Sondhi

    Haha. Yeah I haven’t seen it, and probably won’t. I was waiting for someone to call me out on that =)

    Interestingly though the script was highly thought of, back before Launtner got attached. It landed on the influential “Black List” for 2010 http://blcklst.com/tbl/lists/2010_black_list.pdf

    Also rumors have it that Christensen secured a 7 figure payday for the script…

  • Hans J. Eiðisgarð

    Good for him. Hopefully it’ll help making good art and/or entertainment in the future.

    I might still be checking out “Abduction”. Sometimes reviewers are wrong. It’s just not often that many reviewers are wrong :)

    I checked out a new british film yesterday, which is called “Carmen’s Kiss” and I found it painfully bad. A few minutes later I found out that it only had a 1,7 rating on IMDB. haha.

  • Birdman

    That was kinda beautiful. Well,… not kinda. Beautiful.

  • A. Adan

    Lovely. What a concept!

  • Henry Harder

    Almost no words, but the most amazing film I’ve ever seen.

  • stanley B.

    great imagery

  • Brittany

    I’m really curious to know how he got those objects to appear to float that way! Sometimes the movement seems as if they are floating through water. Any hints on technique? I’m a film student and would love some insight!

  • Brittany

    I’m really curious to know how he got those objects to appear to float that way! Sometimes the movement seems as if they are floating through water. Any hints on technique? I’m a film student and would love some insight!

  • Alex

    Amazing film! It reminds a bit Terrence Malick…

  • Alex

    Amazing film! It reminds a bit Terrence Malick…

  • owjak

    Why is this video private now…It was an excellent short and I want to see it again but it has been made private. Can anyone tell us why or where else I can view it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondhi Jason Sondhi

    I’ll inquire. Shawn just won the Oscar this year for Curfew, so I’m sure he’s getting a lot of attention/offers, and that might play into this.

  • glad
  • glad
  • Norluan

    How much was the budget for this short?