Ever felt like life was passing you by unnoticed? Then the titular hero of Arturo Perez’s endearing 17-min short Dan Miller is a man who shares your pain. Largely ignored at work, instantly forgotten by the local barista at the coffee shop he’s been frequenting every morning for the last 3-years, Dan’s life is about to change when he gets sent on an unexpected work trip to Japan.
From Daniel Larusso to Rocky Balboa, cinema loves an underdog story and Perez’s Dan Miller follows in this tradition with this subtle tale of an unassuming man thrust into the limelight. With echoes of the classic ‘Mr Sparkle’ scenario from The Simpsons reverberating through its narrative, Perez’s film was born from the simple notion “what would happen if someone was big in Japan, but didn’t know it”.
Funny, charming and downright likeable in equal measures, Dan Miller is a film that leaves you both satisfied and wanting more with its open-ended conclusion. Which is great news, because Perez is currently working on developing this short into a feature, whilst also developing a show for FX with Samantha Jayne of Quarter Life Poetry (who also co-wrote this short).