Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Short Film: Plot Device (USA, 2011)

Plot Device from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Here we have a relatively recent short film that was actually made to hawk the wares of the software firm Red Giant. Red Giant likes to claim that they "understand the challenges of creating a high quality film at an affordable price" and to prove their point they hired the young and (to-date) unknown filmmaker Seth Worley to make a video short utilizing their software (specifically, Red Giant's Magic Bullet Suite of video tools). Worley and Red Giant executive Aharon Rabinowitz supposedly worked hand-in-hand on the project, from the screenplay to the actual production. The end result is a short movie that is less a commercial than simply an entertaining little gem that functions very well as a stand-alone short film — and which, in this way, does more to show what one can do with Red Giant's software than a real commercial ever could have.
As Wikipedia says, "A plot device is an object or character in a story whose only purpose is to advance the plot of the story, or alternatively to overcome some difficulty in the plot. A contrived or arbitrary plot device may annoy or confuse the reader, causing a loss of the suspension of disbelief. However a well-crafted plot device, or one that emerges naturally from the setting or characters of the story, may be entirely accepted, or may even be unnoticed by the audience." In Plot Device, the plot is fantastic and requires the total suspension of belief, but it is also effectively simple, as is evident by Red Giant's own plot description of the film as found on their webpage: "A young filmmaker obtains a mysterious device that unleashes the full force of cinema on his front lawn." And as simple as the plot is, the execution is also just as effective, professional, intriguing and fun. So enjoy Plot Device and runaway brides, cops and killers, zombies, femme fatales, hipsters and aliens... 
Director Seth Byron Worley (born April 26, 1984), by the way, has been active in films since the end of the 1990s, working on the kind of projects that might be expected of a happily married Nashville, Tennessee, resident with a wife and two children who works for LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest providers of religious and Christian resources in the world. (LifeWay, founded in 1891 under a different name by J.M. Frost, a 43-year-old pastor, was dubbed one of the "Best Employers in Tennessee" in the May 2007 issue of the magazine Business Tennessee. According to LifeWay, "As God works through us ... we will help people and churches know Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom by providing biblical solutions that spiritually transform people and cultures.") Plot Device proved so successful that Worley now has signed away his soul in that city of sin known as Hollywood and, as of August 2011, is represented by ICM.
And to give some other credit where credit is due, the dorky young filmmaker that is the central figure of identification in Plot Device is no less than the brother of the director, Ben Worley, who is also credited as having co-written the film's extremely appropriate music.

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