Monday, March 17, 2014

Joshua Caldwell's superhero short film "Resignation."

Friend of the blog Joshua Caldwell just recently presented his new short film Resignation and I'd say it's well worth the time required to watch it.  I think the film carries more impact if you watch it without knowing anything about the premise, as I did.  For that reason, I've put the promotional blurb below the next paragraph, so you can avoid being spoiled.

If you have difficultly viewing the embedded video, it's probably best to view the video via the film's dedicated site.  When you go there, you will be prompted to select "Film Only" or "Immersive Experience."  I highly suggest going with "Film Only" for your first viewing.  The Immersive Experience is a little too busy for my tastes and I feel like it distances you from the drama.

Resignation is described thusly, "The gritty, action-fantasy, immersive film that turns the superhero myth on its head: as an alcoholic combat photographer with a curious, heroic past struggles with his job as a “professional witness,” he must confront the fact that his dilemma may run deeper than he’d like to face."

Caldwell directed from a script credited to himself, Thomas G. Lemmer and Alex LeMay.

I like a lot of what Josh has done here.  There's a nice mood to the piece, aided tremendously by a score that evokes both the Hans Zimmer and John Williams Superman themes at different times without violating copyright. One thing I think Josh does really well is picking a big theme but finding a way to explore it via a relatively small scale or location. It doesn't feel rushed and despite the fact it's over eight minutes long, it doesn't feel drawn out early.  There's a nice sense of pace to the whole thing.

I asked Josh to talk a little bit about his vision for the film:

"With Resignation I sought to explore the character of a superhero in a way that I hadn’t seen before -- at least in the movies. I believe that superheroes can serve to reflect back on our society -- and they are ever changing because of it. So, rather than simply creating a kickass fight scene and having the hero save the day -- I wanted to play with something much more complex and multi-layered. To put that hero in a place where's he's grown tired of having the responsibility of being a savior, of playing God, and see what happens when he's directly confronted by that choice once again. 

"Where and how this fits into the existing canon wasn't of concern to me. Nor was whether this was in line with our current understanding of this character. I just didn't think it needed to be. Had I been making a $150 million studio movie, yes, there would have been that responsibility. But I was much more excited about exploring a version of this character whom we had never seen before (and probably never will) and challenging the audience with the choices he makes."

Please check it out when you get a chance.