On his way home at the end of his shift, Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Dinkheller made one final stop. Based on tragic true events.

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Cast

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Kyle Dinkheller
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Andrew Brannan
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Storyline

"Random Stop" is a first-person P.O.V. recreation of events from the life of a highway patrolman. The film is based on the true story of Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Dinkheller who - at the end of a shift - pulled over a speeding pickup truck driven by disturbed Vietnam veteran, Andrew Brannan. The results of this routine traffic stop were both tragic and deadly. Footage of the stop is now used in police training throughout the world. Told from an incredibly unique perspective, "Random Stop" gives viewers unprecedented insight into the dangers that law enforcement officers face daily. It is a deeply visceral and highly emotional experience that is difficult to ignore or forget. Written by Benjamin Arfmann

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Short | Action | Crime | Drama

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8 March 2014 (USA)  »

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While appearing to be a continuous shot, the movie consists of 7 takes blended seamlessly together. See more »

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A little heavy at first but immersive thanks to the camera, and impacting due to the horror (SPOILER)
2 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Reading the spoilerific plot summary on IMDb tells me that that footage from the real events shown in this short film are now used in police training for how to deal with traffic stops. It perhaps goes without saying then that these events are not the by-the-book example but yet the 'bring it home' example of what can go wrong. Essentially we have a young Sheriff's Deputy who is on his way home when a truck speeds past him, all over the road. Pursuing onto a side road, the vehicle stops and the interaction lacks control from the start – heading towards a violent confrontation.

The film opens with a rather clumsy bit of empathy building – the phone call with the wife while we see Dinkheller flicking through glossy and warm family photographs. Perhaps this is simply what happened on the day, but in the context of the film I could see what they were trying to do but it seemed too obvious and corny, breaking me out of the moment. I'm also not totally sure why they did this so heavily because for the rest of the film we have empathy for Dinkheller because we are totally seeing everything from his point of view. It also helps that the gamers among us will be very familiar with this view from first-person view video games (whether RPG's or shooters) – so aesthetically we are used to being in this view even if technically it is not really 'us'.

As a result of this we are never allowed to go from his view; this captures the suddenness, immediacy and panic of what happens, and the viewer is in the middle of it. The film is very short (even shorter with the photos introduction) and it comes very quickly just like the real event did. It is shocking how quickly it escalates and ends, and this is the point – that any traffic stop can be like this, you don't know when it will be. The main reason this works so well is that it is very well filmed using a helmet mounted camera. This gives us the realistic first- person perspective in a way that is clear and very well controlled – considering it is head-mounted and the action is frantic, it is impressive how the movement of the camera is natural and yet crisp too. I liked that reflective surfaces showed the actor not the DP – although some of them felt like showing off a bit.

Both actors do a good job to deliver an intense, unpredictable situation, but the star is the manner of delivery, effectively putting the viewer in a terrible scene in a way that is very hard to watch passively.


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