Very compact but expands quickly and recognizably to be a 2-hour film told in 150 seconds with no feeling of loss or sacrifice
Two college kids move into their first flat together, finding the normal tensions of living together, funding their lives, dealing with responsibility, finding love, falling out of love, falling for the person the other person loves, and eventually moving on with their lives and closing this particular chapter. All in a running time of less than 150 seconds (not including end credits).
In some ways the internet has both been good and bad for the short film; the speed of life and the desire to have things in smaller chunks to be accessed on the move has meant that there is a larger audience who will now watch such things via Vimeo and other such sites, however at the same time it does mean that those watching the films are usually in the middle of something else, not contained in a controlled viewing environment, and perhaps put more pressure on the short to deliver in the precise amount of time they feel it needs, and not to take longer or meander as it goes. In this regard "This Is It" is really well delivered because it is incredibly compact but yet delivers a lot, while also reaching a target audience of college students and older, all of whom will not need too much expansion on the idea of challenging flat-sharing.
The film plays out as a series of quick-fire questions, delivered in the context of their own scene. This is very cleverly done as it keeps things very tight but also informs of the wider scene, the tone of the question, and thus the likely conflict or other situation that will play out from there. Had the film taken two hours, the job would be the same but with more words, and it is impressive how we see the familiar base of conflicts that we all know from living with another person, and then we stay with them as we focus in on specific threads of infidelity and love. As a story of these characters it works well. It is also pretty funny, with the timing very good not only in the delivery by the cast, but also in Daniel Prickett's editing, which is sharp and precise, giving the idea a structure.
Technically it is all very well done; with the location used well, the varying types of shoot all looking good (night/day, street/interior, solo/group) and looking consistent, but it is the base idea and writing from Engel that makes it so effective and engaging as it is.
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