Great short films leave viewers wanting more. A director positions the success of his short by establishing a distinct narrative, defining the mood, raising important questions, and providing just the right amount of answers that will invoke satisfaction, yet compel their audience to discover more about the universe in which a particular story exists. There are short films that exist solely for a limited run time, then there are others that demand to be explored in deeper context. The great thing about producing short films is the creative and financial freedom to construct a world without the daunting responsibility of developing a feature-length film. But if the right elements of a short film come together and birth something truly unique, future opportunities are limitless.
Jimmy Loweree‘s action short, Strings, makes a compelling argument that condensed narratives are the best proofs of concept for making a feature-length film. Loweree’s superbly intense flick clocks in at just under five minutes, but each vital second commands attention and intrigue. Strings is interesting in the fact that none of its main characters are explicitly introduced nor does it establish concrete reasoning for the events that unfold. Everything is left up to the viewer’s interpretation, but Strings still manages to hit everything on the checklist. It sets us up in a building where a man dressed in a suit is holding an unknown woman captive by way of sedation. He moves to a batch of security cams and spots an unidentified assailant fighting his way through to presumably rescue the women. The two come to blows and engage in an all-out fight that showcases Loweree’s eye for intimate action sequences. But it’s the final act that gives Strings an unexpected twist surrounding the female captive.
Strings is quick-paced, giving very little time to process what’s going on as all the face smashing comes to play, but it’s a fun ride and even more so when you start to unpack all the questions afterwards. Who is the man that’s holding her captive and what’s his M.O.? Why is the other man so hellbent or rescuing her? And most importantly, how did she come to possess these certain capabilities?! Strings begs these questions and from an audience perspective, and warrants a feature film to answer them.
Loweree’s opinion of short films vs. feature-length projects is reflected in Strings. Speaking with THinc, Loweree commented on the creative freedoms of making short films and the importance of telling a compelling story with limited resources. “It’s a chance to test something out and really try to experiment without the risk of doing it with a feature,” he explained. “Also I think it’s a sign of a good storyteller, if they can figure out a way to tell a good, well-executed story with minimal time and resources it’s impressive to me.” It’s fascinating – Strings has a clear beginning, middle, and end, but there’s so much room to explore and flesh things out. Whether or not that’s his intent, Loweree has given us a solid proof of concept for an original feature film.