With this week’s short film, we continue to look at the ever-strong movement of story-centric Science Fiction that is kicking ass in the short film medium. Whether it be due to time or financial constraints, the surgical necessity of concise narrative in short films is perfectly suited to restrained sci-fi. Create a premise, and then work around your limitations to best discover what makes that premise fascinating. In the case of Burnt Grass, that premise is simple, if not a little silly – a patch of grass in a couples’ backyard has the power to duplicate any organic matter that touches it. Yet what follows is fascinating relationship drama after one of the two purposely duplicates themselves. It is drama built on a fantastical premise and it works perfectly here.
Written and directed by Ray Wong, Burnt Grass is a beautifully photographed short utilizing a somewhat muted colour pallet. Each shot is perfectly framed (a necessity for split-screen editing I imagine which imposes the double likeness of our main character). The standout in the short is the beautiful, yet earnest Sally (played ever so strongly by Alex Paxton-Beesley). I loved following her relationship with her husband (Christopher Jacot) and how it twists and turns due to the two versions of her character.
Wong is currently working on a feature length version of the short, and I hope to see it soon. There is tremendous ground to explore with this premise, though I hope that the central dramatic conceit remains in its future iterations.
Check out the short below:
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