What movie buff doesn’t love a film made about the painstaking process of the final shot? All those who have been behind the lens in any form – be it production, acting, or in directorial capacities, will appreciate Matthew Ellis’s Brock Bledsoe: Future Hero. Let’s extend that generalization to include anyone fascinated by the art of movie making, well, ever.
Spanning for little over 13 minutes, this is one of those short films that stays with you long after the final credits roll. A comedy by all rights, it’s got that extra something which puts the film in a league above its peers. If I had to put my finger on it, I’d narrow down the “It” factor this movie so recklessly possesses to one fixed reaction guaranteed for all who partake – sheer incredulity.
Brock Bledsoe: Future Hero is mad. It’s stark, raving, priceless insanity. The satirical comedy invokes so many “WTF?” moments, you can’t help but sit back and revel in each and every one. It really doesn’t matter what your genre preference is here, as Ellis has created something that is bound to wholeheartedly entertain any who watch. A one-location short, it reproduces the end-of-day struggles of a cast and crew desperate to achieve the “martini shot.” (Otherwise known as the last shot of the production day).
“…reproduces the end-of-day struggles of a cast and crew desperate to achieve the ‘martini shot’.”
Oh, and do they finally get it. The spectacular moment they’ve all been striving for, perfectly encapsulated on camera, forever. And at such a steep price.
Hats off to Brock Bledsoe, the short’s title character, played by a committed Ian Lockhart. Lockhart flails around with just the right level of ludicrousness, quintessential for such a number. Nothing can top his bizarre guttural song and dance mid-way through. Lexi Contursi personifies Bella, who stars opposite to Bledsoe. Contursi is also steady in her role as the sobbing albeit livid co-star. Director Matthew Ellis ingeniously plays himself as the film director in the shot, offering up a culminating degree of encouraging but rightfully exasperated leader on set. Other supporting actors include Jarrett Worley, Julie Bersani, and Emily Peck, who all devotedly embody bone-weary crew members.
There’s an almost gritty, unapologetic taste to the film, transmitted through a dramatized ambiance. The opening frames feature the future hero outfitted with an automatic weapon, eyepatch and leather vest, aggressively posed on top of an antiquated car resting in front of a domineering wooden cross. A singular grassy but barren backdrop typical of California’s ranchlands is made all the more alluring by the plot’s continual swap of cinematic visions. What stands out the most is the “inception” quality of this production; it’s a movie within a movie.
“…does it make you think, or undergo an emotional case of existentialism by the time it concludes? Not in the slightest.”
As the short follows the back and forth between a lead actor failing to deliver and a frustrated crew, the growing variation in each sequence strengthens the way in which Brock Bledsoe breaks the fourth wall. The story within the story is divinely depicted, Ellis & co. using quick cuts that flip between two levels of edited film. One view is meant to be very high quality, with deep, exaggerated tones; while the other appears in a more authentic manner, with shaky, handheld camerawork and washed out hues. Cameraman Stephen Nolly aces the reversal, neatly combining the two contrasting techniques into one fluid overarching perspective.
Without a doubt, this short is comedic gold. Does it make you think, or undergo an emotional case of existentialism by the time it concludes? Not in the slightest. That’s very clearly not it’s intention, either. Brock Bledsoe exists as a two-fold tribute to the hidden pains of filmmaking, and as a satirical medium pushing the boundaries in a world where little rules exist already. The antics are so over-dramatic, it’s sure to strike a chord in those of us who can appreciate the difficulties involved in securing a perfect final shot.
Light-heartedly wicked, Brock Bledsoe: Future Hero will make you gape incredulously, while at the same time break a sweat, thanks to a delicious twist of an ending. There’s nothing remotely complex about this composition, but it works so swimmingly in its simplicity. Memorable in more ways than one, it’s the kind of piece you watch, delight in, and if you’re in the biz, empathize – to a degree – with.
Brock Bledsoe (2018) Written, Directed, and Edited by Matthew Ellis. Starring: Ian G Lockhart, Lexie Contursi, Matthew Ellis, Jarrett Worley, Julie Bersani, Cailtin King, Emily Peck, Danielle Vice, and Marshall Foster
9 out of 10
Official Trailer | Tickets on sale now!
Tickets on sale now for our WEST COAST PREMIERE!! June 13th, 5:00pm at TCL Chinese Theatres, Hollywood. https://tickets.fandango.com/transaction/ticketing/express/ticketboxoffice.aspx?row_count=225805942&tid=AAACD&sdate=2018-06-13+17:00&mid=183971&from=mov_det_showtimes
Posted by Brock Bledsoe: Future Hero on Saturday, May 19, 2018
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