Middle America gets a little bit of a bad rap, and I suppose one of the big complaints is its isolation from the modern coasts. In Steven Stauffer’s Hi. This is Heather, we meet Heather (Frances Eve), who works as a travel agent in her home office in an isolated part of America. Heather is good at her job. She fulfills the travel needs of all her clients and finds solutions for the usual foibles associated with travel like canceled flights and last-minute changes. Loved and adored Heather gets an occasional postcard from her customers.
The irony is clear. Heather helps others explore and experience the world, while she sits in solitude, rarely stepping out of her home, except for her daily jog. Over the short film’s eighteen-minute runtime, we witness the slow, gradual, and beautiful mental breakdown of our protagonist Heather.
“…masterfully paces his story in a slow, deliberate manner that builds speed up to the end for maximum effects.”
Hi. This is Heather is a short that works in two delightful ways. First, writer/director Steven Stauffer masterfully paces his story in a slow, deliberate manner that builds speed up to the end for maximum effects. It’s a masterclass, if you will, in pacing. Second, Frances Eve is the perfect actor as Heather. What appears to be a natural role to perform, Eve shows off her acting chops at the very end. I can’t say more than that, but this is a short definitely worth seeking out.
Hi. This is Heather (2019) Written and directed by Steven Stauffer. Starring Frances Eve. Hi. This is Heather screened as part of the Outsiders & Underdogs block at the 2019 Palm Springs ShortFest.
8 out of 10 stars