In Joseph McGovern’s short film, Hush, the challenge placed before him was to tell a story without words and dialogue. I’ve felt that the mistake many filmmakers make is using dialogue as a crutch. So how did McGovern fare?
Hush tells the story of Jeremy (Anthony Scanish) and his wife, Betty (Kristin Teporelli), who are heading to a dinner party with his best friend, Mark (Erik Searle). Unbeknownst to everyone, Jeremy has a massive crush on Mark’s wife, Suzanna (Melissa Damas). Jeremy plays it cool throughout the night, but we are privy to his inner thoughts, which describe his unwavering obsession with Suzanna. Mark goes down the emotional rabbit hole so hard that he has no choice but to act on his feelings.
“…privy to his inner thoughts…his unwavering obsession with Suzanna.”
Director Joseph McGovern is not only telling his story without words but uses the “gimmick” to bring audience members right into the mind of the protagonist. Along with actor Anthony Scanish, the filmmaker believably presents Jeremy’s obsession with Suzanna and escalates his feelings to their breaking point.
Hush is also a low-budget short, and McGovern makes clever use of shot composition, lighting, and camera movement to switch us from reality and what’s playing out in Jeremy’s mind. For example, there’s a brief scene of the partygoers saying goodbye at the door. Though the shot looks pretty straightforward, the director includes subtle glances from Jeremy and movement from the top of the stairs to the bottom that seem very intentional and necessary to the story. Maybe I’m just seeing things, but this brief scene is so telling.
I have great admiration for filmmakers who choose to challenge themselves, knowing that this simple exercise will elevate and hone their storytelling abilities in the future. Joseph McGovern does just that in Hush. Now let’s see what else you’ve got.
For more information, visit Joseph McGovern’s Facebook page.
"…I have great admiration for filmmakers who choose to challenge themselves..."