Joshua Charperrin Woodard’s short film, I Call On You My Friends, tells the story of four friends gathering for the first time in seven years by a campfire.
Jim (Jordan Dean Foster) is the one who called the meeting and already has the campfire roaring. Soon, Sam (Stephen McIntyre), Dusty (Kenny Cunningham), and Fred (Nick Forkum) arrive. Sam and Dusty are happy to see their old friend again, but Fred is visibly upset with Jim for disappearing all this time. Finally, after a few pleasantries, Jim gets right to the point. The reason why Jim has not been around being that his friends are dead.
In fear of having said too much already, anything past this point is a spoiler. As a short film, I Call On You My Friends is a basic film of four friends talking by the campfire. Jim’s explanation takes on a science-fiction tone, and when his story is told, the film concludes with Sam, Dusty, and Fred’s reactions.
“…four friends gathering for the first time in seven years…”
There’s that old adage of “Show. Don’t Tell.” I Call On You My Friends is very much a “Tell” story, as much of the mystery is revealed in Jim’s story. It’s here that, as a critic, my feelings about the short film are primarily about the story told versus any cinematic accomplishments of the overall film. The plot has interesting sci-fi-tinged themes of death and loss.
Cinematically speaking, sure, I would have liked to see more lighting used than the campfire. If anything, if you have four friends gathering by the fire, I’d like to see some unique characteristics given to each person. The film primarily focuses on Jim and Fred’s interactions, which leaves Sam and Dusty as throwaway characters. Ask this question, how fundamentally different would the narrative be if you removed Sam and Dusty?
I Call On You My Friends gets a very baseline score from me. The story is interesting and worth watching, but nothing in the film elevates it from rising above average. It definitely feels like a small part of a much bigger piece.
For more information about I Call On You My Friends, visit the Emotions Eye Films Twitter account.
"…interesting sci-fi-tinged themes of death and loss."