NICE SHOT Image

NICE SHOT

By Merle Bertrand | September 3, 2001

“I’d kill to get that part.”
They say it all the time, those desperate and miserable creatures called actors. Well, Sondré Zinx (director D. Mason Bendewald), a hot, up and coming young director casting his new film, intends to make someone prove it. After a long, essentially futile day for Zinx, Don the intern (Rick Kiley) ushers in Dusty Riggs (Matt Saunders), a proven actor on the no-pay theater and student film circuit. Thrown into the lion’s den of a casting room full of a director and his entourage of producers, all of whom are as burnt out as they are cynical, Riggs first captures their attention with his total recall knowledge of the entire script. Yet, he’s still summarily dismissed, only to then utter those fateful words — “I’d kill to get this part” — on his way out the door.
Whether out of spite for having to sit through a day’s worth of awful reads, whether he spots untapped genius, or whether he’s just a sadistic jerk, Zinx takes Riggs at his word, challenging him to kill the one guy competing with Dusty for the precious part.
Though pretty fed up with films about actors and writers as well as filmmakers and filmmaking, “Nice Shot” is that rare attempt to make a movie about filmmaking that’s actually entertaining and even compelling. The film soldiers along through most of its nineteen minutes, yet kicks into a hi-octane finale with its brilliantly edited climax.
Saunders is excellent as the desperately earnest Riggs while Bendewald’s manic-eyed, goatee-festooned Zinx proves him to be the rare self-cast director who can also act.
An all around “nice” job on “Nice Shot.”

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