There’s a reason why a long pan-out is such a recurrent feature at the end of feature films: it reminds us that the characters we’ve been engrossed in for the past couple of hours are just some more tiny ants in the nest of a bigger picture. The same goes for zooming in at the start of movies, and for the concept of this short by Luke Carlisle that takes us fleetingly into the serene, somewhat surreal life of a London drug dealer. We swoop around his day-to-day activities on steadicams, watching him (David Ajala) like a hovering dragonfly as people get in and out of his car, and his phone vibrates on the table prompting a Pavlov’s Dog effect.
“I wanted to take a different look at how drug dealers are presented in films/TV, stripping out the glamourised elements of it and seeing what else was in there,” Luke says. “This morphed into a script about boredom and repetition, and how it affects the main character who works in, what is essentially, the service industry.”
The content is definitely something that could split opinion on this short. What really impressed us was actually how well the whole thing is shot, and the atmosphere Luke’s given it. It’s slow, sluggish even, giving you a feeling you’re in a drugged haze as you stare at your screen watching it. “The film was shot by Alex Reid on a RED Epic Dragon. Stillness is the dominant theme visually in the film, mapping to the inertia of the protagonist. There’s two bits of movement and those are the tracking shots that bookend the story, entering and exiting the world of our hero.”