A grizzled therapist tries to help a troubled man before succumbing to his own demons.
Written By: Harold Jackson III
Directed By: Harold Jackson III
To write that I'm impressed would be an understatement. I never thought watching two people, in a single room with no variation in scenery could be so entertaining. Writer/Director Harold Jackson has proven me wrong with "Counselor", an offering that really does sound rather boring. Don't take the bait however, this is a ridiculously engrossing piece of work. The fact it actually does only take place in one room baffles me, and really goes to prove that with good writing and a great cast... anything is possible. My recommendation would be to get some marketing materials together and get this series into the world. Most of the battle is actually getting people to watch; when they do however, I can almost guarantee they'll be hooked.
"Counselor" is filmed in a controlled environment, one indoor location that makes for a technically easy(easier) production. The camera work is decent and appropriate for the story, the audio is crystal clear and the lighting, again, fits the segments spot on. The actual edit itself is simple but slick, allowing the cast to shine in their respective roles. I did notice a few cuts that seemed a little out of place, mainly in the form of inserts used and the time in which they spliced. It seemed at times the image would switch to an insert, showing a reaction from the other actor and diminishing the performance of the first. I'm all about inserts and edits, especially when filming in a single location: I just felt there were times the action should have remained on the actor and their delivery, not switching over. These instances were few however, and only brought up because with a production this good... I felt the need to nit-pick a little.
Where "Counselor" really brings it home is with the cast themselves. Curtiss Cook and Chad Eric Smith end up delivering the best indie performances I've seen in a long while. The casting of these two was brilliant and together, their portrayals make what "should" have been a really boring, single location production... to something fully entertaining and powerful. The page-turner of the film world. As I wrote above, I'm completely impressed and was sorry to see it end.
The problem with "Counselor" is going to come down to one main thing. Actually getting people to watch. With it's single location set-up, somehow Harold Jackson needs to show the world that "Counselor" is worth the time! Not an easy task. How do you generate a buzz with a one room trailer? Then again, using a little finesse and creativity with the marketing could go a long way. The ability certainly exists to do so, and if you doubt that, just re-read the top part of this write-up. Both casual and hard-core indie viewers will love this, as will people not involved in the indie film scene, as long as you can get them to actually watch it! You want to know what really scares me? If Mr. Jackson took these characters and the actors who portrayed them, wrote a script based on this premise, but one that actually left the office! Ladies and gents we would have an instant award winner for sure. No doubt about that. As it sits right now, as a single location series, it still powers through and does so in a very impressive way. Look over to your left at the social links provided. Connect with this production and watch it when you can. You won't be sorry.
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