Street Crime Just Got An Upgrade.
Written By: Johnny Herbin
Directed By: Johnny Herbin
Interestingly enough I rather enjoyed "Electric Faces" and only even write that I did... because I really didn't expect to. This is a title familiar enough to feel right at home, yet unique enough to allow some real enjoyment. Think of it as your very own living room after spending the day cleaning it... and getting a new couch and chair to boot. Johnny Herbin has taken elements from stories we know and love, then added his own spin on things, taking us for a short ride on the wild side... so to speak.
The very concept itself is not only an interesting one, but one that opens a whole can of potential humor to add to the pot. Added it is, in moderation as it should have been. A little less and "Electric Faces" may have been a little to bleak, a little more and it could have become a parody. The funny elements come across as perfectly proportioned making "Electric Faces" a very easy film to watch.
For a short flick, a huge amount of details have been stuffed within and surprisingly, other aspects of the movie didn't suffer along the way. Save a few technical mis-steps which I'll get into below. "Electric Faces" was an overall enjoyable 12 minutes and I was glad to have been given the chance to have a look.
Usually, with indie film I have a barrage of things to write about technically; bad audio, crazy shaky camera work or unusual coloring. In this case, my only real issues dealt with the uneven use of special effects. As a title taking place in the not to distant future, some care was taken when showcasing Johnny Herbin's visualization of what's in store for us. From a new drug blazing it's way through the city, to different types of robots performing day to day duties; and even a glimpse of a flying transport! As far as a low/no budget film goes, some of the effects used were great! Other effects however, that should have been much simpler seemed a little iffy; almost like an afterthought at times. For instance, billboards are slightly vibrating on their respective screens and even the main robot itself, which should have taken priority over everything, has some clear tracking issues. I'm not talking about it's ability to follow directions either. The general design of the robot "Hugh" was really quite genius so why, oh why, was more care not taken when tracking his face/display? At times it looks great and other times, we can clearly see the movement of the display doesn't match the movement of Hugh's face...err... box head. Sometimes, it jitters around reminding us that this is an indie film, sometimes it looks great. After seeing the opening city-scape, it's strange such a easy (seeming) effect was not battened down. Hell, remove the opening city shot and concentrate on the robot! Fixing this issue would add so much to the story visually. Sounds strange to write that but it's true. The credibility of the robot is what pushes "Electric Faces" forward. Without that, the film stutters... even if only just a little.
Aside from that, everything else was pretty damn decent. Some great performances pushing through a well rounded script; showcased by some excellent pacing. As a matter of fact, only one instance slightly made me chuckle when I shouldn't have. Without giving things away, every Café has more than one entrance/exit. Would have made sense to have had the character... I don't know... try to use it!
As you guessed by my humble rating, I really enjoyed this short film. The small details combined with the acting and flow of the short really push it ahead of the crowd. I would have loved to have seen more attention given to some of the effects but in reality, that's not a big deal. The story is the core of any production, and "Electric Faces" boasts a good one. Familiar yet fresh. The only way to do indie.
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