A mysterious stranger descends upon
an engagement celebration.
Written By: Caleb B. Kuntz,
Directed By: Caleb B. Kuntz,
Getting spoiled over the years by the use of effects, modern techniques in post production, and the general tools used during production biased my opinion of "A Thief In The Night" before I even started watching. Why is that you may ask? Simple. This short film proudly proclaims it's accordance with the Dogme '95 standards. What's that? Feel free to Google it, but essentially it's a set of rules removing modern production elements when making a film. No artificial light, no camera gear, no effects or post enhancing, and on and on. Basically, at first look it's a tool that seemingly encourages "Blair Witch" style filmmaking. This is not the intention however, and I encourage everyone to look it up and see what Dogme '95 actually is. In a nutshell though, it's the concentration of story, acting and general talent. No bells or fring-y things. Just good ol' fashioned filmmaking. Back on topic: I was a little nervous about this production, since following these guidelines could spell disaster if put into the wrong hands. The potential ways this film could have went scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, it was only a short film. So at it's worst I wouldn't have to endure all that long. I am exceptionally pleased to write that "A Thief In The Night" not only exceeded my expectations, but managed to blow them right off the planet! This was a very well done short. Conforming to the Dogme '95 rules really did enhance this production I believe. I was not only sucked into writer/directors Caleb B Kuntz and Kyle Seaquist's world, but I actually paused at the end as the credits rolled. Something I don't normally do. Generally, as the credits start to roll I'm already writing up my thoughts. Not here though. This was a very entertaining piece and one I would easily recommend to anyone.
Touching up on the technical elements, in this case are a little tougher than usual, due to the rules the filmmakers had to follow. Let's start by writing that the lensing itself was much better than I had thought, considering this was a hand-held production. I didn't get dizzy watching and my only real complaint is the occasional blurring of the image; at times when it seemed not to be needed and avoidable. The use of light, in a seemingly realistic way was brilliant. A camp fire, candles in a room... and all done up as if this was completely natural. Nothing beats natural light via flames! An instant beautifier! I know what you're thinking. How could a bunch of lit candles in a room be a natural every day thing? It's all in the writing ladies and gents and makes perfect sense in this short film. The editing together of this production was top notch as well. Slick, smart and paced near perfectly. The style of the editor never seems to try and add to the production, rather compliment the on-screen action. My only slight gripe was the bathroom scene. It seemed oddly a little long for my taste. Again however, that's all personal preference. Where "A Thief In The Night" really shines is the acting itself, or when examined closer; the writing and the actors portrayal of these characters. Although the leading cast is small, they come across as larger than life. In a way you can totally believe. No instances of cheese-y independent acting exist here. Just down-to-Earth people. This flick really shines because you can believe it's actually happening!
This is a really good short film. No doubt about that. I can't think of much else to write except to say check it out. The ending itself? Haunting to say the least. Kind of makes you wish more of the story existed onscreen. That's the point though right? I encourage you to watch this one and judge for yourself. The link is to the left and using it will cause a few minutes of pure entertainment. Good job guys!
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