Those darned celebrities. For them, everything is different. The way they live and even the way they die. We've all heard the stories of the rich and famous being completely alien compared to the rest of us. We've all heard how "hard" they consider their lives. Always in the spotlight, always being scrutinized. We've also heard many swear if they could do it again, they would do it differently. Of course, it would still be great to have all that money. Right? Those silly weird rich people think they should have everything good, without a trace of the bad. Well ladies and gents... what if they could? In a run-around kind of way, "The Case Against Mr. Sheppard" tackles this very question. What if a celebrity could simply cease to exist, and become someone else? A witness protection program for the wealthy? Such things don't come cheap - but given the right connections anything is possible... isn't it? Jorge Barboza seemed to think so when he scripted this short film, and after watching it... I think he may just be onto something. "The Case Against Mr. Sheppard" is an interesting social experiment, and curiously tempting trip into the life and death of a celebrity. Although not directly reflecting on the "actual" home and public life of famous people, it offers a glimpse of what things "could" be like; and dances around various reasons one such person could want to be dead. Along the way, you may even find yourself thinking of your favorite Elvis sighting or conspiracy theory. Thinking about them in a new-ish kind of light. To be blunt, the idea here is not completely unique... but revealed in such a way to keep things fresh and interesting. Stuff like this "could" happen. Hell, it probably does happen! In this day and age anything is possible and it's this train of thinking that keeps the pace moving. That grain of reality mixed within the fiction. Could it? Has it? Who? These are all valid questions you may find yourself thinking about as the credits roll. For that alone, this short film packs a lot of bang for the buck. Technically, this is yet another of those splendid indie productions that play great. For the most part. The framing, lighting and even coloring all come across as top shelf. Save maybe a shot or two closer to the end. These particular shots I'm thinking about are not even bad. Just maybe a little under exposed looking. Hardly even worth mentioning at all. The audio is crisp and the edit itself is quite close to not being noticed. Something every editor wants to hear. Our two leads, as luck would have it, also happen to play off of each other in a near perfect manner. "The Case Against Mr. Sheppard" is simply a well acted short film. From the start to the end I never felt that "cheese indie" factor slip into the dialog, and to be honest? I was quite thankful for that, especially when I began to notice a slight lag within the film. Not a massive one mind you, just a slightly long winded feeling. Considering this is a thirteen minute interrogation, taking place in one room, I am shocked the feeling wasn't a lot worse. This is probably due to the excellent acting and well rounded script. Still, a good two minute cut to the edit would do wonders. Maybe even three. The pleasant point, counter-point conversation was done quite well, yet when it's all said and done, it's still a long conversation between two people, in a single room. I feel a slight cut would positively impact this production in a lot of ways. I should also note that the ending is quite open. Open endings are good for a serial production, but in this case, I'm not sure if more is planned for the future. Closure is always good in any movie. "The Case Against Mr. Sheppard" really doesn't offer much. I truly hope something is planned down the road because if not... well reader... what a waste. When it's all over, this was a surprisingly entertaining film when you consider the single location. The potential for more is massive, and I truly hope something happens down the road. For anyone looking for that old school detective/mystery vibe, this one is for you. An all around entertaining title and a job well done.