In an attempt to escape a tormented life dealing with her mother's new partner, Casey and a friend flee into the forest
with a mystery device. This device is one that will somehow, mysteriously connect her with her missing father - in an alternate reality. Read on for my thoughts on the short film "Through the Stars."
This film, penned by Ryan Marth and directed by Ariel Danziger, navigates its way around the complexities of its concept. But it never truly succeeds in grounding the viewer in the world where it takes place. A character who is enduring hardship - still has to engage us in some way beyond their circumstances. Or at least be a bit more interesting. If there are plans to develop this project any further, let it start on the page because, for me, there isn't really a shred of character development here. The music guides a cool atmospheric mood, and the cool blue lights enhance that mood - but on a human level? It feels near empty.
It's also important to note that I wasn't sure if her father was dead or missing - until that is, I read the description for the story "after" watching the film. It should never be that a viewer has to learn about plot points from reading a description. Also worth mentioning is that the device Casey uses just "happens" to be there and is never really given any true context.
Perhaps the most important part of this write-up is putting all of what I wrote above aside - I could still follow everything easily and clearly, thanks to a good flow in the editing. Also, props to the creators - I can "feel" their passion for the material, and as a massive fan of the genre - "Through the Stars" was a short film I totally enjoyed watching. Finally, I should point out that I felt I was experiencing more of a prototype for an idea still in progress. Possibly a great one. Two and a half stars.