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Midlands Review - Rough

By midlandsmovies, May 17 2018 07:02AM

Midlands Review – Rough

Directed by Chris Stone

Stoke on Trent based director Chris Stone has a history of creating great showreels for actors from the Midlands and beyond. But he is never afraid to tackle his own short dramas and delivers a high concept sci-fi short in his new film Rough.

Making films since he was a young boy, Chris has a background in scriptwriting, casting and editing which all come to play in this new short.

Set in a forest location, Rough has a cast of two - “mother" and Dawn - who seem equally confused and investigative amongst the dense trees. Electronic and motorised sound effects are used well to infer Dawn is a robot and the actor delivers her lines in a monotone effect to create the feel of her cyborg.

Unsure of how to describe the detail of the broken bark on a tree (“rough”) we are informed she comes from a factory and her digital memory can recollect timescales down to the nearest minute yet there is one past event that she cannot (or will not) recall.

Reminded by “mother” that she has been “owned” Dawn for far longer than the android realises we are told the revelation that Dawn is also the last person to have seen her missing child, Jamie.

Dawn’s strange behaviour (“would you like to hear a song?”) hints at a more eerie presence whilst she freezes to a standstill as she follows instructions to “stay” showing her current subservient nature.

Dawn refers to her companion as “mother” yet she is chastised for doing so and told she will never be her child as the frustration with the droid boils over into emotional anger.

Unable to compute we are shown her “corrupted memories” with a soft-focus flashback to the missing Jamie who is shown being strangled and buried by Dawn in a bout of mysterious fury.

With a host of fantastic flourishes if there was one problem with Rough, it was actually the lack of credits which would have given the stupendous actors their due. An online search could provide no answers and it’s a shame that filmmakers omit such a key part of promoting their film.

Whatever your level of filmmaking and despite a successful pedigree, creatives could gain more exposure with a certain amount of online presence over on IMDB or on their social media pages. If nothing else, it shows respect to the cast and crew who were involved.

That aside, clocking in at just 2 and a half minutes, Stone proves his showreel-making skill with a to-the-point short that demonstrates a wide range of talent from the actors, the sound, the music and a punchy little narrative with a technological twist in its tale.

Midlands Movies Mike

You can watch the full short on Vimeo here:

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