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‘Done In’ – Cannes selection short film review.

Last year I spent a lot of time working with independent filmmakers, on independent projects. I found myself Jaded. The film making community (at least, what I saw of it here in Scotland) was incredibly frustrating to me. They were bullies, arrogant and out to purely fulfill themselves and their own needs and not the creative process. There is also the sense that they must fill their short with as many conventions and techniques as possible to prove how “good” they really are. Luckily with Adam Stephen Kelly’s directorial debut ‘Done In’ this is, on all aspects entirely not the case.

Instead what we are presented with is a highly polished, well paced short that’s contemplative, well written and no doubt packs a punch with the shock ending.

Guy Henry, who has appeared in multiple British TV Shows and even big Blockbusters such as ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ carries the short as he narrates a letter reminiscing about his life which is revealed to be a suicide note. His performance is low key and subtle yet entirely engaging throughout. There is almost no dialogue in the short, instead we hear Guy’s narration of the letter. There is great range, emotion and variety throughout to never become dull or overplayed.


Richard Osborne’s cinematography is elegant and there is never a shot simply constructed out of pomp or arrogance. There is a great care to each lingering shot of old photographs, in the old house, which compliments the sound design immensely.  The old house itself is a character within its own right and acts as a visual metaphor to the lead character and perhaps even the film itself – old, full of shadows and secrets.

Adam directs a classic tale of misdirection. Presenting us with one thing when in fact it turns out to be something else entirely. This something else ultimately changes how we view the rest of the short. It could have easily became unnecessary but with Adam’s precision of playing with expectation it doesn’t betray the narrative and instead invites us the viewer to think about things a little differently.

‘Done In’ has been selected for the Cannes film festival and it becomes clear as to why. It does more with less and more experienced “film” makers need to take note of what Adam and his entire creative team have managed to achieve with ‘Done In’. It was also crowd funded and for me, this kind of film is more interesting and successful than the Veronica Mars’ of this world and the successes we should be taking note of. On a personal level, the short is extremely inspiring creatively and I feel more motivated than I did having not saw it.

To keep up to date with ‘Done In’ and for more information on when it can be seen, head on over to the official Facebook.

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