'Surcease' by Hybrid Motion Pictures

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As always, Hybrid's film looked absolutely stunning, and was fairly flawless technically, but it just seemed to be missing....something. I felt that the whole story could have been compressed into the first minute, and a far more interesting film could have been made out of the aftermath of the main couples decision to throw away their technology, and the repercussions of that.

Having said that, I think that 'Inspirational' is probably the hardest genre this year, and I'm glad I dodged that particular bullet.


Inspirational film would be very hard I reckon. They told their story well and got their inspirational message across well. Great production and I reckon Jason Fitch would probably take out actor of the heat if there was such a thing.


How hard would have it been to be stuck with "inspirational". A pain of a genre.

However, I tip you my hat, you delivered a well written, played and directed movie.

Not one of my favorite, but it is only because I never respond well to this genre.

Again, congratulation to your team


For me this was one of the best films of the night and I was surprised it wasn't in the top 3 of the audience choice ... maybe because Hybrid has so many people in the team, it makes them unfavorable in others eyes ... The start of the film was perhaps a little rushed and not quite enough time was spent developing the characters before you were launched in to the meat of the story. But it was easy to follow, well shot, well performed, and well executed for one of the most difficult genres ... let alone the fact they smashed a phone and a macpro! Good work Hybrid! Hopefully the judges won't shortbus you like the audience did.


Beautifully shot, well acted (Lead was a likeable chap, the couple had great chemistry which really made the final scene, preacher man was probably best performance I saw on the day) very slick production overall including excellent sound and score.

However :( the story itself left me underwhelmed, not nearly enough drama. The main conflict was resolved far too easily, and a few txt messages and bad wifi is not much of a conflict anyway. Inspirational is a dick of a genre, but one recurring theme is someone taking their shit life and making it a not-shit life. We needed to see his life get more shit than that. Just like last year they left me wanting more but not in a good way.

Team Hybrid obviously have high film making standards, year after year they're in the top 3 best looking/sounding films. I think the writing team have played it a little too safe after Chicane though. Fuck safety. I'd love to see them go all in with a really ambitious script sometime, high risk high reward and all that, this is 48hours after all.


Perhaps I'm the only one who was a bit put-off by the overly enthusiastic kiss between the unlikeable protagonist and his out-of-his-league girlfriend that opened the short, but thankfully it was interrupted by a timely phone call before things could get any more squishy.

The theme of the short is simple: relationships are damaged rather than enhanced by the use of modern communications technology.

It's definitely a widely held belief - I doubt there are many people who haven't ever thought of their cellphone as an anchor, or who sometimes feel like they'd get more done if the internet connection went down. Many of us dream of being able to leave our work behind when we're out of the office. But of course it's not so easy. We're all hyper-available, hyper-connected, and hyper-distracted.

Unfortunately there isn't time to address the broader issue in this short, and we focus on one slightly dysfunctional relationship instead.

Good work all around, but the actor playing the cult leader had the "preacher voice" down pat, great work, definitely the stand out performance in the short. Hopefully he's back again next time, and given a role with a bit more room to move.

Don't know if I should give points or take them away for the gratuitous and uneccessary MacBook smashing, but it certainly did send a message. Excellent smash, actually, bent the screen over fully backwards in a wonderfully wince-inducing manner.

Lovely kiss (and a nice counterpoint to the awful one that started the short) featured at the end of the credits, elicited "awwwww"s all around the audience. Great timing.


I'm really impressed by teams who get a genre like "Inspirational" and play it straight. I know for sure we'd be throwing every cheap gag we could think of in there. From Hybrid however we get a dramatic short which doesn't come off as mawkish or preachy (despite a fine turn by Mr Jason Fitch as a preacher), and has a nice simple message with great performances throughout.

Also, I don't remember that first kiss or whether or not it seemed awkward but I feel I should mention in response to themorgan that the unlikeable protagonist and his out-of-his-league girlfriend are in fact a couple in real-life. So a bonus high-five for Sam Berkley. Shot bro.


Beautifully executed simple inspirational story. Great performances. Thought the lead looked a lot like Alan Tudyk, which doesn't hurt ;-)


[Viewed from the Screening Room]

A man seems rather disillusioned with his life. His relationship appears to be suffering and when an opportunity presents itself, he becomes inspired to break free of everything that has been weighing him down.

This is a very slick short film technically (as usual), that is well-paced, well-acted and well delivered. The performances from the leads are very genuine and they obviously have a natural chemistry. The use of the prop was imaginative and again, nicely shot.

How inspirational was this film? For the characters within - very much so. Our lead was inspired by the cult leader (with encouragement), and our lead's partner was inspired by him to follow suit. As for the viewer - I'd argue not so much. I certainly wasn't encouraged to follow suit with my electronic devices as I enjoy them to much! It's a little more practical to just turn them off or not answer if you are feeling harassed.

A well-constructed film though, that I'll show my High School film students as inspiration!


Really great effort again from Hybrid, how did this not make the final? Superbly acted, beautifully shot, and perfectly paced. I think I would've died if we'd got Inspirational, but you killed it.

Only issue I have is that there wasn't a whole lot of conflict, but everything else was spot on so I shouldn't complain. Well done again!