The only ultra team in the heat did a stellar job of wrangling not one but TWO child actors. A smart directing choice here to use a voiceover style storytelling film, as I'm sure that meant the shots they needed to get with the kids were less intense. The plumbing stuff was funny. There were a few sound mix issues, and overall this film could've been tightened up and made a bit pacier. It also was unclear why the kids couldn't just grab the chocolate while mum was busy with the plumber. Narratively though, it tied up nicely at the end. I hope the young boy enjoyed all the chocolate he scored over 48 Hours weekend! :)
The how, the what, the who and the why
Just a quick comment about the Plumber since this seems to have tripped people up for some reason. He's not checking out the door, perhaps I was naive about the geography but the staircase that the kids run up in the film is where he's looking. He's leaving now since his work is done so he checks to see where the mother has gone to say I'm off now or goodbye or whatever and decides to just leave. This explanation will come too late for some reviewers though I guess it shouldn't make much of a difference as you'll argue that if it doesn't come across in the film than I've failed as a filmmaker but that's what is going on there.
Cool to see the children getting involved!
An easy to follow story, underpinned by the voice-over.
I liked how the shadow was used to explain the plan, and use of the sword. Things to watch out for when my boy gets older!
A few red herrings:
I thought the plumber might have come back to steal something, given the look at the inside of the door.
And that the plumbing / puddle might have been connected.
Maybe next time it might pay to experiment with additional lights to set a style or mood, rather than rely on natural lighting.
Well done for completing the ULTRA task!
When two young children are denied their protein bar supply, they hatch a plan to get it back.
Cute story that takes a common family situation and turns it into an elaborately planned heist. Overall it is pretty well executed and obviously the kids had fun. I too wondered why the kids didn't just go for he bars given just how distracted mum was. The film hints at other plot points that were left unexplained - the very obvious exit by the plumber where he checks out the front door mechanism for one. Was he hoping to return for something nefarious? Had this actually played out we might have had a more engaging story overall as the stakes would have been raised significantly.
A couple of "little shits" in the words of their mum conspire to steal chocolate protein bars from under mum's nose whilst she deals with a plumbing issue. Hoo boy as a dad with 2 and 3 year olds this felt scarily close to home in a been there, done that kind of way. Very relatable. I liked the pulsating start to the film as the energetic siblings were framed well for the upcoming heist, reflective of how moods can genuinely change for little children with the click of fingers or the loss of a chocolate treat. I also found the use of the shadow/silhouette for the plans well-executed and met the element requirement well. Kids held their own on screen well and sound was pretty good.
The couple of things that I wasn't completely sold on was the pacing of the film. The chapter titles were unusual for a short film but unnecessary in my book, I felt the second one in particular kind of cut into the action just as I was getting fully engaged with the action unfolding. I also appreciate how grounded the film was in reality. Like, really, this was close to home, but I think that some interesting locations or even just more interesting backdrops given it was shot in a house could have given the film more of an impact.
Thought this film did a clean job cutting through both the heist genre and the ULTRA condition. Sometimes the simplest approaches (a child plans to steal a chocolate bar) lead to the best outcomes and while there are things to be improved on, the efficiency of the plot gives this short a strong backbone.
I feel there are two things that could have elevated the story even more:
1) When the kid gives a rundown of his plan (great use of the silhouette, by the way), he immediately reveals that he's going to backstab his sister. Had the story kept this detail hidden until the ending, it would have made for an effective twist that would have REALLY made the audience go "what a little shit!" It's more effective to have the viewer come to this conclusion themselves, rather than have the main character state this out loud.
2) The point of the puddle was to make a big mess that got the mum pissed off. Unfortunately, by throwing the water outside on an already rainy-looking day, it doesn't really look like a mess. It would have been much more impactful to make a mess in, say, the living room or the bedroom (though, admittedly, it would undoubtedly be a pain in the ass to clean up afterwards).
I did love having a manly-as voice actor doing the audiowork for the child. Hearing that deep voice explain precise heist plans one minute and then say "mummy" the next is pure comedy, right there. It would have been great if the script extended that flipping between 'adult talk' and 'toddler talk' even further.
Also, don't know how you got that little girl to ball her eyes out, but holy moly that was some effective acting.
An innovative interpretation of Ultra. Good clean voice over, and well shot motivated use of shadows to describe the heist. Remembering that 5 minutes is a limit and not a target, a tighter edit would have made this film punchier and give us less time to think about the plot holes. Some decent natural light cinematography in the lounge, but the bathroom plumber scenes could use more light and a white balance. These scenes are some of the funniest though, so overall a decent effort. I hope the kids are OK!
This film was entertaining but could have been tighter and better scripted. The length of some of the shots gave too much time and left you poking at the plot holes. That being said it was a great way to tackle kids as the main characters. I do wish you hadn't made the little girl cry for that ending though.
Normal rainy day resumes for a single? parent of two sprogs. Great double entendre which encompasses the 'Sid South' character of old. Great story which is a little over narrated and viewer ends up being told of the little twist. Well edited and great acting from the children. Why did the plumber check the door on the way out?