1 April 2014 | bob the moo
Works as a pitch but just a shame it couldn't do that and be a self-contained short at the same time
New York in the future and the police force has been privatized; cops from different companies patrol the areas where they are paid to cover and for individuals the first response is to check coverage before taking any action. We join three cops at the start of their day; one which will see them facing mind hackers and rival police forces.
Very often with short film you get the feeling that you are watching a pitch being made rather than a film being made for you the viewer. This is the case with this short as the whole thing feels like a demo reel for a feature – and it does this from the ideas up to the effects and general design: the message is simple "think what we could do with more". In terms of doing that, the film succeeds and while it mostly falls down as a total short film for the viewer, it does have enough in it that it will still work for the casual viewer, albeit that it will still work as a pitch.
The plot is delivered in snapshots from the day so technically there is a narrative flow there but it is fragmented and more about showing us bits of the story. This does still work and it is engaging to see the various ideas and concepts, although I didn't like that at some points the characters acted like it was all new to them too – because this made the exposition easier (good example is the cop refusing to help the waitress as she was not covered, in this world that should be the norm, not something for discussion or shock). Outside of this the design is really nice, from the costumes and general ideas (hacking etc) there is something here I would watch. The sense of satire needs more work in the writing and presentation – it is in there but I didn't think the short brought it out in the way that it wanted (I think it was trying to be Robocop style humor).
It is a commendable effort and as a pitch it worked because I wanted to see the story told properly and immediately checked to see if there was anything online about the short getting production offers; this shows that it achieved its aim as a pitch, just a shame it couldn't do that and be more satisfying as a self-contained short film at the same time.