Burden of my Company
Hello everyone Kevin of Film Fervor here bringing you another Independent film review, today marks the fifth and final film of the Fandependant festival’s entries with the semi fictionalized semi documentary The Burden of my company by director Ericson Just. Starring Ericson Just, Andrew Hardwood and Allen T. Duarte.
The Burden of my company focuses on the life of the self indulgent Ericson Just, a struggling film maker who’s life is a vast disappointment to him. Ericson struggles with the loss of his job, his intimacy issues and his abusive friends all while trying to make the perfect film, one that isn’t shallow and meaningless as he finds most Hollywood productions. In the end he decides to make a film about his life and copies and pastes his encounters with his friends, family and coworkers verbatim leading them to further find him over inflated and offends everyone involved.
The concept of The Burden of my company is fairly uncommon in the film industry giving that the events in the film are what the aspiring young director puts into the film creating a very Meta experience. It is a little over the top with making it’s self clear on the fact that you are watching the events of the film unfold in the film with fourth wall breaks in many not so subtle ways. The film while creative is full of some very awkward moments and people who are easily offended by racy material should be warned and while never overly vulgar the repeated bathroom scenes do get a little repetitive, though this is exactly what Ericson Just was going for.
The Burden of my company is a micro budget film shot for under a thousand dollars and this is made very apparent by the production quality. The picture quality is very low with several places where the night shots are very hard to see and make out details around the characters. Another major issue is the shaky cam effect on several scenes which breaks you out of the immersion of the film, though this of course helps add to the fact that you are watching the work in progress and the fact that Ericson had no budget for the film, again quite Meta but distracting none the less. The camera also had several artifacts on it’s lens that were very distracting and very noticeable even to an untrained eye not looking for flaws. There were also several places where the camera froze and jumped or replayed the same scene twice in a row, something that should have been worked out in post production.
Justin’s Notes – I wanted to point out that the issues Kevin was speaking about were actually related to the platform and not the film itself. The artifacts, freezing and jumping were in no way embedded in the film itself and was a fault of the video platform we were viewing it on at the time. They have since corrected their streaming issues and we’ve not seen or heard any aberrations in the film since. It’s important for me to keep the reviews and statements on Film Fervor as accurate as possible, so I wanted to make this correction known.
Another problem I found was the sound quality of the film. Every scene was filled with static like ambiance and everyone sounded as if they were talking in a tin can. This is common on small budget films and a very easy mistake to make when you do little editing after shooting a scene. The musical score which was very sparse was fitting and well thought out though and meshed well with the scenes where it was employed.
Where the film does shine however is the script it’s self. Ericson’s friends who play versions of themselves deliver their lines in a very believable way and you could tell they enjoyed themselves despite having to show several private parts of their actual lives. You actually feel like you are witnessing these strange people’s lives through the eyes of the lens and can empathize with them and their reactions to the humdrum routine of life.
The Burden of my company is a very real and dark look at the lives Ericson and his friends and will leave you feeling very voyeuristic (especially the sex scene..) and awkward while watching it. That is a good thing however as this is exactly what Director Ericson Just wanted to portray. While the technical flaws are quite glaring the script it’s self is darkly funny in places and speaks not only to the talent of the young director but to his confidence in sharing a personal look on his real life. This was his first film and I think he will only get better with more experience and better equipment. If you are interested in seeing if your life is as bleak as portrayed here then The Burden of My Company will be worth the one hour and twelve minute run time. I give the film a three out of five stars.
I’m actually going to bump up the review score, based on our in-house criteria, by a half a star because the technical issues we encountered were on the platform and not the film and our reviews should reflect this.
You can check the film out on Vimeo HERE