Pregame – Micro Short Indie Film Review




Pregame focuses on a group of friends trying to bring in the New Years together

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Today’s film is the 2016 short comedy drama Pregame written and directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer. Starring Maya Erskine, Brian McElhany, Christine Bullen, Patrick Woodall, Aaron Schroeder, Scarlett Bermingham and Nick Reinhardt. It is currently being featured on, a great source for small independent films all under five minutes long.

Pregame focuses on a group of friends trying to bring in the New Years together. Their plans however start to fall apart as drinking mixed with the undeniable self interest each of the friends bring to the party start to take president. From the drunken Alicia ( Maya Erskine) blurting that two of their friends are having a child despite them wanting to keep it a secret to another just wanting to leave to go to the ball drop ceremony and not being able to go the tensions soon mount to the point where accidents happen and friendships are strained to the point of breaking.

Pregame is a very dark little comedy that shows how everyday people deal with the stress of their normal lives in a very real way. It doesn’t hold back on the fact that a celebration can quickly turn into a fight when tension and alcohol mix together and peoples inhibitions are lowered. The writing done by the cooperative of Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer is very clearly well throughout and delivers a film that is not only entertaining but grounded in enough reality that the viewer can put themselves into the shoes of each of the party guests. Normally when two or more people write a script it often becomes muddled and hard to watch but in the case of this short film the effect is coherent and streamlined. It really speaks to the professionalism of both of the writer/directors that they are able to work so well together and deliver a film of this quality. This is only matched by the very excellent performance of each of the actors involved.

The cast of Pregame is filled with semi famous television stars who have been quite prolific for the past decade. It is always a pleasure to watch people who while never reaching the pinnacle of stardom are still professional enough to rate multiple roles on various TV programs. Each of this talented cast brings a sense of realism and sincerity to their characters that it is very easy to believe that they could be real people and real best friends gathered together to celebrate New Years. Normally in shows that have a fairly large cast of members who are vital to a story some of them are regulated to the side lines and you lose out on their performances, this isn’t the case with Pregame and really highlights each of their talents without one overshadowing another. If I had to single out a performance that stood out to me it would be Maya Erskine’s Alicia. Being drunk is one of the hardest things for an actor to get right as more often than not they either go way overboard or much to subtle but Maya Erskine pulls off the drunk sad girl with skill and dedication that I found refreshing. Now this isn’t to say the other actors were not as on the ball as she was but I know how hard it is to act out being drunk and I just have to mention it when someone does it properly and believable.

The production value of Pregame is outstanding especially for a film that had a low budget. The cinematography of the film is flawlessly executed with it’s crystal clear picture. Not once even in the smokey room does the quality of the film suffer and it is always clear what is happening on screen. The camera is always focused on the center of the action and has none of the annoying shaky cam effects that I so loathe. Each scene is shot and edited to tell a perfect story and I found none of the inconsistencies that often crop up when a large amount of debris and props are used on screen. It takes a good deal of skill to make sure each scene is coherent and shot chronologically without any minor (or major) mistakes that would leave the viewer snickering.

The audio work of the film is easily on par with the video aspects as well. The voices of the characters are heard throughout the film clearly and precisely and are never muffled no matter where they were in relation to the camera. The background sounds stay in the background and never come out to overpower the voices of the actors despite being loud enough to be heard and understood by the viewers and the musical score is witty and playful to bring a amusing tone to the dark and comedic film.

When all is said and done at just over four minutes long Pregame is a very well written and directed film that is full of cringe worthy humor and a dark and complex look at friendships. It is well acted and it’s production value is very impressive for being a short no budget film that is elegant in it’s simplicity. If you enjoy dark humor by people anyone of us can relate to then I say this film is more than worth the time it takes to watch and if you are an aspiring film maker this once again shows you what you can do using only basic everyday household items and a talented cast and crew.
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About Kevin Kincaid

Kevin is a bored certified film critic. (Yes, bored is correct. He's tired of Hollywood too)

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