Why Haven’t They Fixed the Cameras Yet? (2020)

If you’re a frequent visitor to B&S About Movies, you know of my admiration for Law and Order: TOS and SVU. However, while expertly produced and acted, my precious exploits of Captain Olivia Benson and her squad (and Blue Bloods, I think) sometimes falls back on the ol’ the-car-won’t start-at-the-most-inopportune-moment trope of the ol’ our-security-cameras-haven’t-worked-in-months-and-our-bosses-are-too-cheap-to-fix-‘em trope.

But guess what?

It’s not a screenwriting trope. I’ve witnessed four incidents during my 9 to 5 lifetime where crimes-incidents (yes, people do spike coffee pots and icepick tires and key paint and steal food and spread icky-sticky things around and go into cubicle “smack down” mode) occurred in my workplace—and the cameras were broke. And yes, back in the pre-digital epoch when VCRs interfaced with those cameras—the VHS tapes really were “taped over” every 24 to 48 hours. And security cameras really are the new “digital mailboxes,” as wayward teens like to either—due to a lack of a “canvas” to craft an epithet on—spray paint the lenses or give ‘em a whack with a baseball bat, you know, for fun. Those rascally scamps.

Courtesy of digital technologies and through constant hardware miniaturization upgrades, security cameras—that you don’t know are there and everywhere—are recording everything. And if there’s not a camera to capture our societal faux pas, someone is at the smartphone-ready—recording everything. Then there are those high-tech-toys-not-meant-for-boys drones that, as with any piece of technology, are a benefit to man in the right hands—and a nefarious tool in bad hands. And if those technologies aren’t capturing us in an innocent Ridiculousness moment, the digital ethers chronicle our not-so-innocent-moments; ubiquitous technologies that leads to nary the pass of a day that our local and national news or browser portal feeds go without a newsworthy event or crime—thought private—that becomes our “forever” moment. . . .

A young office worker is thrust into that world of false security set forth by those omnipresent cameras capturing our forever moments—cameras that really are sometimes malfunctioning or vandalized and never repaired by our bottom-line employers. And if you’ve worked odd-ball hours in the big city, then you’ve experienced the reasonable fears of those remote, concrete wildernesses known as a parking garage. . . .

And, for this young office drone, that broken security camera in that desolate parking garage becomes a catalyst: her life is about to change . . . but is it for the better . . . or the worst?

Spoiler Alert: Watch the short, now, in its entirety, before scrolling onward.

Prior to watching and reviewing this debut work by Austin, Texas-based writer and director Travis White, I wrote an upcoming review for our October “All Slasher-All Horror Month” for Thom Eberhardt’s (Night of the Comet) horror-thriller Naked Fear (2007)—a film that concerns a woman’s emotional breakdown and catharsis at the nefarious hands of others.

The reason for my critical analogy of these two decade-apart films is that I see the possibilities of White’s short film—which is exactly what a short film is supposed to do: leave you wanting more; to serve as a visual business card to pitch a feature film development deal.

I’m not privy to reading “Why Is It Always So Dark Here?,” the short story on which this film is based, but I look forward to learning about this office worker’s exploits that—considering Thom Eberhardt’s work with the great Sir Michael Caine (1988’s Without a Clue)—remind of one of my favorite films starring Sir Michael: A Shock to the System (1990). In that film, the accidental death of a hated co-worker at Caine’s hands starts off an anti-hero murder-to-right-the-wrongs-and-for-workplace-advancement chain of events.

Office Parties: I hate people, but love gatherings. Isn’t it ironic?/courtesy of Wet Demin Productions

You can watch the complete film—and other productions—courtesy of Wet Demin Production’s You Tube page. And, in a special treat, we have an opportunity to share the film’s storyboards completed by writer-director Travis White. As you can see, no matter how long or short the film, an incredible amount of thought, time, effort, and planning goes into a film. It’s not about the length. It’s always about the content. Always.

If this is what Travis White (and producer Madison Phillips) can do in less than five minutes with his debut work, then we’re looking forward to see what he can do with his future works. In fact, he’s currently in the pre-production stages of his next short-narrative, Man Seeking Man (beware of those who ask for “favors”), which will see release in 2021. And you’ll hear about it first, at B&S About Movies.

And bigger things are on the horizon for actress Lee Eddy, here as the nameless office worker. She’s currently in pre-production on Richard Linklater’s (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock) Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure, a coming-of-age story set in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, in the summer of 1969, centered on the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. That film stars Zachary Levi (Thor: Ragnarok and Shazam!) and Jack Black (Jumanji: The Next Level). Eddy’s husband, Macon Blair, won the U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival for the Netflix-released I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. Fans of Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard may want to check out the film (it’s great, by the way) as it co-stars lead vocalist David Yow (Under the Silver Lake).

Disclaimer: We were provided a screener by the film’s public relations firm. That has no bearing on our review.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies and publishes on Medium.

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