Active Shooter Closed Box Recommendation. OK look. THiNC. is a blog that rabidly searches for underappreciated films, crafted by Indie artisans, with the single focus of creating something new, and exciting, and totally different. In order to do that though means a hardcore break with the Hollywood mold that crafts everything in its own image. Why does this happen? Because Hollywood is not a forum for artists, but for business people selling a stock in their faux creativity. This isn’t hyperbole. I’m dead serious. This why we have a box office filled with franchise films, sequels, prequels and straight quels (otherwise known as remakes). Technicolor viewers are easier to convince to come to a property they’ve already seen, than to convince them to participate in something entirely new. Which is why the state of film now is utterly banal, expected, and retreaded beyond belief.
All that to say, this next movie I’m bringing you is called Active Shooter, and it’s none of these things. It’s also poor. hahaha. Literally poor. Poor sound design. Poor top to bottom. But it is GREAT! It’s a closed box film with a clever idea, and a heart that can be seen through the poor production qualities. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve reached out to Robert Bryce Milburn, the director, as well as Toby Osborne, to see if they’d participate in this write up (YES! Toby was more than happy to! I’ll bring my interview with him in the next couple days). Why? Because I really think that encouraging writers and directors like this by supporting their work is really vital. Will their next project be Marvel Mania 27? Maybe. But more likely they have a bench of ideas that they are just waiting for the green-light to create. And I would love to see what that hidden away cache of ideas looks like, as opposed to betting on Hollywood’s next “big idea.”
Now, I have to say, I am a massive fan of closed box films. (That is a term of my own making… I think people in the industry call them single set films?) You know, films set in a single warehouse building? (like Unknown). A single room abduction movies like Hippopotamus and 10×10? Or what about the Netflix crazy film The Platform, the mindjob Compliance, or the brilliant little film Time Lapse? (And you can find all my closed box film recommendations right over here.) And that is what Active Shooter is. It’s shot in the women’s bathroom during an active shooter situation at a corporation building. That’s it. That is the plot. But not everyone is who they say they are, and not everything is happening exactly like you are told it is. And that is why I love Indie Film Makers who work with next to nothing. Why? Because their idea has to be brilliant, it has to help us move past the low budget nature of the film. And Robert Bryce Milburn, the director, and Toby Osborne have done just that with their latest film.
Probably the only flaw, as far as I see it with this movie is the fact that it’s only an hour and five minutes. But some might say that that makes it even better. Do not, whatever you do, draw out an idea that doesn’t have the length to it inherently. But I’ve been thinking about it – like, a lot – about how to make this movie a little bit longer, the only way that I think it would be doable is to tie the boss, Juliette Hearst, into the plot somehow. Or no, what if there was a fourth woman, a quieter woman who has been in the bathroom since near the beginning, having followed Juliette in. Why? Because she’s been tracking her movements, and relaying her movements to the shooters. Gives one more reveal, and one more emotional prong to the denouement. No more budget – well, you need another actor, that’s budget, but you give points not salary, no? – and you’ve embedded a sleeper reveal for the last chapter.
But this movie, at an hour, is right. It was wise to keep it lean and tight. There were just enough ideas here, and just enough reveals. It was a fun little closed box film that was interesting enough, and confusing enough, that it kept the interest throughout. I do wonder about the set, the shooting location, the actors… movies like this seem doable. And yet, intriguing. Like I said up top – I have reached out to the writer of the screenplay, and I’ll hopefully be bringing you that conversation here soon.
Edited by: CY
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