'Electric Faces': First Reviews Arrive Online
Following the first screening in Glasgow on Saturday and a 'Best Short' win last night, critics are having their say on 'Electric Faces'...
John McArthur at moviescramble wrote:
"Euan Bennet, in the lead role gives an assured and confident performance. As with the world building, he quickly establishes his character, his needs and motivations. He comes across well as the ex-junkie and carries off the slightly haunted and guilty look very well. He is front and centre in every single scene. His talent and screen presence help to move the story forward and keep the audience engaged. Tom is a individual who has been through the worst of times and has the marks, in this case blue hands, to prove it.
Seeing the film on a cinema screen made all the difference. You get a real sense of what the director, Johnny Herbin, was trying to achieve. His choice of shots and set ups ensure that the film has a consistent look and feel to it. Very effective use is made of flashbacks and slow motion to convey the story. You can tell that he worked closely with his regular cinematographer Darren Eggenschwiler to achieve the overall look which contributes greatly to the mood of the film.
Another major plus point is the soundtrack. The film has a score for the entire eleven minute run time. The electronic soundscape work in tandem with the editing from Chris Quick to heighten the tension at the required moments without it being too obvious.
There is a sense that the audience is only seeing a small part of the world created for the film. You get the impression that there is the flip side of the city where the technology is more impressive and exciting. It would be good to see more. There is certainly room for expanding the world and I am sure there are other stories to tell.
Overall, a hugely impressive short film that deserves to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Highly recommended."
At INFLUX Magazine, Nav Qateel gave the film a B+, writing:
Electric Faces was crisply lensed by Darren Eggenschwiler, with some solid editing by Chris Quick. Underlining Herbin's material, was a nice electronic score from Daniel McLearnon. As previously mentioned, the detail on display was one of the film's highlights, from Tom's blue hands -- the result of taking "Blue," the new drug of choice -- to the high-tech vehicles and buildings. For a movie that cost a mere $900 (£600) and runs at only 11-minutes, there's more information crammed into Electric Faces than many feature-length sci-fi flicks.
Everything about this production screams talent; from the cast, crew and director, this is a team to keep an eye on."
Andrew Moir at The Spoilist concluded:
"The film looks absolutely stunning. The establishing shot of the Glasgow skyline is perhaps inspired by the visuals of Bladerunner, but it very much has its own style and sets the tone perfectly. The world building here is smartly and effectively done, using cutaways and unmentioned background details to flesh out this future. The Glasgow presented is completely believable which is a great accomplishment given the run time.
The worst visual effects are the ones that you notice and here they are close to flawless, enhancing the visuals while never distracting from the story. Every frame has clearly been meticulously plan with the editing perfectly creating a heartbeat to the story as it builds to its conclusion. The direction utilises colour and light to great effect coding each space with a dirty palate and only using the bright clean light of redemption in flashes.
Similarly, the soundscape is perfectly balanced with the dialogue and diegetic sound beautifully mixed. This is enhanced by a powerful score by Daniel McLearnon with electronica tones punctuated with strings helping to establish an off-kilter ambience.
Many shorts suffer from the desire to tell too much story within their brief runtime but here the run time is perfectly judged. There are strong performances all around, in particular from the lead Euan Bennet who conveys the conflict and temptation with few words and strong actions. His accomplice Hugh is given a great physicality by Calum Macaskill, with the slightly odd robotic vocals by Rasmus Kull combining to make a believable and strange artificial intelligence creation which is somewhere between a slightly deranged Telebug and an East End thug.
Electric Faces sets a standard that all short films should aspire to replicate. Director Johnny Herbin has shown a real flair for visual storytelling and this film should prove a great calling card on the festival circuit to propel him to bigger things. This is an electric dream of a short, so catch it if you can."