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A Standard Story


A girl living a mundane existence until she wakes to find herself in an enchanted hotel. In this alternate universe she embarks on a remarkable journey of discovery.

Don’t let the name fool you, this creatively original short film has absolutely nothing standard about it, and this is exactly what actress/director Beth Riesgraf (you might know her better as Parker on Leverage) was aiming for. I know, I’m bending away from Film Shortage’s mission to promote up-and-coming filmmakers, but that’s worth putting on hold this week to present this short film. The main reason is because I strongly believe this film will bring inspiration to anyone, and is a type of short that anyone can do… all you need is a little imagination.

A Standard Story is one of five short films created as a collaboration between WeSC and The Standard Hotels. Each director had carte blanche with the only directives being to include a WeSC product and to be filmed around the LA Standard. Besides these little product placements, and a couple of well known actors like Beth Riesgraf herself and Peter Stormare, this short has all the assets to be classified as a fantastic low-budget film.

The story revolves around a girl who is woken up by a strange phone call inside a hotel room, followed by a mysterious envelope slipped under her door. From then on it becomes a magical journey through the hotel encountering strange people and events to finally lead her to find out what she is there for. A simple, yet compounding storyline, filled with unanswered questions which coincidentally make you sink deeper into this dreamily world.

A Standard Story shows you what your dreams are made of, it will remind you of Alice trapped inside a Wonderland hotel. The music fantastically guides you through the almost speechless dream, with just a few whispers and the word “Hello?” repeated twice, which is plenty enough.

Although the flow of the movie has a magical feeling throughout, I find it loses a bit of its edge due to the lighting. Not to be extremely critical about it, I believe more could have been done to avoid some shadows and over exposure. That being said the red highlights like the doors, carpets, wallets and lipstick stand out formidably!

All the actors do a fantastic job, including Beth who has won an Award of Excellence for Best Actress for the short film. But I especially enjoyed Peter Stormare’s subtle role as the bedtime storyteller. There’s a certain eeriness about him that I always enjoy in his roles, this one was much different than his usual ones, but works just as well!

Learn more about the project here standardculture.com/wesc

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  • A Standard Story is very well done. Not just because I happen to love Beth as Parker in Leverage, but I love the Arts and in particular Film and Music, I have worked in both industries. I am a Photographer and someday will get back into either film or music in some capacity. Beth, you are awesome and will always be well respected in the industry. Peace, Lee


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