From the director of the highly acclaimed “Bat Eyes”. Dana and Julia’s friendship is destroyed when a night out ends in tragedy, recriminations and terrible guilt. Can you save a friendship with a lie?
Based on a monologue written by Joanna Erskine, this short, directed by Damien Power and shot in three days back-to-back along with his other short “Bat Eyes” in 2011 in Australia, tackles a very interesting and somewhat sensitive topic amongst youth, and concerns pretty much everyone. At a certain age, your driver’s license symbolizes freedom; it means being able to get your friends all together in a car and having fun, it means… it means that technically you would be the only one not drinking… technically.
That being said, in this short, two best friends – Dana and Julia – are in a parked car while other friends are getting high in the park. When it’s time to leave to head to a party, they realize they can’t all fit in one the car, so the boys decide to get in the trunk (or as our Aussie cousins call it, “boot”). When Dana – the only non-drunk – refuses to drive the car, Julia takes the keys to head to this party, which they will never make. The story is played out really well by actors that understood the character they were portraying, and the viewer is really made a participant to what looks like to be an evening that degenerates. The shots were realistic and engaging, emphasizing on key moments and a wide range of emotions. In fact, the great thing about this short is that Power was able to convey the lightness of an ironic situation like finding yourself in a trunk with someone feeling sick, as well as the intensity and shock in facing your best friend after a tragic incident.
The director Damien Power describes what inspired him and was able to transmit it in the film:
Joanna Erskine’s BOOT monologue felt like a film on the page. It was very easy to visualize. It also struck me as very dramatic – the stakes couldn’t be higher – but (importantly for a short film) contained. […] I was moved by the central friendship between Dana and Julia. While the film tells Dana’s story, it’s very much the story of this friendship gone wrong. One of the things I like the most about the finished film is that the disintegration of Dana and Julia’s relationship happens entirely in the cut between the accident site and the final scene. It all occurs off-screen, but it’s so easy to imagine.
All in all this film was really interesting, not only because of the great cinematography and the acting that really made everything look like it actually happened, but also because not often enough are viewers brought to consider a real situation like this one, where the consequences are not only on a physical or psychological level, but also affect relationships and ultimately, change people.
Let it be mentioned that this particular effort was produced as part of The Voices Project, an initiative from a youth theater company from Sydney to give voice to newcomers in filmmaking, writing, theathremaking and performing and prides itself in bringing together the best in new monologue writing. I strongly encourage readers to check out this wonderful initiative and the shorts that were produced, that include the highly acclaimed “Bat Eyes“, and “Boot”.