YouTube DIY moviemaking channel, Film Riot, are two films into their ambitious “Epic Summer”, where they release films made by them and their colleagues along with in-depth behind the scenes, making-ofs and Q&As.
Film Riot is mostly designed to help amatuer filmmakers learn tips and tools they can use, and as such doesn’t have that much to offer other creatives. However, the team are entertainers as well as filmmakers, and it makes their standard show a great watch even with only a passing interest in the process. The Epic Summer, on the other hand, is a must watch for anyone interested in art and creativity in general, from writing to directing, from design to photography.
So far they have released two short films. The first, U.F.Oh Yeah!, written and directed by Film Riot host Ryan Connolly, is a 5 minute homage to Spielberg. There’s not a great deal of plot or character study, but it is fun and beautifully shot.
The second, Real Gone, written and directed by Seth Worley, on the other hand, is an impressive, moving, funny and gorgeous film that you should not miss. And at 8:59 minutes long, there really is no excuse.
Aesthetically a homage to True Detective and other stylistically calm and dreamy tv and film, the story is fun and heartbreaking. This is in part down to actor Darren Vandergriff, who despite not having much to say (dialogue is not a big part of Real Gone), manages to convey so much with looks, and the occasional manic laugh or scream. He reminded me of a smaller, quieter Chris Pratt, and had a similar air.
Acting great, directing and cinematography great, soundtrack great, lighting great, locations great. I really loved it, and loved it just as much on second watching. The only criticism would be that the story is not completely original, and it wasn’t overly surprising. But the whole production was done with such love and talent that it is hard to hold anything against it.
Below you’ll find the film, followed by two behind the scenes videos (third one coming soon) which complete the package.