Thursday, 10 March 2011

Review: Shooter (short film)

The need to kill is strong in man. The ability to overcome it is stronger.

Ronnie B. Goodwin’s personal project Shooter follows an ex-soldier (played by Paul Hunter) as he roams around the picturesque landscape of Loch Lomond in Scotland. His narration gives us an insight into his internal turmoil. He is haunted by what he experienced in his years as a sniper. His journey leads him to the majestic animal he has been hunting and in the final moments he takes aim to shoot…

Inspired by Goodwin’s own experiences, this is a thought-provoking demonstration of how the events you witness and the surroundings you live in shape who you become. As well as directing, Goodwin also co-produced, co-wrote, and was the Cinematographer and Editor on the short film, which took 7 months to piece together. The carefully selected music, an original score composed by Gregor Narholz, suits the mood of the film perfectly. The evocative violins and pipes are a perfect accompaniment to the flashbacks and lend it a nostalgic and primitive feel.

The narration from our protagonist is strong and sincere with a sense that he is addressing the audience personally and individually. The script is wonderfully written and the Scottish accent and the way it is recited make it sound compelling and poetic. “I see things, the machines of war. These visions are often drowned out by the sheer beauty of what is around me. This incredible world in which we live and the beauty of the sun in the sky, soon drowned out again by more visions of violence and bloodshed.”

There is an inspired paradox present in this award-winning short. Our journey with the Shooter through the beautiful landscape is interspersed with dark and violent flashbacks of his time at war, completely at odds with the wondrous images of nature he sees around him. His time in solitude, away from the brutality and fighting seems to have calmed him. The stunning scenery has seemingly changed his attitude and had a soothing effect.

The cinematography on the film is amazing, especially the moments on-board the Seaplane where we get to see aerial views of the highlands and the loch. The special effects for the soldier’s flashbacks to the war he has left behind are also very impressive.

For a short film, this makes a big impact. Shooter is memorable and striking. The clever ending is notable as it leaves you reflecting and also desiring a repeat viewing.

Shooter was the first short film in the Swansea Bay Film Festival’s history to win the Best in Festival award in 2010. It also won Best Short Film at The Heart of England International Film Festival, the International Film Festival in Ireland and the International Film Festival in South Africa in 2009 as well as receiving nominations for numerous other awards.

It has recently been chosen to appear on Super Shorts, a weekly programme available on the independent British entertainment channel My TV on Sky 219.

For more information on this short film and the director's future projects, visit Ronnie B. Goodwin’s blog at:

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