FILM REVIEW

short film

HOTHED

directed by David Spring

Many of us would like to know what happens behind a Youtube influencer's video if their persona is the same as what they project on the online videos and if it is worth it. Hothead talks about the unspoken truth, sometimes funny, sometimes harsh, behind some of the videos that make us laugh day by day and talk about how the advertising and marketing companies work.

 

The story starts on an exciting note with a fascinating character - the protagonist of this short film. The casting was well thought, as each one of them has the perfect image and the most proper personality for the chosen characters. All looks credible, even if sometimes the reactions are forced. But that's for the sake of the comedic side of the film. It's engaging and makes you stay focused until the end to see what will happen with this young aspiring YouTuber's destiny. The angles used to arouse the viewer's curiosity and how the story is structured resemble a short series or a Disney Channel kind of TV Show or Movie, having a young protagonist passionate about a current occupation like YouTube. It's thought-provoking to see both sides' perspective, the young girl versus the agency, seen as the villain that can scarily have full control of you from a contract.

 

At times, especially when encountering the advertising agency team for the first time, their lines seem unsynchronized or even doubled from another language. It may be just an online streaming bug, but it should be checked because it's deconcentrating the viewer from the action. When it comes to editing, everything is fluid, the structure makes sense, and we almost don't feel the cuts, making it easy to follow, like a well-thought TV show. The director of photography reaches to deliver precisely the style needed for such a short film and this kind of story, where even the color grading fits like a glove. Even if most of the YouTubers don't use lavalier mics in their videos, basing only on the camera's microphone or an extra mic put on top of it, we appreciated the care of making the sound sparkling clear and the use of multiple sound sources.

Even if a lot of work has been put in making this short film, we can appreciate that some of it didn't get in the right direction, making the final material look cheap or student-like, in terms of the storytelling. Often, the story is misleading and, again, makes us remember about Disney's movies for Disney Channel screenings, so we can't understand what the intention for the crew's final product was, especially of the director and producers.

 

The ending is undoubtedly odd and reaches a tension built only from a short period, instead of being a build-up from the beginning of the film. We understand how having a big community of followers doesn't necessarily mean that they are also your friends and would help you in need. Like the ending, the young viewers would quickly go from a video to another as nothing happened. And that is the harsh reality of social media, at least a side of it. Somebody can see the empathy expressed through likes and subscribers only as numbers or money instead of real care and compassion.

film review by

Ligia Prodan

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