SFotD: ‘Eric Goes West’ Earns Its Buzz By Doing A Lot With a Little

Why Watch? It’s not hard to imagine why this short film is going around like free whiskey. It’s shot with an eye for detail and interesting angles while pulling off some difficult scenes in difficult territory. Make no mistake: shooting in water is really, really hard. But as screenwriter John August points out, director Dee Austin Robertson had access to a boat, so she utilized that unique connection/setting in order to break a few rules and create something that looks far more expensive than it actually is.

In the movie, Eric (Blaise Miller) sets sail alone on his birthday, ruminating on a relationship gone to pot and drinking liberally. Fortunately, there’s a storm heading his way.

Eric Goes West is a success on every level. The script features some simple twists on convention (particular his new friend) with a healthy dose of cynical comedy. It’s not exactly morbid. Not black comedy. More like dark gray. It also doesn’t flinch when it comes to shocking just a bit while pouring Eric into a Harold Lloyd style farce where the consequence is drowning. A smart, perfect balance of conflicting tones.

Miller really shines here as well because without an interesting actor, the whole exercise would be boring. Fortunately, he nails the part and builds a character out of a few lines, some visual gags and a nice bit of irony at the end. Godspeed, Fatty Patty. Godspeed.

What will it cost? Only 8 minutes.

Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.


A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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