Charles Taylor

The Associate Short Film

Why Watch? This short from director Shane Leal-Willett and writer Charles Taylor is a chess match with a sniper rifle. It features a simple proposition, delivered from a swarthy traveling entrepreneur with far too many teeth in his mouth (Michael Burger). He sits down in front of a grizzled man (Brant Bumpers) who lives out in the country, and explains that he’s got an associate with a sniper rifle trained on the bumpkin’s wild-bearded head, but if he gets $10,000, he’ll leave without a fatal shot being fired. Simple, but tricky. There’s a little air in the conversation that tighter dialogue or editing could sharpen, but ultimately the work shines because of the two actors swinging deftly back and forth between confusion, laughter and empathy. It stands on a simple question of how much you trust a robber who isn’t holding a gun — game theory ratcheted up to its breaking point, but either way, it might not be the best way to try to extort money from someone. There’s some great drama here, some patient storytelling, and it leaves you asking yourself what you’d do if a blustery man made you the same offer. What Will It Cost? Just about 12 minutes. Trust us. You have time for more short films.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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