Written and Directed by: Bradley Hawkins
STARRING: Jared Odrick, Karl Holtz
Fans of the NFL may be surprised to discover football star Jared Odrick in an entertaining new guise; that of a Tooth-Fairy-in-training in Bradley Hawkins’ enjoyable new comedy short film, Filling In.
Odrick plays Kevin, an unassuming, mild-mannered hulk of a man, who decides to take on the mantle of becoming the new Tooth Fairy, and must develop his canine-collecting skills. Hence he finds himself under the fluttering wing of veteran Tooth Fairy Mike (Karl Holtz), who is less than impressed with Kevin’s almost complete lack of suitability for the job. He’s forgetful, clumsy, a little slow; and he has a sneezing fit whenever there’s a cat in the house. The casting imaginatively subverts fairy-tale expectations: Mike is grizzled and cynical; riding a motorbike and snacking on baby teeth; and Kevin is delightfully useless, tiptoeing across children’s bedrooms in his home-made wings and tutu.
A great deal of imagination and creativity has clearly gone into this film, from the ‘Elf’s Health’ magazines in the office reception scene, to the practical teeth that Mike munches on to make his wings grow strong – the costume and art department have done an excellent job of creating a rich story world. The sound design also stands out, with original music by Jim Casella that intelligently underscores the action and contains lovely flourishes such as bells and trills that reflect the fairy-tale subject matter.
The one area of weakness, however, is the film’s length. At 22 minutes it does feel long and a little slow, and whilst the opening scene where the two men meet in a bar to discuss their mission is a nice pastiche on action movie banter, story-wise the first 5 minutes could potentially have been cut. Equally, some of the dialogue pacing feels slow, with more pauses between lines than there need to be. If this film could be cut to 10 – 15 minutes; with the dialogue more snappily edited, it would pack a stronger punch and likely stand a better chance at festivals where programming time is at a premium.
The film’s concept is original and inventive, with high-end production values. It’s entertaining and replete with imaginative detail; and if the length could be cut and the story tweaked slightly to make it tighter, this would be a strong contender on the festival circuit.
Watch the Trailer:
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