One, written and directed by Sylvester Folks, this short film tells the emotional tale of a soldier at the lowest point of his life. Struck with grief and full of regret, the audience watches as his loving wife attempts to heal his wounds and repair their damaged life.
Now on YouTube, One is a play out like a statement on war and combat and its effect and the human psyche. With its runtime of 14 minutes, One beautifully explores the subject while also developing a touching story of marriage and not giving up on the ones you love.
Daniella Cobb and Drey Wingate are amazing on screen, and work off each other like yin and yang throughout the narrative. The resulting chemistry is one that emotional shocks audiences, and mentally captivates. Viewers will be left in distress at the end of each of their encounter, though this may sound unpleasant it’s shockingly engaging and interesting.
Sylvester Folks’ One is aesthetically pleasing, and nicely color graded. One makes use of black and white in a way the captures the emotional complexity of its story. Use of wide shots and extreme close ups, blend perfectly to capture feelings of isolation and danger. Most impressively, One utilizes shadows in a way that contrasts beautifully within the frame. At the end of this short, audience will leave with a sense of the character’s emotional complexity and growth, due to the color scheme.
One is a short film that allows you to see a slice of life, often not discussed. The film plays out similar to such powerful films such as Jarhead, Rambo, and Full Metal Jacket. All in all One presents a theme of depression and the struggle to overcome serious trauma. Amazingly, One does so with the use of brilliant writing and even more brilliant performances.
I wanted to tell a story about how a woman's love and patience can help conquer a man's demons. With the explosion of reality TV we see more and more women who are portrayed being materialistic, selfish and self-absorbent. I was primarily raised by my grandmother so I wanted to showcase what the values of a real woman/man should be. I picked this topic because I have friends who have suffered from PTSD during the first wave of the Iraq war and many of them leaned on their family for support. I thought it would be great to show a wife who uses not only words, but her actions to help her husband face his fears. I chose to film in Black and White to keep it focused on the characters and their emotions.
- Slyvester Folks
Be sure to check out One on YouTube! This is a short that only comes along once in a while. A short that is as equally thought-provoking as it is tasteful.
Don’t miss it!
INTERVIEW with Slyvester Folks (Director/Writer)
First of all how long have you been film making? What got you interested?
I am a writer/director from Deatsville, Alabama. I started off writing dramatic stage-plays and was able to successfully have (4) shows produced. My last stage-play, The Lovely Patient, which premiered in 2010 was a commercial failure. I realized that I was not getting my work seen in front of larger audiences and needed to make a change. I began the transition to writing for film in 2010. There was a learning curve being that the craft of screen writing is completely different than writing for the stage. After writing and directing a few short films I completed my first feature screenplay, The Lovely Patient, a story of a man battling breast cancer. This film was picked up by World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation. Since then I have continued to write and direct short films, webisodes and do cinematography for various feature films and short film projects.
Any interesting behind the scene stories?
The film was comprised of a three man crew. Two actors and myself. I worked the camera and sound. I did all of the visual editing and Adam Spade who I met online volunteered to help clean up the audio because he loved the story and the way it was filmed. One funny tidbit, the lead male, Dre Wingate, ate the Cinnamon roll that was used as the prop. We filmed in his house and I left the bun in his refrigerator. The next day I discovered he had eaten it when I was preparing to do the close up scenes. So I ended up having to get another bun from a local gas station that was down the street from his home.
What is it like film making now after having made this film? Has your approach changed?
After the completion of any film project I always look back and see what I could of done better. I take those lessons and apply them to the next project which allows me to continuously have a smooth production while also being prepared for any mishaps that may occur on set. My approach has definitely changed because I put more time into pre-production than ever before. When I first started out, pre-production was a boring process and I was just ready to shoot and to no surprise those projects would come out the worse. Now that I take my time and plan, I feel more confident working with my cast and crew to get things done right.
Do you have any projects lined up for the future?
I am now filming episode 2 of my webseries, "The People Who Don't See Them". A horror/thriller about a murder suspect who seeks the help of the undead to prove his innocence. This is being filmed to help raise funds for the feature film version.
Any advice to filmmakers?
My biggest advice for filmmakers, don't waste time and energy worrying about getting the latest camera to shoot your project. What I'm about to say next is very important, A great camera cannot fix a bad story, bad acting or bad sound. The first person you hire for your film should be a good sound mixer. I see more and more indie shorts that have bad sound mixing but shot on the latest craze of a camera. Learn how to story tell first because that's what the audience wants, a good story that connects to them, not a demonstration on how good your images can look.