I do like a short! I think we’ve all sat through a full length feature film and thought “well, that’s two hours I’ll never get back!” At least with a short film you haven’t wasted too much time. I also remember a time when a trip to the cinema included a short or two before we actually got to the big feature. They acted like appetisers and got your juices flowing ready for the main meal. I really miss those days.
Another reason I miss them is that it is quite hard to find somewhere to watch a short. I check the IMDb pages for actors, writers, directors, etc. and see that nearly everyone has made some shorts but I never know how to find them. Fortunately, Yard Kings was sent to me so I could watch and review it. I am so very glad that it was.
Short And Sweet
One of the biggest skills required for the writers and directors of short films is conciseness. Instead of having ninety minutes or more to tell your story you have, usually, less than half an hour. Vasco Alexandre absolutely nailed it. But he didn’t just tell a linear short story, he managed to work in quite a twist too.
Ellie (Elle Atkinson) spends her time getting away from the abuse that takes place at home by playing in a scrapyard with her friend Pete (David Price). They have the boundless imagination of nine year olds everywhere. They find all manner of stuff which they use to furnish the home they have built for themselves thanks to the indulgence of the scrapyard workers.
Small Budget, Big Story
In Yard Kings you have a prime example of how to make a short. It is hard to believe that this is Vasco Alexandre’s debut feature. It’s also hard to believe that the budget was a minuscule £10,000. The young leads are both newcomers who were picked off the street. They were given the script and then encouraged to adapt the dialogue to their own speech patterns so that it all sounded natural.
It is a touching and heart warming. If you get the chance, invest the sixteen minutes and you won’t be disappointed. I hope someone gives Vasco Alexandre a much bigger budget and lets him make a full length feature very soon.
Movie Grade: A
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!