Directed by: Chris Esper
Written by: Chris Esper
Length: 9 minutes
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Impostor syndrome, rather crudely explained since I don't happen to be a doctor, is a psychological condition that causes the sufferer doubt their accomplishments. A form of severe anxiety, that even when successful and accomplished, makes the afflicted not recognize their achievements. Although not officially recognized as a mental disorder by all; those suffering usually already have other mental disorders. Including anxiety, that is believed by most to be the root cause.
In Chris Esper's film Imposter, what starts with an office worker becoming anxious, as his boss goes over profit figures; ends in a bloody but triumphant stroll off a bus with his fellow riders. They as well are coated with blood. The blood turns out to be a graphic representation of overcoming the impostor syndrome. The riders, who we witness earlier with their figurative representation of anxiety, also exit without their representations of the disorder, also with the blood of the imposter's on their face and clothes; seemingly released from them forever.
What a novel idea. If only real life were this simple. But it does make you ask a question. Could it really be this simple? Can pain and doubt, suffering and anxiety really be killed off with the pull of a virtual trigger? I don't think it could be that easy, but I do believe the idea is sound, and as a 9 minute representation to viewers, Imposter really gets things right.
You also have to give props for such a great looking short film on a shoe-string budget. Without question, Chris Esper has managed to take an excellent idea in paper form and put it to camera in an excellent way. I can't recall seeing an idea quite like this before. Both in it's representation of the disease and in it's demise. The idea of the physical versions of the disorder, the gun, and the antidote all keep things interesting to witness; and still stay true to the idea. When dealing with mental illness this is something not easily accomplished.
Keeping things within a 10 minute window keeps this short film watchable by anyone. You can't use the "I don't have time" excuse. But is it worth the 10 minutes? From concept to script, actors to screen, Imposter is completely worth it! An interesting fresh take on something most of us can relate with; even if only on some minor level. One thing is certain. If Chris Esper has his own version of Impostor syndrome, he need not be worried. No matter what his little clown implies, this was a great short film.