Directed by: Josh Pickup
Written by: Josh Pickup
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This Is Me
A lot of illnesses don't offer the support of a physically visible one. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is one of them and for the leading character of this title, it's taken up her entire world. Ally ( Lily Walbeoffe ) is a young woman suffering CFS and to say life is difficult would be an understatement. Even getting herself out of bed and getting dressed is stressful. When all you want to do is sleep and are in a constant state of fatigue, life simply sucks and to make matters worse? It's not something people can see. To the world you look healthy so sometimes, people may even think you are just lazy.
Ally's pop tries to be supportive but even he himself, obviously has a hard time taking her disease seriously. Through the course of this short film, we keep being taken to flashbacks of her dad trying to get Ally to get a move on, get her life in gear. He even slips up briefly and says she's simply tired, sensing her anger he quickly corrects himself. It's a great way to cement the deal of Ally's disease. Again, not something you can see.
The days goal, and the scenario of the film is for Ally to make it to her job interview. It's a reschedule because she missed the first one. This is what passes as the plot in this short film, and minute by minute Ally inches closer towards it. In a great scene demonstrating CFS Ally uses spoons and cards to demonstrate each task, and how much energy it will use. The daily struggle is demonstrated perfectly. Will Ally make it to her interview? You'll have to watch to find out but that's really not the point of this short film at all. The point is to show the outside world a little about CFS and the people affected by it. This Is Me, demonstrates perfectly.
The production aspects of this title are somewhat refreshing for me, as this is a micro budget film. You'll never confuse This Is Me for a majorly budgetted studio title, but when saying that I should also say that it still plays out very nicely. This isn't a poorly put together film, a poorly acted film, or one of those titles with horrendous sound quality. It's all crafted and honed together nicely, in some places, even exceptionally. I particularly liked the way sound was used in this title.
For a micro budget title with a nine minute length, this one surprised me more than a little. This Is Me may not be a film with a standard plot going from point A, to B, to C, but more than makes up for it. This is not so much a story, as it is a person's life with CFS demonstrated. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Josh Pickup and his troupe have done a splendid job. 3.5 / 5.0 stars.