Ginger Nuts of Horror
Think Speak Films have created a 9 minute 25 seconds short film based on one of the many subplots taken from Stephen Kings sprawling, 'Dark Tower' epic.
Beginning with a few seconds of beautiful scenery it rapidly launches into some reasonably interesting dialogue between the wheelchair-bound Susannah and the Gunslinger Roland Deschain.
The setup for what is a shooting lesson is okay, fairly well played by both actors, however this whole production is fairly disjointed in that unless the viewer is familiar with the whole Dark Tower mythology this film is not going to mean much of anything. Indeed it would appear somewhat bizarre given the dialogue has references which only have meaning within the land in which the story is set.
For the dedicated legions of fans I could see this film being somewhat divisive, some will no doubt love it because any portrayal of Stephen King's work is welcome in certain areas. However, Roland's accent seems rather strained and not appropriate for the character, my thinking at least is that Jacob Gallegos just does not seem right for the role as he does not embody the many facets of the Gunslinger. Susannah is also miscast, she is meant to be a black woman, yet in this film is somewhat pale, although not actually white, actress Sara Gabriella still does not seem to look right in the role.
Given that this is a crowd funded project via Kickstarter it does make me wonder if there is some trade-off as creative talent and money do not necessarily have to go hand-in-hand.
The film itself without titles is less than 8 minutes in length, so the budget appears around USD100 a minute. The Kickstarted campaign asked for $700 but got $966. I cannot help but think that the money would have been better spent on another project. That may sound nasty, but recently I saw a film called Darkest Day, which was created as a student film for around $1500 without crowd funding assistance and was easily comparable to big hitting films fresh out of major studios. I believe the main difference in approach where Kickstarted campaigns are concerned, is one of time.
'Darkest Day' was filmed at weekends over a period of years with no crowdfunding. Post-production took over the directors life for 2 years after filming, and it shows.
'Susannah's Lesson' in comparison, has some of the polish of a professional film yet appears to have been rushed into.
There are many 'just for fun' films being made and there is even the 'Dollar Babies' project, which Stephen King has had on the go for some time, with varying results. 'Susannah's Lesson' is not a 'Dollar Baby' and is one of the weaker Steven King related productions, it is one this fan in particular doesn't believe does justice to the excellent source material as you really need to have prior knowledge of the world of the Dark Tower for it to make perfect sense.
You can watch in its entirety here