Short Films

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On Time, about a jilted lover who is given the chance to avoid future heartbreak by a travelling salesman with magic in his briefcase, is exactly the kind of short film I’d love to write one day. I found it incredible how emotionally invested we are in the characters after just a couple of lines, how believable and sympathetic they are and how seamlessly the box of wonders is integrated into the story, drawing us into a world where one might possibly buy a window onto the future from a friendly salesman in an airport departures lounge without us even noticing. I was satisfied enough by this little slice of the totally-unexpected, so when the twist came at the end it was even more impressive. I particularly liked the expression of guilt and horror on the salesman’s face when he realises what he’s done. If you think about it too much it’s impossible to get your head around (why would the box only show his future and what happens when he sells it to someone else? How could anyone get away with constantly peering into a huge silver briefcase?) but it’s so well told that none of this matters. The feeling it leaves you with is what’s important – that knowing the future and changing your present will not help you to avoid the mistakes that are an inescapable part of life, and that we are better off leaving life up to fate than trying to control it.


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