Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Lookouts (Short)

Grade : A Year : 2016 Director : David Bousquet Running Time : 12min Genre : , , ,
Movie review score

Over the past five years, one of the things that I’ve come to make a regular occurrence at Dragon*Con is attending a block or several for the Short Film Festival the convention puts on. There, you see genre films of various levels of technical savvy and storytelling prowess that can inspire you as an independent artist at what is possible with limited resources. Davis Bousquet’s “Lookouts” would be right at home there. Here, we have a fantasy epic told in 10 minutes that is more impressive than some mega-budget productions that end up on 3000 screens, and shows that good, old-fashioned storytelling isn’t dead. It’s quite a work to behold.

“Lookouts” centers around Phen (Kelton Roney), a young scout who has become separated from his mentor and his fellow scouts as they are looking to complete a key exercise along their way to becoming men. Unfortunately, it involves facing a basilisk, a winged creature whose victims turn to stone, with a tell-tale sign of mysterious-looking flowers on their remains. Now, he is all alone, and it is up to his memories, some involving his mother, and training with his mentor (Chris Cleveland) to get him through surviving this task.

Yes, the monster’s name in this film, written by Bousquet, is pronounced exactly as it was in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” but David and his producer wife, Kristin, are not plundering the works of Rowling or Tolkien for inspiration, but forging a new path in the world of fantasy. This is only 10 minutes long, but I want to see a 100-minute film set in this world. I want to watch Phen’s story play out. I want to see his relationship with his mother, and what separates them now. I want to see him go through his training with his fellow scouts. And I want to see what happens after the final shot of this film when he finally faces the basilisk himself. It’s one thing to tell a story fully contained within its run time. “Lookouts” has me wanting more.

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