You wake up. Your phone is ringing, outside it’s chaos. Something is horribly wrong.
You’ve got two minutes to tell this story. How do you do it?
If you’re Jonathan Correia and Lazersaurous Rex, you do it in one damn take. Correia’s Disconnect — created as part of the 1917 One Shot Challenge — has an urgent message to deliver, and it does so with a slick swagger. The single-take short (clocking in at two minutes) is impressively polished with the kind of what’s-that-in-the-corner horror that is sure to tickle the fancy of any genre fan.
From concept to completion, the short was completed in two weeks — an impressive feat considering the complexity of some of the shots, particularly the smooth transition from the second floor of the house to the ground level.
To achieve this, DP John O’Connor and his camera team rigged the camera to an Ari Maxima for the shots through the hallway. Once they got to the balcony, O’Connor lifted the camera and (very safely) secured it to a pulley system attached to a Menace Arm to slowly lower it to the ground, where two other cameramen were waiting to grab the camera and run it upstairs for the final shot.
All this delicate choreography paired with the heavy Ari Maxima rig meant that they could fully run the shot only a few times. Their hard work — well complemented by Ethan Bellows’ editing — paid off with resounding success. Everything we see on screen is framed and emphasized in a way that draws easy focus while teasing just enough to capture interest.
The music by John R Nunez builds an anxious beat that carries through the short, driving anticipation as — moment by moment — we uncover more to the story. The interior of the house is washed with pink and purple light, giving the whole apartment an oddly sinister vibe that works in perfect tandem with the pulsing guitar.
Disconnect has a strong base that allows the world of the film to really build. As the short progresses, each new revelation twists the screws a little tighter, making the climax that much more powerful.
The story is relatively simple, but highly effective. Though the end credits voiceover gives a bit more (although vague) context, much is left up to the imagination — and it’s perfect. With only two minutes to tell your tale, the key is to be economical and leave your audience wanting more. Which this short certainly does.
All in all, it’s a cleverly concocted and well executed short film that will stick with you long after the credits. Once you’ve picked this one up, it’ll be hard to disconnect.
Check it out for yourself!
For more horror shorts, check out our review of Boo by Rakefet Abergel.