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The Last Lord of Scotland

by Dystography Studios


Certainly a cute idea, and the photographer is great, but I can’t help but feel that the resolution between the couple felt a little forced. Great team intro too!

After a guy pops the question to his girlfriend of 8 months and she doesn't quite give him the answer he is looking for, things avalanche when the photographer he hired doesn't quite capture the magic moment he was paid for.

But this was all done fairly lightheartedly, playing in the family friendly heat for the night, as a terrific script then allowed the characters to explain and explore their true thoughts and feelings, with the click happy professional in the back working as a nice comic foil.

As to the Scotland reference in the title, well that is very cleverly incorporated and adds sentimental value as well as offering some reflective commentary on love not being measured by money or a ring. Honestly it seemed like something that only a true romantic could have come up with so I salute you for that.

For a film mainly set in a car I thought the cinematography was superb. I could definitely tell your spent time on your colour grade. Framing, editing and camerawork were on point and with your location choice it meant really clear audio. Everything was bright and positive. The sheepish gentleman ticked all the boxes of a well constructed reluctant hero, whilst the brief moments that recalled the mother-daughter bond gave our lead actress strength.

My main concern is that I feel that conclusion was just a little bit crammed. These fully developed characters seemed like the types who would have reevaluated things, but I get why you made that decision for your short. Plus it led to a smile inducing final shot.

Story: 4/5
Technical: 4/5
Elements: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

I felt personally targeted by this film, guys. It feels like you know me well enough to know exactly what kind of 48Hour film I want to see, because I absolutely LOVED this movie and for a long time was my early pick for City Winner.

I love all the elements at play here - I love the central love story, I love the photographer - what an awesome idea for a character! Ya'll won best use of unlikely hero for this because it was an absolute masterclass in watching this grenade of a character end up delivering the day-saving profound monologue.

You also were nominated for best use of heartbeat here, and I'm sure you were surprised to see the clip at the finals playing the photographer's theme song instead of your literal heartbeat placed at the beginning. I've done enough 48Hour comps to recognize a team coming up with a cool way to use an element but then being worried it won't count because it's too abstract and so putting a proper one in there for safety ahahah. Maybe I'm wrong! It doesn't take away from your film at all, but for what it's worth your theme song heartbeat was absolutely all you needed to qualify, and a refreshing example to see after dozens of typical heartbeats.

The real highlight of your film though was the whole Scottish influence - the bagpipes, the Lord/Lady motif - I'm so enamoured with this creative decision because it's the kind of subtextual flavour you VERY rarely see employed in a 48Hour film - it's hard for me to explain but there's something so nuanced and fun about this element, especially because you could have not included it in the film at all and I wouldn't have noticed anything missing. Truly the secret sauce on top of your already immaculate short - reminiscent of other 48Hour films that have used a foreign cultural identity to make their film richer (like UTKA from Poutine Wolf or Mi Amigo Mandarina from Grand Cheval).

I have exactly ONE NOTE on how I think this film could have been improved, one small weakness - which is after the future Lady Perry has her breakdown and we cut to the wide of her screaming in the car, I think when we returned to the scene, we really needed some kind of location change - whether that be them driving home, stopping for petrol or even going for a walk in the nearby woods to clear their heads - it just felt like strange pacing to have a clear time jump but then return to the same location. Maybe just me though! LOL.

Regardless guys, this is my favourite Dystography film, one of my favourites of the year, and maybe even of all time. It's like I was made for this. Or it was made for me?

Things you got right: An awesome love story (resulting in a genuine reason for its nomination for best use of genre), fantastic characters and a filmic identity rarely present in other 48Hour films

Things to work on for next time: God, idk, just make more of these striking and earnest comedies. I love comedies.

Loved every minute of this!!!! Genius!!!

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