Out of Range

"Sue needs to go to the most important meeting of her career."

Coming from Parisian school Gobelins, Out of Range is a wonderful short that presents a conflict with the environment (in addition to an external conflict), a strong focus on subjectivity in narration, abundant use of sensory images and a portrait of a nervous breakdown leading to character growth.

Staged on a highway and in rural locations, aesthetics, character design, iconography and sound help build contrast between the fast-paced life, technology and nature. The sequences leading to the character’s breakdown are especially effective, cinematography-wise, including the POV shot of the woman running through the forest lighting her path with her phone, the increased visual rhythm implemented through editing and camera moves, the wet FX of the camera and the slow motion falling drop that leads to the shots with a psychological subjective narration. The shot with the character being swept away by water is also worth noting.

Out of Range uses numerous delightful sensory images that infuse the film with life, from the shoes of the woman stepping on grass, the insects bothering her, the branch hitting her head, sounds of nature and weather, drops falling on paper, etc. All these set the stage for the strong contrast when she wakes up to sunny weather and blue skies in the grass fields.

What makes it work so well? Strong subjective narration with an expressive character help build and transmit conflict (the voice acting adds a lot to it, too), great directing with effective cinematography, abundant use of enjoyable sensory images and a choice of subject that a wide audience will relate to. This film rewards repeated viewings.

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Concept art on Cécile Guillard’s site

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