Out

"Quarantine sports games."

Out is a fun short film about two tennis players who engage in a tennis match from their homes during the coronavirus lockdown. The highly creative short was made by four students from Avignon-based school ENSI.

Staging is what makes the difference from standard tennis matches. Instead of a tennis court we are presented with an urban staging, with two characters playing each from his apartment, located in separate buildings.

A typical external conflict is re-contextualized in a fun and unexpected way, and ends up transitioning into a conflict with the environment (gravity). Great work has been dedicated to character designs, animation, posing (clearly good time dedicated to researching tennis matches) as well as to the environments. Sound plays a prominent role, too, from helping transmit the materiality of the tennis match as well as transitioning to the outdoor space, and finally adding a healthy dose of extra humor at the end, playing with offscreen space.

Due to being staged in apartments, Out uses shots and camera positions tighter than those used in traditional tennis matches. A few wider shots are employed to present the outdoor environment. Visual rhythm is high and increases as the match unfolds, cameras are mostly static and it’s implemented through editing and motion within the frame. The great use of slow motion as well as the choice of a few precise close-ups are worth highlighting.

What makes it work so well? Highly creative script, abundant humor, great use of staging to create surprise and play with expectations right to the end, and a subject (lockdown) that a wide audience will relate to.


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