The short film 10 Photographs by Brandon Jordan is a great example to showcase that films could be both style and substance. The director offers us with a genuine experience that relies on the vibrant aesthetics and the remarkable cinematography, all while taking notice of the dramaturgy and structure, and therefore stating that style needs to work in cohesion with the substance, and vice versa.
A model approaches a photographer to make her a portfolio; she goes prepared and with references, or at least she thinks that way. The photographer decides that he would capture no more or less than ten photographs, but only on the conditions that he would be given artistic freedom. Thus, the dilemma is determined, and the characters are set to accomplish their intentions.
However, that’s where things take an unexpected turn. 10 Photographs has twists and turns that sustain the suspense and give the film a re-watch value. We are required to go back and visit the requisite plot points that emphasize the protagonists' transformation. In a sense, the model and the photographer play cat and mouse game, hence changing the roles all along. The editing and cinematography give the stylistic nuances that capture the filmmaker’s authentic voice of expression. The editing uses unconventional tools, such as the blips that show us each of the photographs. The cinematography is exceptional, as every shot is measured accurately – it doesn't race to tell the story, as the director takes all the necessary time to focus on their muse.
The close shots of the model intend to invade her privacy compared to the medium shots that capture the photographer. With each progression and every next photograph, the camera builds the suspense to culminate in a blackout. Thus, the juxtaposing of the opening and closing shot is suggestive, as Brandon Jordan uses the dolly on these rare occasions. The establishing, almost penetrating shot insinuates the subtle sexuality, the symbiosis of complementary colours and the accompanying tones.
The climax strays away from the picture for once, as it trusts the soundtrack to tell the story. Many filmmakers forget that the sound is equally important as the picture, but fortunately, 10 Photographs shows that creating a suitable score is a powerful storytelling device. More importantly, the music proves that sound engineering doesn't mean composing grandiose music scores with lots of instruments. Contrary to that, it's finding the minimalistic, subtle noises that would enhance the ambience and unsettle the audience just enough. In conclusion, 10 Photographs is a thrilling film with extensive artistic value.
Review written by Dimitar D.