Full disclosure: For the sake of journalistic integrity and all that, I feel I should let all who read this know that I know the guy who made this film. So I am indeed writing this article to get the word out on his first feature length film to as many people as possible. So yeah, full disclosure is disclosed.
Joseph William Lewis made A/V using every available resource at his disposal, like any passionate aspiring filmmaker would. The film was shot almost entirely at his place of employment, which also provided all of the equipment he needed. I asked him about the budget of the film and he said the only real expense was the MacBook he purchased to edit the film on. This movie is about low budget as it gets, but that doesn't mean it's shoddy or half-hearted. No sir, this is a passion project with genuine ambition behind it.
What If Kevin Smith Made A Sci-fi Film?
The film revolves around two best buds Vincent and Austin. They work an overnight shift at the local TV and radio station where they talk shit, goof off, wax philosophical about their lives and...figure out how to upload consciousness into a computer. The first 30 minutes or so of the film plays out like a lost film Kevin Smith made after Clerks and before Mallrats. The characterization, dialogue and relationships are so heavily inspired by early Kevin Smith that it almost starts to feel like a little too on the nose. But once the plot starts to reveal itself, the script transcends being a love letter to Smith and takes on it's own identity as something a little more melancholy than Kevin Smith ever made in his prime. As the film progresses you can't help but feel that Lewis's own personal experiences color much of the script.
The film runs just under two hours, and at times it feels like Lewis could have trimmed a scene here or there and maybe a subplot or two. With that said, the pacing holds together surprisingly well for a film taking place largely in one location with a limited cast of characters and no major set pieces to speak of. Some of the actors struggle with the script from time to time, but there isn't what I'd call a bad performance in the film. The dialogue and nuanced attention to character development eases you into believing that these are actual characters and not just a couple of friends who helped their buddy make a quick little movie.
A For Effort
When the films dives into the sci-fi, Lewis uses as much editing and effects tricks he had at his disposal to pull off the visuals. As low key as they are, they are delivered with care and effort (The head piece prop that sends a the characters into the computer realm is a delightfully hokey piece of no-budget craftsmanship). Effort, I'd like to make that the word of the day. When somebody takes the time to indulge their passion and all the headaches that come with it to just go out there and make a movie, it should be applauded. A/V is the perfect example for all of you aspiring filmmakers out there that if you have the drive, all you have to do is just go out there and do it. So, check out Joseph Williams Lewis's film free on YouTube and go out there and make your own movie!