An overweight archaeologist is on a mission to find an ancient dustpan in the bizarre feature comedy “Slim”. Here is our review.
Self described as “The Biggest zero-budget film of all-time”, Slim is a tongue-in-cheek comedy adventure made by a group of teenage friends who had access to a camera and editing software. I mean that with no disrespect, but it is what it is. This is no bad thing though, everyone had to start somewhere; Spielberg didn’t just pick up a camera and churn out Jaws or Indiana Jones. There is a learning process where auteurs develop their skills and Slim is evidence of director Michael Arell at the start of such a process.
As well as directing the one hour and twenty minute film, Arell also takes the main role of Slim – an overweight archaeologist. We know he’s overweight due to him having a pillow stuffed down his sweater. Slim is sent on a dangerous mission to find the coveted gold dustpan – one that was apparently used by Moses to brush up parts of the ten commandments when he accidental dropped the tablet all those years ago.
Slim then has run-ins with Nazis, fighting cheerleader nuns and more, with just a few nods to the aforementioned Harrison Ford starring adventure series – “Bugs, why does it always have to be bugs?” There are a few bonkers, yet funny moments in Slim.
When it comes to the technical aspects of Slim, I don’t want to be too harsh but problems need to be addressed in order to right wrongs in future productions. For starters, I’m not sure what camera was used, but it had the feel of a 1990’s camcorder. The picture was grainy in many places, whilst the audio had much to be desired too. Equipment can be hard to get hold of, especially if you are teenager still in school, but even using a DSLR would have been a major improvement, and those can be bought for cheap now, something like a Canon Rebel/550d would have raised production values immensely. ADR was utilized for exterior scenes and it was pretty obvious too, with dialogue being out of sync with the actors mouth movements.
Whilst the amount of angles and how long a frame lasts is entirely down to the director’s discretion, sometimes, it’s good to mix things up and take note of the 180 degree rule so not to confuse the audience. Also, if an actor laughs off-script or looks into the camera directly, it’s probably best to use another take.
Overall though, Slim is a fun yet amateur production created by a group of friends enjoying themselves and having a laugh. Yes, there is a ton of room for improvement, but that comes with experience, and creating a full feature length film is a tough slog and should be applauded. Keep creating films Arell and co.