In every war, there are winners and losers–and, in the future, space marines and “forensic accountants.”
That’s the premise of Mis-Drop, an innovative short film from director Ferand Peek that’s told entirely though the camera of one such accountant, whose job–apparently–is to review the conduct of the mercenaries it hires, 300 years in the future, to fight an interplanetary war. As such, we spend almost the entire film focused on the face of Private Jason Glenn as he’s launched from a drop-pod onto the surface of a planet he’s invading.
There’s a lot of storytelling that can be done even when the camera spends its time in a close-up of one person’s face: for one, the actor who plays Glenn, Elliot Travers, carries a lot of story in his face–no mean feat for a young actor. For another, the film’s conceit requires that soldiers on a drop wear helmets equipped with a heads-up-display, which we see in reverse from the outside of his helmet. We meet Sugahara, the commanding officer responsible for his drop–with whom he appears to have a personal relationship–and catch the reflections of the facility from which he ships out and of the old man who sends him on his way.
The camera spends the entire film in a fixed state, only ever moving when someone within the course of the film interacts with it, and we find ourselves watching it over the shoulder of the “forensic accountant” responsible for paying Glenn for his services. That’s a fairly complex amount of plot and world-building that goes into a film that doesn’t vary its shots.