“All glory comes from daring to begin…” – Edward Ware
A dancer moves slowly, uncertain. The dancer, Rachael, has lost loved ones and is struggling. A teacher notices her stress and offers to help. When that offer turns out to be something else, Rachael is terrified of being hurt again.
A benevolent counselor gives her a gift that opens her eyes, but will that gift be the answer for her fear, or something else?
In the short film, “Playing It Safe”, fans of Fred Rabbath’s short films have yet another change in direction to enjoy. This one is a quiet gem that touches on themes of fear, betrayal, and the resilience of the human spirit.
As fans have come to expect from FCRabbath Productions, the sense of the visual is rich and dynamic. The scenes of Rachael dancing, and of the other dancers, serve to show and intensify Rachel’s anguish and ramp up the intensity of the more emotional moments in the film. The visual effects are elegant, and help to move the story forward effectively.
In addition, each subsequent film put out by FCRabbath Productions improves incrementally in its story’s structure, and has less and less to object to in terms of dialogue or dramatic tension.
Fred Rabbath has always attracted great talent to work with him, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, and this one is no different. Jada Sanders and Mike Herrin, who play the characters of Rachael and Dr. Middleton respectively, do a terrific job.
The music of the film by Sean Beeson and Vivandy takes what Fred creates and moves it into the realm of the epic, as it has on so many other FCRabbath films. The final song of the film by the band In Wrath, called “Breaks the Day” is beautiful and moving, and sets an appropriate mood for the ending.
Half the fun of watching Fred Rabbath’s short films on YouTube is watching for actors from his “stable” of regulars as well. Mike Marple, who plays Dr. Wilson, plays a more understated character than he usually does in this film, and it’s great to see the change. For a greater look at this very talented actor’s range, you can also look for the Fred films “The Board” and “Clocked Out”.
But my favorite supporting performance in this film, hands-down, was Owen Provencher’s character of the bum. The part is small, but it’s actually a repeat performance of his from another Fred film, “Inventory”. If you want to get the full experience of this film, you absolutely must find that film after watching this one.
It’s a dangerous world out there, and “Playing It Safe” does not shrink from consideration of some very adult themes. It’s not the best film for small children to watch, but older kids should do fine. Do yourself a favor and take in the short films of FCRabbath Productions, now (and thankfully, still) playing on YouTube.