The Snowman: The Unbreakable Hooded Daredevil V of the UK
What is it about stories that deal with vigilante themes that get us all so riled up? I'll tell you… we want to be those characters that can make things right outside of the law. We all want to have the courage, the strength, and the coolness of these outlaws. It's no different than wanting to be a Supehero. In Stephen Reynolds's short film, Snowman, we get a taste of vigilante justice from across the pond that defines, in 15 short minutes, the true desires of those of us who've been wronged in some way throughout our lives and felt the inner-compulsion to put someone in their place, especially when those impulses are illegal. Written, Directed, and shot by Stephen, Snowman contains plenty of tried and true elements of many favorite American Comic Book Superhero films, like Unbreakable, Daredevil, and one of my all time favorites, V for Vendetta. What is even more thrilling to know is that it was shot with absolutely NO BUDGET! Surely he must've found a million and one ways to get favors pulled left and right while shooting this amazing short that has already been entered in our Get It Made contest in hopes of taking the cake and being produced as a full-length feature and is also part of our partnership offerings with Interactive Service Providers, TiVo, so make sure to look for it on your boob tube at home.
The opening is beautifully shot through an appropriate blanket of snow that reveals the fictional city of Westgate, a city plagued by violent crimes. As the storm blares on, we begin to get a looming sense of winter solitude and the instinctive knowledge that somehow it will lead us into the city's shadows soon enough. Within the first few minutes we get the back story hand fed to us by a radio talk show host interviewing the dark city's Superintendant and after that moment, it's a creepy and slow climb toward the action, which actually serves it well in terms of suspenseful mystery. Making good use of black and white CCTV camera-style shots, Stephen puts us in the dead of a stormy Westgate night with a lone female passenger sitting in a trite and typically British double-decker bus, which is when we meet our hooded hero calmly observing the obviously uneasy lady. The when and where of our introduction to the Snowman is reminiscent of many old NYC subway scenes shot in its violent heydays and plays on the psyche of predator versus prey. Within a few short nervous minutes we meet the "evildoers" and see what the Snowman is made of, and it's not of snow.
The Snowman is deftly played by actor Al Peasland (who is made up to be albino btw), and by God if the man doesn't exhibit a demeanor that is as cold as ice and eerier than any superhero out there. After the three youngsters board the bus, we wait for the bait, which we're pretty sure will deal with them messing with the lone woman, played by actress Sophia Ellis. We see it coming but that doesn't matter, not once the Snowmen steps in and trashes the kids. Personally, I was thrilled to see justice dished out with the old martial-arts-in-a-bus scene. The lighting was well set for the scene in the bus and I was amazed to see no issues with double or triple shadows in such a confined space.
This short film has all the potential and gumption to make it on a big screen and if Stephen did ALL this with no money, I can only imagine what even a small infusion would do for his production. Let this British take on vigilantism inspire all of you to get out there and tell your story and don’t worry about the money just yet because if you have the will and intention coming from the heart and the right tribe backing you… you can do anything!