Someluck | Short Film of the Day

Short Film of the Day July 18, 2021


By Josh Hanesack with 7.3

drama · Short Films · english

Our introduction to Johnny is by way of his job as a food delivery executive. Beyond this, however, there seems to be little that constitutes his world. Johnny spends his days, when not making deliveries, living with his mother. His desperate, but well-meaning attempts to carve a life for himself always meet a disappointing end, tinging the protagonist's existence with tragic mundaneness.

The insipid nature of his life is allowed a skilled portrayal marked by the absence of a background score or music of any kind that would have suggested a break from the monotony. This approach is coupled with a lovely vulnerability brought to life by Tony Falk's performance as the subdued delivery man. Devoid of unnecessary frills and fuss, the film shares a narrative that is steadfast, cohesive and skilfully weaved.

However, when things seem bleak without any conceivable escape, Johnny's defence mechanism perhaps makes him believe in the possibility of a better life which can be achieved by way of lottery tickets. If there are no other avenues left for him to try his hand at, maybe it's time to turn to some good, old luck. While the soulless job persists, alongside the complete lack of the social life Johnny longs for, the scratching of lottery tickets continues. It is somewhere between these moments that Someluck conjures its calm story, lucidly communicating the doleful, quiet surrender of an unremarkable and uninspiring life of tedium.
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When I made Someluck (pre-Covid), I was thinking a lot about the way food service employees are treated in the US. I had worked a number of fast food jobs myself, including pizza delivery. Making a living wage or receiving healthcare in positions like these was always unheard of. There was also an awful stigma of these jobs being “unskilled labor,” or somehow less difficult or valuable than other jobs. People will try to justify this by suggesting that these jobs aren’t meant to be lifelong careers, but for so many people, they are exactly that.

It’s been interesting to see that even two years into a pandemic that has only further revealed how essential people doing these jobs are to our society, a lot of the things I explored in this film have only become more relevant. I like to think of what Johnny goes through as an artifact from the period of time right before the Great Resignation.

With this film, I wanted to focus closely on Johnny, someone who is dealing directly with the circumstances I mentioned above. I generally kept the camera handheld and close to him, letting the edits breathe to bring the audience into his dread and shame. But in spite of the lurking darkness, I also wanted to make sure that the film had a human sense of warmth, hope, and humor to it. Balancing these extremes was all about getting the performances right on location. Having the time and flexibility to allow the actors to explore the moments through lots of takes was key to achieving this on our limited budget, so we shot on a Sony mirrorless camera, mostly in natural light.
Josh HanesackDirector, Someluck