Short Sessions – Total Performance

A day in the life of an actress who gets a little too close to reality.

Cori (Tory Berner) is an actress, but until she gets her big break, the way she makes a living is a little bit different. She works for a company that employs actors to play opposite real people who want to practise a difficult conversation. Whether it be a break up, a firing or an embarrassing confession, the company provides a living breathing sparring dummy for their clients.

The second short film I was sent to review was Total Performance. The premise of this film is quite an interesting on, and while it might not have quite the same substance as the previous short, Dirty Books, it was certainly a fascinating watch.

Tori Berner’s performance as the lead was alright, however I can’t say I was ever really that fond of her character, Cori. I just felt like she was a bit whiny in one of the last final confrontation scenes, and that just turned me off of her completely. Before that, however, I found her to be quite watchable, and her performance was really rather convincing.

Tim was played by Steven Conroy. Conroy’s character was one that I found quite funny. I don’t know whether the level of humour was intentional, but the way he constantly seemed to manage to dig himself a bigger hole to fall into just made me smile. Both that and the fact that he never really seemed to feel comfortable around Cori left me highly entertained. What can I say? I love to see people squirm!

As I’ve said already, I didn’t really find there to be an awful lot of substance behind the story here – I’m not saying there wasn’t any, I’m just saying if there was, it wasn’t obvious enough to me. that being said, for what it was, Total Performance was still an entertaining bit of viewing, and is once again an example of what you can do in the space of twenty minutes or less on camera. I have to say, as someone who is currently going through the process of thinking up ideas for their own short film, these shorts have provided me with some good inspiration, and if how we’ve started is how we mean to go on, I’m sure they will continue to do so.

Overall, Total Performance is an easy-going film with an interesting concept. The performances are of a decent quality, and the plot is attention grabbing. If anyone has a spare twenty minutes during their day, I would say that it would be well spent viewing this film, especially is filmmaking is something you’re thinking of venturing into. 

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Kira Comerford

Film and TV lover with hopes to one day make my own projects for everyone to enjoy. Until then, I'm giving my thoughts on what I watch for inspiration.

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