If you've been reading my reviews for any length of time, then you likely already know of my basic philosophy - just make the film.
In the case of Ray Cotolo's 28-minute short film Make The Best of It!, it's just make the film very quickly.
Created as part of Joel Haver's "Film a Movie Instead of Watching the Oscars" challenge, Make the Best of It! was, quite literally, filmed during the Oscars with a cool idea and a fairly paltry budget.
Okay. Okay. A VERY paltry budget.
Guy (Cotolo) goes back in time to tell himself that he's going to die in 120 hours. It's up to him to figure out how to best use his remaining time, a figuring out that doesn't quite go as planned as he squanders his time away trying to figure out what meaningful things he can accomplish with so little time left.
Make the Best of It! is the kind of film I really enjoy watching, an ultra-low budget effort that looks and feels like an ultra-low budget effort. As Guy, Cotolo's a laid back blast who makes you snicker but also makes you think along the way. As someone currently in chemo treatments, I can honestly say I spend a fair amount of time thinking "What should I do if suddenly things get worse and I don't have much time left?"
It's kind of like chemo - I think I'd be torn between wanting to do something meaningful and wanting to take a nap. I usually choose the nap.
Unsurprisingly, Cotolo also lenses and edits the film. Make the Best of It! isn't the kind of film that's going to blow you away, but it's a mighty fine example of just making the film. While a 2.5-star/C+ may not seem like a dazzling review, I gave Avatar: The Way of Water a 2-star/C.
So, there's that. I'd watch this film again anyday. I'm not sitting through Avatar again.
It would be fun to see what Cotolo could do with this kind of storyline with a bit more cash and more time to film it, but in a world where far too many people "I can't" make a film Ray Cotolo proves with talent, ambition, and $100 you actually can.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic