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TRANSMISSION (2012)
Written and directed by Brett Young

When an old transistor radio mysteriously appears in his second hand electrical shop, a lonely old man sets about restoring it to its original condition. As he starts work, he soon realizes the radio transmits something not found on conventional frequencies.

Shot on a DSLR camera for the miniscule budget of £50, British filmmaker Brett Young and his team have crafted an impressive little short that breaks through the language barrier and can shock audiences around the world. Relying solely on the storytelling and actions of the lone DIY shop owner, the film brings us a fly-on-the-wall viewing experience.

The tension built in this 7 minute short film works wonders. With the mysterious arrival of the broken transistor radio, to fixing it in his workshop late at night and then tuning into the radio frequencies to see what he can pick up – all are handled with right amount of subtlety by actor Ian Currie, in his film debut after 20 years of work on the stage. Though the real star of the show is the transistor radio itself. Where did it come from and how can it be stopped? TRANSMISSION is a tense object thriller and the questions that surround the radio will leave the viewer on the edge of their seat to see what happens next.

Brendan Cox’s set design in TRANSMISSION is marvellous, with attention to detail being the key. The crew were lucky enough to borrow a real secopnd hand electrical shop business to film the inital scenes and then used a friend’s attic space for the latter end of the film. The closed in spaces give a real chilling element to the film and amplify the tension built in the scenes.

Gavin Lee-Pate’s FX is suitably spooky with a pale, leather-look textured mask effect worn by supporting characters. The ghostly design masked in darkness provides just the right amount of discomfort to the viewer. The slow moving characters seem in sync with one another and remind me of the bubble-head nurses in Silent Hill who react in a similar way to them. Their sudden actions speed up the slow, tense build up in a good way.

TRANSMISSION is a hark back to the good old skool horror and pleases as much as it chills. Brett Young and his team prove that quality filmmaking isn’t made by the money thrown at it (though it always helps), but is instead created by a well written story and a lot of time and hard work. These British filmmakers have shown promise with this short film and I dearly look forward to their future projects.

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