In Isolated, Evan is a New York City cabby who wakes up to discover he’s just been in a car crash and, to make matters worse, the end of humanity is upon him. Hot off the presses, brand spanking new, this week’s short film is from Chile and at a sleek five minutes, it will take you for a visually thrilling ride.
A large, expansive wide shot booms down from the tops of buildings to throw you right into the center of the action: Evan unconscious at the wheel of the cab. It took me a few moments to decipher that we were indeed in animation-land as opposed to live action: the space truthfully portrays New York City, the lighting is cinematic and familiar, and the camera is motivated by Evan’s (frantic!) point of view. Evan is the CGI embodiment of Chilean actor Tomás Verdejo Urzúa, who’s carefully reconstructed facial expressions give the short lots of dramatic tension, which helps further immerse you into the action. The distance between viewer and image normally present in animated pictures is absent here as the flow is riveting.
Tomas Vergara Vial co-wrote and directed the piece, in collaboration with Peak Pictures. The narrative style leans more toward technique rather than character depth, and favors fantastical high stakes for massive impact. Though the film employs genre-specific concepts and themes that we have seen many times before, it is nonetheless well worth the watch.
Take a look at his first short The Chase (2012), also chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick, which similarly follows an uncommonly strong and skilled Every Man as he runs away from a broad and unspecified evil. Vergara reportedly spent six months in a cabin crafting the film on his own, isolated indeed.