Shot on location in London, Shift is the brainchild of Patrick Ryder and Del Mak as they take a seemingly bored, frustrated office worker and us, the audience, on a journey of beautifully choreographed escapism.
The protagonist, played by Renako McDonald, closes his eyes and is transported to places without ringing telephones or people tapping away endlessly on computer keyboards. Outside, sound is an unnecessary distraction. Instead, McDonald’s thoughts can be his own and he is free to move and feel. It is an environment entirely of his own design: no sounds, no people. Dreams are your escape is really the message here.
Mak’s exquisite, flowing choreography and composer Benjamin Symons’s piano score help this four minute short film move at an ideal pace, building up gradually as the music shifts from the dark, sombre and melancholic to the light and melodic sounds of hope and freedom. ?There is no dialogue in Shift, but with art such as this words are not necessary. A picture does indeed paint a bajillion words and Shift is no exception. Images, music and free-flowing film-editing from Ryder is all we need to appreciate the themes of freedom. Quite simply, words would spoil a piece of work that has to be observed and the only sound we need to hear is the ever present, and ever changing, musical score.
Mak and Ryder appreciate filmmaking as an artform; a lot of work and time has been invested to make Shift look as professional as possible. Even in a world like McDonald’s office, perhaps even more so, Shift is worth four minutes of anyone’s time.