Monday, July 23, 2007

Movie review: Lyon and Lee's short film, Plummet, rich in cinematography, sound and editing

Some 250 people trekked to LSUS Theater last week to see the debut of the movie Plummet, a half-hour drama made by Chris Lyon and film partner Luke Lee. At age 20, these independent filmmakers have created a piece that compares well to film school graduate work.

The movie's strengths were in production values: big sound (especially in the underwater sequences), first-rate HD cinematography, and editing that was of a piece. They also scored in several additional ways.

Lorna Dopson, the female lead, played the sort of girl every movie needs. She portrayed an unpretentious, intelligent young woman who wasn't afraid to fall in love and make out madly.

Much of the time, male lead Derek Johnson seemed unaccountably laconic and depressed. The script failed to adequately explain his muddle. But the movie's slow opening was picked by the intervention of a friend; it was played with lead-role charisma by Ren Heeralal. And the role of the psycho was confidently portrayed by Ian Price.

Ron Fagan played the professor whose class on dying added philosophical stimulation to the story. Writers Lyon and Keith Shively added a deft touch by focusing on the physiological as well as emotional aspects of the intersection of life and non-life.

As the movie's male lead sinks into a swimming pool following a deadly attack, the filmmakers showed technical savvy and script-writing dexterity. For me the ending worked. Although its ambiguity may not suit all, the closing certainly offered a beginning for post-movie discussion.

In their premiere at LSUS Theater the movie's makers delivered a shimmering denouement. A curtain behind the projection screen rose and a 4-piece rock band, A New Pace, performed the last song in the soundtrack. The credits scrolled above a lovely performance by Josh Lyon, keyboard, and Colton Blount, vocal. They were backed by Chase Reneau and Kurt Wiley.

Having completed their movie, Lyon and Lee have begun an odyssey. They will finish production of the DVDs (and slight problems in the lip-synch will be corrected, Lyon said) and begin the tedious and costly applications to film festivals. They must build support for the movie with more showings. Their web sites on myspace and facebook must continue to vibrate.

Will they be able to sell the value of their project to more investors? Is there enough vibe in Plummet to build a wave of support?

Slip over to the blog at to follow the lives of the two filmmakers. A successful debut? It’s one step. There are many ahead.

Producers of the Lyon and Lee movie were Bruce Hennigan of 613 Media and Lori Baynham of Baynham Advertising. Also contributing were designer Jeremy Johnson and photographer Hannah Parker.


Anonymous said...

It is pleasing to see it noted that Derek Johnson's performance wasn't explained by the writing, as opposed to his choice of character use. The performance was great, but the script certainly needed more background as to why he was like he was, or, he needed more of a transition towards the end. I feel that he did a great job, but it was almost as if the movie itself was ACT 2 out of a feature film where Derek's character had already become depressed, and we just didn't see it happen. His subtlety and inward reflection are what gave the other characters the chance to bounce off and shine. I think we will be seeing quite a bit more of this talented actor. He certainly looks as if there is more inside that is waiting to burst out. Again, taking up for his performance, if that is what the script called for, then he surely gave it.

Anonymous said...

HAs anyone seen Derek Johnson's college "final," produced at Stephen F. Austin State University? It was called WITHIN US. He and his fellow students did a great job.