Late night, laying in bed, a girl (Marine Mendiboure) texts her friend Olivia about this photographer who’s annoying her. She screenshots the conversation to mock him with her friend. After turning down his advances, and stating she has a boyfriend, the girl receives photos of a knife and of her currently sitting in her room. The now frightened girl fears for her life as an intruder (Louis Ballèvre) breaks into her home.
The Photographer is a cautionary tale about talking with strangers, especially over social media. It was very reminiscent of When A Stranger Calls just instead of phone calls, it’s texts and snaps. Director Kévin Mendiboure tells a gripping narrative through concise and engrossing storytelling. The minimal elements used empowers the film to captivate its audience. Being filmed in natural light adds an authentic grit to the darkness of the setting, allowing the imagination to run wild with what’s lurking in the shadows. For the most immersive viewing experience, it is best to watch the film in the dark, with the lights turned down and the sound turned up. These five minutes will have you inching off the edge of your seat as you feel the panic of our heroine.
This is a terrific example of a classic story with a modern twist. Even though society and technology evolve, some stories persist to tell the same message. Its excellent cinematography engages the viewer and allows them to experience the fear of the character. The special effects of the phone’s screen, to show the conversations being had, are organic and add a fantastic aspect to the film. Marine’s performance is exceptional and authentic, creating a palpable and believable terror. Kévin has made a marvelous film, with a deep social message, using a fine array of storytelling tools and techniques.
Check out the short film The Photographer below. It was shot by one director and two actors on a Canon 5D MKIII with 100% natural lighting and was entirely homemade.