If someone came up to you and asked you to review their short 10 minute film that was shot in two days on literally a $0 budget, how high would your expectations be of the film? You’ve never seen a trailer for the film or even seen the filmmakers website. All you have to go by is a DVD handed to you and the info of it being literally a no budget movie. Sure we’ve all heard the horror stories and stereotypes of such things: the movie was made on a shoe string to zero dollar budget and the end result is a basic 1970s video look to the “cinematography,” the actors look as though they read from cue cards with zero emotion, there is little to no story or plotline, the pacing is slow, and the solution to saving the hapless project from fading into complete obscurity is someone involved with the film getting his or her “hot cousin” show a little (or alot of) T&A. “A Fairy Tale” written, directed, produced by and starring Steven Tylor O’Connor is a short, 10 minute film that was filmed in two days in NYC on a $0 budget (according to the facts sheet included with the screener); however, the similarities between “A Fairy Tale” and the above described stereotype of a no budget film end there.
The gay-themed Cinderella story/romantic comedy tells the story of Jack (portrayed by O’Connor) watching his sister, Jill (Kelly Blunt), as she gets ready for the school prom. We immediately get the impression that Jack has not been as lucky as his sister when it comes to dating. As Jill heads off to the prom with “Prince Charming,” Jack reluctantly begins to settled for a quiet night at home when his fairy godmother, Rose (Sherry Vine), appears. Rose is able to convince Jack to allow her to take him to the prom. Jack’s hopes for the prom aren’t too high until he runs into Hansel (who also happened to be dragged there by his loose sister, Gretl, and her date). Jack’s running into Hansel at the prom may just turn the night around after all…
“A Fairy Tale” offers a very tight a story and script with good pacing that is helped along by the actors. Steven Tylor O’Connor and Kelly Blunt work well together in their portrayal of being brother and sister and Sherry Vine really gives the film an extra punch. The production quality and value is excellent (I would have thought it to have had a much higher budget than $0) and at the end of the film, I was left thinking, “what, that’s it???” but in a good way.
According to the fact sheet that came with the screener, this film has already been screened at several Gay and Lesbian genre film festivals and even won second place at the Desert Foothills Film Festival. I personally think that “A Fairy Tale” is a foreshadowing of many good projects to come from O’Connor. It’s also yet another great example of how not to put low to no budget films in a box. Sure, there are some real stinkers out there (in both indie and mainstream films). But if one is quick to stereotype independent and lower budget films as the description I gave in the first paragraph, you may miss out on some real gems.
Check out more info on Steven Tylor O’Connor and “A Fairy Tale” on Facebook here, O’Connor’s official website http://www.StevenTylorOConnor.com, and check out the trailer on YouTube and behind the scenes footage on Vimeo. And just because she’s so entertaining in the film, check out Sherry Vine’s website at http://www.sherryvine.com.