Over the Counter (2010) – By Duane L. Martin

Over the counter is a six minute short about an unfortunate nighttime encounter between a frustrated pharmacist and a guy who comes in with a prescription for some seriously heavy drugs that he believes is a fake. He makes a call and tries to delay the guy while he waits to hear back on the validity of the prescription, and during that time, he ends up really tearing into the guy. That is, he was, until the surprise ending.

This film packed a lot of story into six minutes, and from a film making standpoint, incredibly professional and beautifully produced. The quality of the visuals are excellent, as is the camera work and shot setup. The audio is clear and the acting is excellent. So much so, that the truth of what’s really going on remains a mystery right up until the end of the film.

Hector Luis Bustamante plays the frustrated pharmacist with his own personal problems revolving around not being able to afford medications for his own daughter, and the man asking for the drugs is played by Don R. Williams. Don turned in a really understated performance here, and the way the two interacting together just worked phenomenally well for the story.

There’s not a lot to say about the film overall other than what I’ve said. Perfect setting, visuals, lighting, editing and acting all combine to make one really great short film. Director and editor Mishka Kornai has created something really great here. When someone has talent as a film maker, it really shows through in their work, and Mishka’s talent is on full display in this one.

If you’d like to see this film, you can check it out on Vimeo here.