Picnic Area 11 (2013) – By Misty Layne

You know those friends who consistently want to tell you about their crazy dreams, the ones that don’t ever make any sense except to them and go on and on and on and on till you kind of just want to scream? Yeah? Well, that’s what Picnic Area 11 is about.

See James had the most amazing dream last night and desperately needs his roommate, Russ, to hear all about it. The problem is…well, there are two problems really. Russ hates hearing about dreams first of all and second of all the big business proposal he’s been stressing about for weeks just got pushed from 9 AM to 8 AM and he has to rush to get out the door. James is quite insistent though that he tell Russ his entire dream consisting of Russ’ ex-girlfriend, steaming corpses, a monkey, children in a mousetrap and all the usual dream-like tropes.

The script seems to be mostly improved but it works with such random lines as “Danielle was wearing a football helmet…I’m not sure why…but anyway…” that will be very familiar (not to mention humorous) to anyone who has had to sit through a retelling of someone else’s wacky dream featuring themselves and everyone they know. The camerawork is excellent and very professional looking for a low-budget, six minute short. The shots throughout are extremely well set up with James following Russ around their home as Russ gets ready even going so far as sitting in the bathroom with him while Russ showers. James in particular is quite amusing as the dream teller.

I thought the ending was going to be a bit different, which doesn’t necessarily mean the ending wasn’t a good one. It was a bit circular and I would’ve actually liked to have seen it play out in the more typical “dream within a dream” scenario that often closes television shows and the such. The ending animation for the credits was exceptional however.

Written in February, filmed in March, and edited in April, this short premiered May 11, 2013 and was the result of a group of passionate individuals coming together to create low budget (and cost) content, with high quality results. It seems more short films will be coming out from this group in the future and I can say with certainty that this is going to be a wonderful experiment in group filmmaking.

To learn more about Picnic Area 11 and upcoming projects, please visit their Facebook page and their YouTube channel.