Rated: Not Rated

        In the world of film it is often thought that bigger is better, and no one takes that thought to the extreme quite like Hollywood. They seem to think that almost every film needs to have bigger, better explosions and more of them, a break neck pace, more well-known names attached and more CGI than is really necessary. While all of these things can make a film more exciting, they don’t necessarily mean that the film itself is good. Hollywood is under the impression that it doesn’t matter if the story is junk, so long as the film looks pretty and appeals to the masses enough to make money.
        There are countless independent filmmakers out there who are trying to break this perception and prove that you don’t need big budgets and oversized special effects teams to make great films, and Legrand McMullen is one of them. Legrand and the team at Matching Sweaters Productions don’t just prove that you don’t need a big budget and such to tell great stories; they totally shatter the perception with their newest short film
Condemned a man tells the story of his life and crimes from San Quentin’s death row. Now think back to a time when you were sitting around a campfire on a warm evening. There’s a nice breeze and crickets and the crackling of the fire.  Someone begins to tell a story, and you’re captivated. Do you remember how powerful those stories seemed, even though it was simply one person talking with no frills to distract you? Condemned is the film version of a campfire story.
Daniel Wyland in Condemned (Photo courtesy of Legrand McMullen)

Daniel Wyland in Condemned (Photo courtesy of Legrand McMullen)

         If I’ve learned anything in writing reviews it’s that no one should take short films for granted, and this is no exception. The film’s bare-bones style is part of what makes it so impactful. The majority of the film is simply a man in a chair telling his story. It’s rather reminiscent of the types of interviews you’d see on shows like
Dateline, or 48 Hours, but far more powerful. Filmmaker Legrand McMullen had this to say about the film’s simplicity, “The story is about one man, and also his victims. I wanted the contrast of hearing just his story, while his victims are silent, symbolically. I believe for a short film to be effective and entertaining, it should contain one basic idea, maybe two, which is executed well.  After all, it's a short, so trying to layer in multiple story arcs, characters, and themes, wouldn't work.”
Daniel Wyland in Condemned (Photo courtesy of Legrand McMullen)

Daniel Wyland in Condemned (Photo courtesy of Legrand McMullen)

        There are no frills or gimmicks with
Condemned. It is truly a “what you see is what you get” type of film. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, but in the case of Condemned it’s not. If there was any more to it, it wouldn’t work on the same level. The film is so gripping and effectual that it took my breath away. When it was over I had to find a quiet spot to process what I’d just seen, and I still have trouble putting into words all that it made me feel. Its impact comes on quietly, but is stronger than you realize at first. Legrand McMullen and Matching Sweaters Productions have created a low key masterpiece that will have you mesmerized from the moment it starts to the end credits, so if you find yourself with the opportunity make sure you see Condemned.
Condemned is not rated, was written by Legrand McMullen, directed by Steven Biver and stars Daniel Wyland. More information about the film, Legrand McMullen and Matching Sweaters Productions can be found here: 

Condemned on IMDB

Condemned on Facebook

·  Matching Sweaters Productions on Facebook

·  Legrand McMullen on Twitter

·  Legrand McMullen Website

·  Steven Biver Website