A nightclubbing girl (Sarah McDonald) takes a step out the backdoor of a club into the alley to get a breath of fresh air, only to be confronted by a stoic female from her past (Kimwun Perehinec). When the girl tries to push her way forwards, she’s confronted with a gun to the head, and before long a tense sidewalk confessional begins.Writer/director Tracey Izatt really hits a homerun here, using nothing more than a wall, a gun, a light and two characters. The editing keeps things pushing along quickly, the screenwriting is top notch, and Izatt lets the actors do all the talking… well, ‘actor’ really, since only McDonald actually speaks. Created as part of the Professional Screenwriting Program’s Chatterbox Series, this five-minute short cuts right to the chase and doesn’t look back. Sarah McDonald is awesome in the lead, and though for a moment I thought she was the gal who played Nina on Fox TV’s 24 (yeah, yeah, I know that’s Sarah Clarke), I subsequently learned she’s done little else of note in the world of film.
Travesty, people. Attractive, talented and ready to be discovered – her performance alone would make Automatic a worthy five minutes of your time. Combine that with Tracey Izatt’s inspired hand at the helm and this is a short that I’d recommend you go half an hour out of your way for.The lucky thing is you don’t need to go anywhere. You can watch it right now if you join CinemaNow.com (http://www.cinemanow.com), where for just $9.95 a month you can watch this and a whole lot of feature films online, or even download them to your computer to watch later. Good deal.