I was watching “Awake O’Sleeper” on my computer, in my room, in the end of a boring day, half asleep, and ready for a quick film. And what I got at the end was a pretty damn great short musical from Brandon McCormick. And when I say pretty damn great, I mean this is probably one of the best indie musicals I’ve seen in a long time and you can only say that about the 5% of indie filmmakers daring enough to try their hand at the genre.
Though I don’t know if you could call this a musical since four minutes would render it a music video, but being a short film, “Awake O’Sleeper” should be put in to that genre. With booming incredible music by the rather thunderous Wright Brothers, McCormick’s dramatic tale is the story of an unnamed hero who awakens in the middle of a field to see a group of struggling men pulled as slaves by chains and beckons them to fight back and revolt. This sounds simple enough and cause for a great inspirational film, but it’s the original music that really kicks this in to high gear as he follows the chain gang screaming at them to break free from their servitude, open their eyes, and decide for themselves once and for all.
McCormicks’s direction is gritty and definitely the mark of a man with a long future of films ahead of him as he brings a murk and grime to the landscape of this world to our screen with incredible cinematography, beautiful choreography, and a sleek style that will inspire all audiences to tap their feet from start to finish. Very few indie musicals (or music videos?) manage to be entertaining let alone introduce original music that’s actually catchy, but lo and behold, Brandon McCormick does it. The music is fantastic, the direction is stunning, and this is a short I’ll see a few more times before putting it to bed.