Skye's Last Call?

Bruce Von Stiers

Most of us know the term after party. A lot of us have even been to a few. Sometimes the after party is more fun than the actual event that precedes it. And in the case of celebrities, or wanna-be's, the after party can be just a little bit above and beyond.

This last description might have what Colin Costello had in mind for his short film The After Party. Filmed in black & white, the film has a bit of noir essence. The film has a play time of a little over seventeen and a half minutes.

Costello is a screenwriter, director and producer whose work includes the feature film The Stream and the short films Committed. and Fade In among others. He has also written episodes for a few television shows.

For the technical side of the film, Costello brought in some good talent. Elaine Nunez was the casting director and associate producer. Her previous work includes casting episodes of Hell's Kitchen. Linda Palmer was the production designer on several episodes of Carbon Dating. She did the production design on this film. Greer Bishop was the location manager for the film. Her previous work includes being assistant location manager for several episode of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Jane The Virgin. There are too many other talented people behind the camera on this film to list here.

As for the actors on the film, Costello brought in some amazing talent.

Rachel Amanda Bryant is Skye. Rachel has been seen in Solitary Confinement and The Campus along with several shorts.

Love Thy Keepers and The Ice Cream Truck are a couple of films that Hilary Barraford has been in. Hilary portrays Lizzy in this film.

Denise Milfort was in the reboot of Roots and Dead On Arrival. Her character in this film is Madison.

Raven is portrayed by Ashley Platz, who has guested on Hawaii Five-0, Grey's Anatomy and 9-1-1.

Aaron Gaffey has been seen in Perceptions and Criminal Minds. He's the bartender in this film.

The bouncer is Tarnue Massaquoi. He's recently been in Timeless and also did an episode of Scorpion.

Veronica SIxtos is Chloe in the film. One of the trio of acting Sixtos sisters, Veronica was on The House of Payne and starred in Hostile Borders. Her sister Alicia had a recurring role on The Fosters and Andrea is currently on Arrow as Zoe. .

The film opens with a woman walking down an alley. She sees and walks past a car that's upside down with its driver's door open. She pops out her phone and does a selfie video stating that you know what you might see on an evening out with her.

During an encounter with a bouncer, the viewer learns the woman's name is Skye Monroe. The bouncer lets Skye into the bar where she interacts with the bartender a bit. Then something interesting happens. An 8 ball pool ball rolls into the room. Then when Skye picks up the ball, she sees that there are four women around a pool table in the next room.

These four women are Chloe, Raven, Lizzy and Madison. They invite Skye to play, but there is just something off about the whole situation. They seem to know who she is and soon take her to task over trying to get young women to mindlessly follow her shallow and self-effecting online posts.

But who are these women and what possible connection do they have to Skye? That is the crux of the matter as each of the women has a story to tell. As they tell their story, the connection to Skye is revealed. After their story is told, each woman mysteriously leaves.

The plot of The After Party is not a new one. In fact, I've seen variations of it done over the years. Costello has taken a slightly different route with noir that has a supernatural flair. That is, he has incorporated today's passion for social media and that anyone can be a Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube or Instagram star and have tons of followers for basically doing nothing. Or in Skye's case, extreme partying and self-promotion. Anyone who has seen this kind of film before can figure out the ending fairly quickly. But that's half the fun in it. That is, are you right in your assumptions about Skye or will the film go off in a totally different direction?

Even though I figured out the plot and subsequent ending early on, I really did enjoy The After Party. Although I'm not a huge fan of the supernatural, I am of noir. And this film has a bit of the first and much of the second. The camera and other technical work was very professionally done and the acting was excellent.

Film festivals that The After Party had been an official selection for 2018 include LA Shorts International Film Festival, West Coast Horror Film Festival and the American Horror Films Festival. It has won awards at the 2018 Oregon Scream Week, Women in Horror Film Festival and Holly Shorts Monthly Screenings.

At this time, the film is only being shown at film festivals. It is expected to have a general release in the fall of 2019. It will also be available for streaming through the Seeds and Sparks streaming service.

Here is a trailer for the film that gives you just a taste of it

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© 2019 Bruce E Von Stiers