Three Days Gone:
Based on the Life of Lucas Snow - Directed by Scott McCullough
- Ramtin Ebrahimi, FullShot Cine Magazine
Crime films are usually a hard exam for their filmmakers. Since this genre has had a long and fruitful past and the audience are drawing to them more and more, making a film that can follow the rules of the genre and then subvert these characteristic features and become a unique experience in itself is a difficult task, something which requires not only the script but the rhythm, atmosphere and tone of the film to be perfect. It is often the tone of the film that makes the relationship between the characters (especially criminals) in the film look real. It’s the atmosphere of the film that enables us to understand the world of criminals and victims, and it’s the rhythm that takes us through a journey of the events of the film. One must add the dynamic power between the actors to it, which is essential to creating a fictional world resembling ours. The loneliness of the protagonist of crime films can only be created (and understood) through contradictions with their environment and the other characters. The relationship between the characters is what gives life to what is seen on the screen. Three Days Gone: Based on the Life of Lucas Snow (directed by Scott McCullough) seems to have been successful at all the above-mentioned features.
Right from the beginning, we are pulled inside this dark, cruel world. A world where unfortunate things happen about which we do not know anything, and this ambiguity is what draws us to understand the characters and their motives better. But information is given to the audience drop by drop (just as the protagonist, Lucas, gradually understands the situation because of amnesia) and it makes the viewers want for more. The film has a great beginning. Lucas (Christopher Backus) and Doug (Patrick J. Adams) at are stuck in a terrible situation, with Doug holding a gun to his best friend’s face. But no information is given as the reason why they conflict with one another, and gradually, through a brilliant fast-cut editing accompanied by a great song, the film shows (or better to say implies) that Doug is murdered.
After the credits and the fast-paced editing, we are finally introduced to the main characters properly, and we understand Lucas’ predicament: Certain mob bosses believe that Lucas has had a hand in stealing $500,000 and they’re after him, and although he doesn’t remember much and only has a partial photograph to help him identify those involved in what has happened, but he has to try to clear his name before it’s too late (and we have already seen that it becomes too late). We understand all of this through the conversation between Lucas and Doug at the tire shop. It’s extraordinary to see how the director uses such a closed space to hint at the characters being confined to a situation from which there is no escape.
Christopher Backus and Patrick J. Adams are great actors who play their characters with such a force that we believe everything they do or say, and there is a dynamic power between them (and, by extension, between the other characters) that bring the audience to the heart of the story. This can be seen as the perfect example of working with actors in a short film. Patrick J. Adams is probably a familiar face now as he starred in the critically acclaimed television show ‘Suits’, and he is just as good here.
As a film filled with visual creativity, cinematography in Three Days Gone is one of its strong points. The frames seem to be carefully selected in a way that not only they’re aesthetically pleasing, but also contribute to the story as they show us what we need to see. This is highlighted more in the scenes shot within closed locations where the camera movements prevent the scenes from becoming boring. Similarly, it is the editing done on each frame and shot and makes them stand out.
Three Days Gone is a film that follows certain genre features but, at the same time, defies them and sets in its own path. Through a story of an amnesiac character who has to clear his name, the film carries the viewers through a rollercoaster ride of suspense and action and becomes a beautifully compressed action film that shows how crime films can be shot and made in a short format. Scott McCullough has shown that he’s an exceptional filmmaker. He can make a film that drags the audience into a new world, a bleak world filled with tired, beaten-down characters who are stuck in a meaningless circle, and he narrates a thrilling story that keeps you on your feet. McCullough is a filmmaker with a future to look forward to, as he has shown what he can do in this limited format and hints that he will be even more successful with his upcoming feature film (titled ‘The Mission).
The exhilarating and fast-paced crime drama that is 'Three Days Gone'
- JCG, Indie Film Critics review
Suspenseful, thrilling and equally intriguing, Three Days Gone is not your usual run-of-the-mill film. It combines a spectacular plot with the directing expertise of Scott McCullough to deliver a powerfully evocative director’s cut that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the 20-minute length of the film.
Three Days Gone is set in a neighborhood where runaway crime and powerful criminal gangs have taken hold of the area and permeated even the local police department. These are the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Lucas Snow’s life, played by a brooding and charismatic Christopher Backus, who has been framed for several murders in the city and is currently being sought by police. Backus' close friend Patrick J. Adams (best known from Suits) delivers a superbly nuanced performance as Doug Cross. Together they strive to evade the police while trying to uncover the events that happened during the three days that Lucas cannot remember.
In a series of neurotic, rapid-fire edits and great production choices, McCullough expertly delivers the plotline in morsels and crumbs, leaving the viewer to pick up after him and piece together the complex web of murder, violence and betrayal in the film. McCullough delivers the story through flashbacks and flashes of events that offer clues about what happened without painting a clear picture of the specific events that transpired. The film plot unravels slowly and just when you are close to the resolution of the film’s conflict, another plot twist is introduced, leaving the audience in suspense, thirsting for more.
Three Days Gone will take you on a thrilling ride that you may have to take twice to piece together the twists and turns of the film.
Select Short Film Reviews
“An insider’s view of the audition process, Scott McCullough’s ‘Audition’ is both funny and frightening in its depiction of the hoops actors are made to jump through on their way to the big time. Kudos to former soap villainess Roberta Weiss ("Santa Barbara") for channeling showbiz outrage into a fearless tour-de-force performance!” - Michael Ausiello, TV Guide
‘Audition’ is so biting, it’s a wonder it doesn’t draw blood! Scott McCullough’s short is a merry- go-round of sharp observations and out-there humor. If there’s any justice in the world, his top- flight cast - led by soap grads Roberta Weiss and Zoe Kelli Simon -- will never have to audition for a part again.” - Shawn McClellan, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans
“In under 15 minutes, ‘Audition’ will give any aspiring actor second thoughts about his or her chosen profession. Fast, funny, and scarily believable, director Scott McCullough’s short is a roller coaster of emotion, caught on film. See it but be sure to hang onto your seat when you do -- it’s a wild ride!” - Marla Cukor, In Touch Magazine
“Very funny. I thought it was great. It has such a nice, sharp sense of humor to it. One of the first times I've seen an advertising subject piece that wasn't so internally focused the outside world wouldn't get it.”
- Mike Bednar, Creative Director/Cramer-Kresselt Advertising
“I loved this film and still find it hard to believe it caught my undivided attention from the first scene through the last second which leaves me wondering what's next. The cast was great, and jam packed these 12 minutes with hours of pleasure.” - Star Mag
“I really enjoyed this film. The story was great. This film opens the mind for reality in our corrupted police force. It makes you think about things that most prefer to ignore. The cast was perfectly constructed, and they blended well together. The shooting and locations were excellent. The director pulled a cast and crew together to make this a successful film. My compliments to Scott McCullough.” - MissRainey
“There's a lot of films on this site that doesn't know how to tell a story, or usually doesn't have a story at all (this one does) and it tells it well. Good pacing, tight editing, and some decent camerawork. Nice settings as well. Usually I loathe narrations/voice overs because the actors usually stink, but Detective Harry's narration worked fine, despite some occasional cornball dialogue, "His face kept turning up...like a bad pickle." Some of the acting was corny too, but most of the cast came off fine. Especially liked the opening and the introduction to the captain, which was amusing. good job!” - Digital Wax
“Compelling! I really enjoyed this film. I especially enjoyed the brilliant performances. Both actors were compelling and human. This film really made me think!” – Bullyboy/YouTube
“Excellent cinematography and camera work. Nice casting, especially the actor, Kevin Spirtas. The scoring was also very good. The weak point is the script. What the characters wanted from each other was not clear, so much of the dialogue and pacing did not work. This would be a good area to build upon should the team go further with this piece.” – Thinman/YouTube
“Definitely a captivating little drama. I was drawn in and forgot that I was watching something and that is the sign of a good film. Good script, good acting, excellent cinematography!” – Bargo Magazine
“Acting was right on the mark especially the performance by Kevin Spirtas. He really made this movie work. J.C. Brandy did a good job of making me dislike her greatly. The cinematography was a pleasure to watch, and the script punched and twisted in all the right places. Give me more. I loved it. I guess that last one was really a compliment.” - Wendy Berg
“I loved this film! I have often considered it and reflected on message of God being around in ways not always evident. I'd love to see this in full length to learn more about both Dwight (wow) and Roseanne, I bet they're more interesting the more we know.” - Patty Elvey