Considering our job here at Slinky Productions is to create innovative and engaging video content you can imagine that our team members also enjoy to watch video in their own time.  We also love sharing and debating our top recommendations for what we’ve recently seen with one another.  Now every month we attempt to share those recommendations with you! This October Tom Perrigo our Camera Op/ Editor takes to the keyboard to convert you to his current favourites.  

Film

An absolutely brilliant film I watched recently (through the power of Netflix) is ‘Snowden’ (2016). This covers the fascinating story of CIA whistle blower Edward Snowden, who in 2013 went public about America’s spying and data mining using his position as intelligence analyst to steal and reveal thousands of state secrets.   The power of the filmmaking here is so intense, really drawing you in to support Snowden against the villainous US government.  Directed by Oliver Stone, who gave us the 90s thrillers ‘JFK’ and ‘Nixon’ it’s clear from the outset that this is a filmmaker happily returning to a subject he both feels at home with and revels in unravelling.

Though the directing is admirable, equal credit has to go to Joseph Gordon-Levitt who inhabits the Snowden persona admirably (looking very much like the real thing).  Often ‘real life’ stories can become bland, merely focused on fact-checking significant life moments, but this film manages to construct an intriguing narrative, exploring what Snowden’s actions ultimately cost him.  A subplot exploring Snowden’s relationship with his girlfriend (Shailene Woodley) adds another dimension both the film and to his character development.

This was a fantastic political thriller and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

TV Series

A TV show I recently completed, and now highly recommend is the Netflix created Ozark.  Without revealing too much of the plot this show follows the life of a money launderer for the Mexican Cartel, who rapidly gets out of his depth.  The danger comes from all angles for Marty Byrde and his family, facing FBI prosecution, local criminal rivalry and the brutality of his druglord employers.

Though many episodes throughout the season are noteworthy, it’s the final few that really repay your loyalty, settling into a dramatically shocking finale.  The two leads Jason Bateman (who also directs) and Laura Linney as husband and wife team are brilliant, their damaged (and damaging) relationship both believable and fascinating.  As we’ve come to expect from Netflix’s own shows the production value is immense, joining recent shows such as The Crown, House of Cards and Stranger Things in highlighting storytelling without skimping on budget.

Considering that my first two recommendations, and the third below, all come from Netflix I think it’s fair to say that I’m a big supporter of this online streaming site.  It’s estimated that 94 million people across the world possess a Netflix account, a number which continues to grow alongside their bulging back catalogue.  Netflix has an uncanny talent for looking ahead, understanding what viewers want and taking a chance on programs that mainstream channels often turn down.  Bizarrely the genre-defining Breaking Bad, though shown in America had no UK distributor until Netflix saw it’s growing audience and bought the rights.

Whilst their archive filled with fantastic film and television continues to expand, new additions available weekly, the most lauded section of their operation is the ‘Netflix Original’ tag.  Way ahead of the curve (and paving the way for many more) Netflix became the first streaming company to produce quality programs only available to stream with a Netflix subscription.  As previously mentioned this shows are notable not only for their originality and high production value, but for genuinely being great stories filled with brilliant actors.  Perhaps my greatest recommendation of all is to just get a Netflix account!

Documentary

As an editor, the videos that I enjoy working on the most are those that require a documentary style. ’13th’ by incredible director Ava DuVernay, is a harrowing look at the American justice system, prisons and the treatment of African Americans using the 13th amendment as a starting point.  This documentary had me gripped throughout, the access gained for archival footage even stretching to include prison CCTV to really delve into this contentious topic.  Perhaps my favourite part was the way this documentary was produced.  Often with non-fiction, especially when dealing with heavy subject matter, the content can often overshadow the production.  Limited budgets often mean that strictures are placed on the filmmakers, but in 13th every single interview is beautifully shot – it looks great.

Tom Perrigo has worked at Slinky Productions for two years as an experienced Editor/ Camera Op.

Find out more on our Meet the Team Page – or watch Tom’s Quick Fire Questions.

Tune in next month for our November Edition of ‘What We’ve Watched’ from Graphic Designer Ryan Cox.