Written and directed by Travis White, story by Disha L. Dinesha, a woman leaves her holiday work party late to discover the security cameras are still broken. Starring: Lee Eddy, Lukas King, Anna Schatte, J. Alan Nelson, Anthony Riquelmy and Monie Lee Perez.
The intention of this video is very clear from the beginning, it’s an issue that may not even occur to many men, how women have to have a certain mindset when approaching situations, being keenly aware of their surroundings and their safety. It’s been touched upon in a lot of films but unfortunately the great majority of them just use it as a victim’s story but there’s an unlimited number of situations that women have to be extra alert in, for instance: running at night, walking home alone and as with this story, being in a dark parking lot with no CCTV cameras. It’s something that’s taught to most women at a young age, because of the startling number who have been attacked by strangers in vulnerable moments, it’s passed on from one generation to the next and while the introduction of technology does give a little bit more safety, it doesn’t take away the risk. It’s an important issue, that’s not really discussed but is also a responsibility that falls on local governments and businesses to ensure safe lighting and security which isn’t always fulfilled, even though it’s something skewed towards one gender, it’s still a universal desire to be able to feel safe in your surroundings.
One of the other issues it touches upon which is perhaps even more relevant, is women being able to report their colleagues when they witness or are victim to sexual harassment and being able to do so without then being put into danger when that colleague is made aware of the complaint. Unfortunately, it’s quite a common story of a woman reporting someone for harassment or assault and having to then continue to work with that person and then being subjected to threatening behaviour. The film points out the lack of follow through or discipline that many companies have towards these types of complaints and that a more severe punishment is often needed but not received. Overall, the writing well encompasses these issues, especially considering it takes place within 4-minutes, it has a great way of getting them across quickly and effectively. The writing also works well with its story progression, it’s brash, frustrated, forthright, with a touch of irony and has a few surprises in store. Although it could have been potentially been made clearer that the majority of the short takes place on the same day, it feels more like snippets of different days. Eddy’s performance captures those fears, frustrations and disappointments well, she has a very confident, angry cadence to her voice which amplifies the issues and one particular quick look to camera adds a really great, sharp moment to the film.
The direction is well done, the atmosphere it creates strongly reflects the frustrations and fears of its story, it’s blunt and even could be considered aggressive. Its tendency to use a lot of close ups and handheld adds a nice suspense to it, then bringing in the wider shots to express vulnerability and threat. It has a sharp, sleek sort of style to it but it’s quite a stark change to something overly simple when it reaches its big finale, although in terms of writing it provides a great ending, the direction and cinematography feel at odds with the rest of the film which is unfortunate. The lead performance struggles with this moment also, it’s a little bit too emotive and makes it more uncomfortable than it needs to be; if they’d gone more for discomfort in a violent sense it might have been effective but as it stands it feels kind of messy and overly long, a harsher edit might have sent the same message but in a cleaner, starker way to add extra punch to it’s great final line.
Why Haven’t They Fixed the Cameras Yet? is a clever concept to deal with the issues of safety and harassment in such a short amount of time, it’s effective and extremely relevant. It’s well written and directed to capture the emotions that go along with its subject, Eddy’s performance clearly translates the deep frustrations. Its final moment is one that while well written, is slightly over acted and drawn out, it will work for some but to others may seem messy compared to the sharper style it had used to that point. Overall, despite a slight stumble, it’s a well-made film that impressively gets to the heart of its subject within seconds.