Here at The Indiependent, we are always aiming to support independent and up-and-coming artists, and the first short film from Kennedy Space Club; entitled Sandals, is to put it simply, cool as hell. It’s safe to say this bunch of young creatives have their heads firmly screwed on, and Sandals exhibits a unique way of making a documentary.
Slick and Stylish
What instantly struck me about Sandals was just how effortlessly cool it was. The individual vibes in every scene seamlessly flowed together despite the narrative changing so frequently. Lighting was a key element in this, with the basic lighting capturing the lads talking in the rawest form, the bright lights of the photo shoots bringing the models to the forefront and the most impressive was the red/green lighting in the bedroom scene, casting shadows over the characters and leaving much to the viewer’s imagination. Secondly, it was the soundtrack that accompanied each scene perfectly that furthered how impressive this documentary is. The use of independent artists’ songs to soundtrack the film was an inspired choice and the mixture between trip-hop and rap sets the tone for the vibes of the documentary and really helps it flow and switch up the respective tone of each scene. Finally, my personal favourite part about the whole thing had to be the clothes. Kennedy Space Club have made their own brand of clothing which is mentioned in the documentary and what these clothes represent isn’t simply a money-making scheme, but an effort to recognise collaborative creatives and in wearing their t-shirts or hats (which are absolutely fantastic btw), you feel part of something as opposed to sheep just following what everyone else does. The stylistic elements of Sandals are mind blowing, they help to tie each scene together and it gives everything that unique edge in terms of style without taking anything away from the substance.
Despite the technical elements far exceeding expectations of a group’s first film, the ability to regain a raw, unadulterated feeling around something so impressive is brilliant. Sometimes the narrative felt a tiny bit messy and unorganised, but that can always be par for the course on such an ambitious project for first-time filmmakers, however, this does not for a second take anything away from the film itself. The documentary feels almost unapologetic as if these guys just made the film they wanted to make without worrying about criticism, which is truly admirable and is the key element in retaining that raw, original style. Capturing people just in basic conversation feels almost ‘behind-the-scenes’, and makes it easier to connect with exactly what Kennedy Space Club is, a great group of creatives who just happen to be very good friends, which allows the viewer to easily understand them and what they are about. There’s nothing pretentious about the structure of the documentary and it eases its way between each scene, and though at one or two points it might appear confusing, actually it’s exactly how it should be.
Despite the potential for sloppiness, this first-time short film from Kennedy Space Club is a resounding success. Sandals exceed expectations in terms of its style, with the lighting, soundtrack and fashion all absolutely on-point and exciting, and the raw feel of the narrative of the documentary allows the viewer to understand these guys without explicit details, which always leaves a lasting impact. A very impressive debut and undoubtedly if they can build on the success of Sandals, then Kennedy Space Club are certainly ones to watch.
Words by Elliott Jones