You’ve heard me say it before multiple times, and here I am saying it again; I absolutely love the art behind making a movie. Well, not just the making of a movie… I specifically love the story behind the film. If there is one thing that I especially admire, it is the films that will pick me up and shake me with a great twist or a suspenseful plotline. I’ve always been drawn to the thriller/drama genre. Perhaps you could say there is something behind the presence and emotions that the actors bring to the table and the character portrayal. It instantly draws me in. A film in particular that did all of these things, is Rich Phelps’ short film One Way or Another.
For Director/Writer Rich Phelps, film has become an incredibly important part of his life – especially when it comes down to capturing that perfect relationship amongst characters; in addition to an excellent character build. An Indiana native, Rich fell in love with the art of film at a young age and after moving to Seattle, he immersed himself in a remarkable career as a professional editor. One Way or Another is based on true events from a story that Rich’s father, a war veteran, would tell to Rich growing up. When Rich’s father, passed away – Rich took those stories (this story in particular) and turned it into a highly enjoyable cinematic masterpiece.
I have to believe that it is the writer in me that falls in love with the idea that a writer/director can tell such an amazing story in a such short time. To capture the attention of the viewer and draw them into the story in just a short 15 minute film, is a rare talent that few people possess – and Rich Phelps is absolutely one of those people. In all my years of attending festivals and viewing film shorts online, One Way or Another has easily become my all-time favorite.
In 13 minutes, Rich Phelps has crafted a road thriller, constantly building with tension and suspense. Not only is it written to reel in those who watch it, the visuals in the film are cut-throat and incredible. It is a masterfully layered thriller where the intricate details of each scene continue to build a remarkable story arc and maintain an empowering narrative. It is definitely a film to get you thinking, and wondering what is going to come next.
One Way or Another is the story of three men who find themselves together late at night in a tiny bar on a desolate highway. Two of the men, locals, and the third a stranger passing through. One of the locals, named Rook (Ray Hopper), who is known for his bad temper, states he doesn’t like the new guy in town and tries to get his friend to help him beat up and rob the traveler. When his friend (Nick Palmieri) doesn’t agree to help, tensions begin to fly…which leads to more trouble than anyone was prepared for. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, or spoil an incredible ending, but trust me when I say that it will leave you shocked and craving yet another Rich Phelps project.
This short proves that Phelps is a visually thoughtful, creative and imaginative director with an undeniable talent for bringing about strong visuals and symbolisms. I cannot stress enough how remarkable this short is.
Although One Way or Another is a short film, it is the kind of film that will linger in your heart and mind. The true story behind the dialogue and visuals are far more meaningful than almost any other stories out there. Just know, that this will be a film that not only will you want to watch over and over again… you’ll still be thinking about it days after you’ve seen the film and realize that it continues to envelope you with awe and wonder.
Rich Phelps pulls no punches, and those who embrace his incredibly artistic and skilled vision will be in for quite a ride. The cast is uniformly strong, and the dark tone with just a perfect dab of humor that is carried through the entirety of the film is one that will leave a lasting impression on viewers for sure
One Way or Another has already proven to be quite successful on the film fest circuit with appearances at the 2018 River’s Edge International Film Festival in Kentucky as well as the Hollyshorts Film Festival in Hollywood. Recently, One Way Or Another was featured in the 2019 Destiny City Film Festival in Seattle, Washington.
If you are interested in checking out the film, you can check it out below:
On a quiet night in a roadside bar, egos and alcohol ignite – sending two friends on a path toward a violent showdown that could forever change both of their lives.