In his second short, and second time up to bat as writer, producer and acting in his own creation, Christopher T. Wood strikes once again but not out, hitting another homer with his spot on comedic story telling and performance. Previously Wood starring in the short, award winning, film Time to Kill (2014).
His first foray into the short film arena had Wood as hitman with too much time on his hands, a look at what might really happen in those killer for hire scenarios. This time, it is accountant Kevin, that Christopher portrays. A single man who wearies of blind dates who all fall in love with his perfect skin coloring.
Kevin wants a woman who has done something with her life, has a meaningful job and travelled outside the Los Angeles city limits. Most importantly, he does not want to be “Her First Black Guy.” Directed by Sam Auster (The Return of Joe Rich) and set in what looks to be Los Angeles’ Formosa Cafe, or a reasonable facsimile, this short film is as funny as Wood’s first offering but for different reasons.
This is a tour-de-force on the actor’s part in reacting to the ever increasing build up going on around him. The same can be said of Caroline Fogarty (Waitress, As High as the Sky) as the blind date Claire. This performer kills it with an incredible delivery that is funny, awkward, and compelling, she gives Wood plenty of input for his mounting confusion to feed off of.
Her First Black Guy is a definite case of a “be careful what you wish for” cautionary tale. The punchline, that his character is actually not as “lofty” as his requirements for a date, works brilliantly. Claire’s reaction to his less than impressive resume is ironic to say the least. Clearly both people are looking for something different, although Kevin is unsure of just how to react.
The gag is a variation on the old comedy routine where someone keeps getting increasingly bad news, but in this instance, the “bad news” is only bad because this blind date of Kevin’s is akin to “Superwoman.” Kevin is stunned by each reveal of the woman who took the bus to Formosa for their date.
Equally funny is the fact that this blind date is not the only one bowled over by his “perfect skin tone.” Each person she knows in the club remarks upon this asset, much to Kevin’s discomfort and chagrin. All the cast deliver in this comic look at blind dates and the real (or unreal) expectations and fears of the participants.
The cast also includes: Chris Williams, James Black, John Eric Bentley and Matt Riedy who gets the closing gag at the end of the film. Cinematographer Kris Denton delivers in terms of framing and lighting on a set consisting of a darkened bar area which would defeat many. The film looks crisp and tight thanks to this veteran’s efforts.
Her First Black Guy opens the Austin Film Festival, October 29, at 7 p.m. and will premiere at the Rollins theatre. For more information and a chance to sign up for the event follow the link here.
This is another cracking short film from Christopher who proves that his humor in Time to Kill was not a one off. Keep an eye out for this festival film and be prepared to laugh as Wood strikes again. A 5 out of 5 stars for comic delivery and exquisite timing.