A story worth sticking with to the end

by Martin Hafer

Actor-director, Eric Etebari’s low-budget Snapshot, is a film with a few nice surprises up its sleeve. Despite having a meagre budget, it does feature a few solid supporting actors, such as Robert Loggia and Joyce DeWitt. It also has a plot that seems odd and inconsequential, but if you stick with the film to the end, it will reveal itself and offer an amazing twist. So, on balance, it’s worth seeing despite its flaws.

The story is about a down-and-out photographer, Thomas (Zach McGowan). Thomas has some issues with his father (Loggia), he’s struggling to get his life together, and is living in someone’s basement. He also has a bratty daughter from a previous relationship — and she’s a bit of a mess. All in all, his life prospects look awful, and by all accounts he’s a bit of a loser. However, his big break comes when he happens to be in the right place at the right time, armed with his camera. What sort of photo does he get?

Directed by
Eric Etebari
Angela Little, Zach McGowan, Angela Gots
Release Date
1 June 2015
Martin’s Grade: C+

Well, let’s just say that the First Lady forgot to wear underwear that day…and the photo could be very embarrassing if it gets published. Soon, huge offers start pouring in and Thomas is torn. After all, it sure would help him out of his financial mess, but it would also be a real jerky move. While the notion of folks threatening Thomas over the photo didn’t make much sense when it was introduced, just sit tight — it does finally make sense. That is fortunate because I sure was confused and thought it was just a case of questionable writing … which thankfully it wasn’t.

Despite some nice acting and a story that kept my interest, the film is clearly far from perfect. There are a few dangling plot elements that seem to have been forgotten (such as the trashy daughter’s even trashier boyfriend), and some of the acting and writing are a tad suspect (the over-the-top gay guy was about as subtle as a stripper showing up at a Baptist barbecue). But I can look past these shortcomings. After all, these are folk who are relatively new to their craft in many cases, and I look at the film as a training ground. There’s enough promise to make me want to see more of their work in the future.

Snapshot is an easy film to recommend.