Black Button

By: DarkHeartProductions

'The Box' is NOT a rip off of 'Black Button', nor vice versa. More details below.

-YouTube Awards 2007 - Top Six Finalist, Best Short Film
-WINNER: Fitzroy Short Film Festival (Melb, Aus)
-WINNER: DearCinemaFest Short Film Festival (Int.)
and more...

Mr Roberts finds himself awoken inexplicably in a white room. A man sits before him at a desk and in between them stands a black button. If Mr Roberts pushes it, he will receive a briefcase filled with millions of dollars. Or he can take the key to the door and leave penniless. The catch? Pushing the button will result in the death of a human being. What would you do?

EDIT 1: Some people have observed a similarity in the premise of this film and an revival episode of The Twilight Zone in 1986. Please note (1) We had never seen the episode and only learned of it long after we'd finished the film. (2) The Twilight Zone weren't the first to do it. There was a short story before that, which was in turn based on an old premise called the 'Faustian Bargain', around since the 16th century (deal with the 'devil'). An almost identical premise exists in several cultures. Richard Kelly is even making a film with this premise called 'The Box'. (3) Our film is similar in premise, but different in plot, characters, dialogue, aesthetics, setting, moral meaning, religious undertone, twist etc. Each version, including ours, aims to bring something new to an old idea. Please have the respect to not accuse us of plagiarism.

Additionally, we have no particular religious affiliation; this is a fictional work and its ideas are designed to encourage thought and debate, not comment on any particular theology.

Our first professional short film. We made it for $200 and shot it on the stage of our old school in Melbourne, Australia. Fortunately, professional actor Robert Grubb agreed to act in it for free after reading the script. This film took nearly a year to put together, working on it in stages and creating the 'white' effect on a home PC. Please note that the younger actor, unlike his father Robert Grubb, has no formal acting training whatsoever.

The Making of "Black Button" is now on YouTube.

Two of our other shorts have been released on YouTube, 'Campsite' and 'The Window'. Click on our profile if you'd like to see them and subscribe for updates on new films. Thanks!"

“God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. But will with the temptation also make a way to escape.”

This is how the Black Button starts and this is probably the best way to summarize it too. Black Button is about temptations and how one deals with them.

The script was really nice and dialogues were really powerful. You can tell by the use of the words that the writer had really put a thought to it. However, the acting did disappoint me a bit. It did not do justice to the level of writing. The older guy was good and gave nice expressions and his diction was faultless, but the younger guy (his son I am told) was way out of his depth. His acting was really poor. He should have watched Keanu Reeves in the Devil’s Advocate for pointers. Not once do you feel sorry for his character.

Overall the idea was excellent, the direction good but I do feel that the characters could have been a bit more expressive and tried a bit harder. 10 out of 10 for the idea, 6 for the execution.