Sitting outside on a summer day can be one of the nicest, most relaxing ways to spend and afternoon. The sun shines on your face, the breeze cools your brow, and the birdsong lulls you to complacency. But what about the bugs? In Timothy Ryan Driscoll’s short, The Itch, one man finds out just what a mistake it can be to skip the bug spray.
The Itch was written, produced and directed by Driscoll (The Lengths 2014) and stars David McMahon (American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon 2017) and newcomer Laura Livingstone. The music for the film was composed by Fabien Garosi (Malaterra TV series) and Jillian Lauren (The Lengths 2014) edited. Replica special effects artists Brad Shier (Cirque du Mors 2016) and Hillary Warren (Star Trek Continues 2017) combined their talents to create the tiny bug bite gone completely wrong.
The short is about a couple sitting outside on a summer day when one of them (McMahon) insists he doesn’t need the other’s (Livingstone) offer of bug spray. He gets bitten by a mosquito and he just can’t stop itching.
I was highly impressed with the special effects in The Itch. From the eraser-sized mosquito bite to the result of all of that itching and everything in between, the effects were spot on. The blood under the man’s fingernails was a nice touch, too. I am now a big fan of Brad Shier and Hillary Warren’s work, and I’m anxious to see what else they can do. Also, the expressions on David McMahon’s face as he was trying to relieve that itch… I was twisting and twitching in my chair just imagining the intense crawly, prickling insanity that mosquito bites can make. Last but not least, Fabien Garosi’s score over the dancing mosquito larvae was ingenious. Who would have though that swimming maggots could be so beautiful?
What Doesn’t Work
It’s not so much that it doesn’t work as the fact that the story is one note. There was no background or room for the actors to explore or grow. But all in all, these are small complaints.
I could relate to The Itch on so many levels. Everyone has had an itch that just won’t go away and didn’t stop scratching, even after they saw blood. Hopefully they’ve got some hydrocortisone in their back pockets so they don’t have to worry about ending up like the poor guy in this short.