The first thing I noticed about Maverick "Baby T" Turner's new short film One Love is that it doesn't play out in an amateurish fashion. His experience behind and in front of the camera over the years with making music videos has served him well; he frames shots competently and seems to coax solid performances from his actors. This is pretty high praise for a low budget short film, since many of them come off as looking and feeling like someone got a video camera for their birthday and ran around ad-libbing a bunch of nearly unrelated scenes.
As stated before, that is NOT the case here. Working from a fairly strong script, Turner is able to build a nice story and develops the main characters pretty well. We get a really good sense of the main character Corey early on, as played by the excellent Jarren Martin. Martin is simultaneously likable and self-assured, but displays a vulnerability that is needed for this type of film (romantic drama with a witty edge).
The other actors are all pretty good. Turner himself plays a jittery, dangerous fella named Ray that is integral to the storyline, and reminded me of some real people that I have known. Telicia Patrick also stands out as Erika, allowing the audience to empathize and understand her with an ease. She's sweet and also likable. In another rarity, all of the actors in the short are pretty good. They can actually act.
The film is really powered by a good, well placed soundtrack. Turner places the music in the perfect places for the most part, particularly when highlighting the two young lovers as they're falling in love. It helps to set a good pace for the entire run of the film. The songs don't interrupt the flow; rather they help to further the emotional impact that Turner attempts to achieve. Turner manages to avoid the pitfalls of using songs in a short film: it doesn't come off like an extended music video. That's important.
For me, the film falters just a little with the perhaps inevitable ending, but it's only a minor complaint, and may very well be based on my own subjectivity rather than any fault of the filmmakers. However, in the film's defense, it walks a tightrope between building the status of a relationship and the harsh reality of the criminal elements in the city that they live in. Ultimately, it's another thing about this short that does work really well.
Overall, this is an exciting and interesting debut short from a very ambitious writer/director, and everything about the movie suggests he is an up and coming filmmaker to keep an eye on. Check out One Love for yourself at http://www.onelovetheshortfilm.com and see what a great low budget short film looks like.