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Film / High and Tight

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"This is my life! Let me do something good with it."
"You spend your whole life wondering why am I even here? Then one day you wake up and you know..."
Scott Olsen

High & Tight is a 2018 Irish Short Film produced by No WiFi Productions and directed by Bobby Calloway.

Set 20 Minutes into the Future, a war has broken out in Eastern Europe. Ireland has been known for neutrality ever since the 1940s, but guess what happens. Now hundreds of young men and women enlist every year. The film follows four soldiers in their final days before they head off to war.

  • Scott Olsen: An Irish-American immigrant who's also an orphan. He joins because he wants to "do something good" with his life. His older brother Shane is not happy.
  • Ryan Hayes: An English immigrant who was previously a goofball but wants to be taken seriously. His family don't think he can do it.
  • Vinnie Sikes: An Irish local who has always talked about doing something, but never actually done anything with his life until now - creating conflict with his girlfriend Becky.
  • Sara Harvey: An Irish woman who wants to join just because.

The film is book ended by Scott's younger brother Seth making a documentary about the whole situation. The trailer can be seen here, and a Q&A with the cast here.

The film was released here on August 10th 2018.


  • Action Girl: Sara is a soldier who has passed basic training at least.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Shane calls his brother 'Scotty'. Seth notably doesn't.
  • Alliterative Family: Each Olsen sibling has a name starting with S.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Ryan has very dark features, slightly tanned skin and green eyes. His actor Thomas Fitzgerald is Irish with some English and Italian roots.
  • Big Applesauce: The Olsen family are New Yorkers on the father's side. Shane still has a very obvious "noo yawk" accent.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shane of course for Scott - not wanting him to die.
  • Big Little Brother: Seth towers over Scott when they hug goodbye.
  • Binge Montage: The party evolves into one of these.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The four protagonists head off to war, with their fates uncertain. But Shane has accepted Scott's decision and seemingly Becky with Vinnie - so they will at least have the love of their friends and family.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Male example. There's Vinnie as a blond, Ryan as a brunet and Scott as light brown substituting redhead.
  • Blood Knight: Vinnie rather bluntly says "I just want to blow shit up" in his interview.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Shane definitely gets very angry when he finds out Scott wants to enlist.
  • Brutal Honesty: Sara's raison d'etre is to tell it like she sees it, without sugar coating things.
  • Call-Back: There's a photo of Shane on Scott's windowsill shown early on. Near the end Shane sees that Scott has taken it out of the frame, implying he's taking it with him to war.
  • Camera Fiend: Seth at the Halloween party.
  • Coming of Age Story: The late bloomer type, as Scott is in his twenties.
  • Confession Cam: Every character gets one in Seth's documentary.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: The parents not being around is implied to be part of Scott's motivation to enlist.
  • Death Seeker: Vinnie possibly. At least Becky worries that he might be one.
  • The Dutiful Son: Shane is keeping the family together and making sure everyone is supported.
  • Emotionless Girl: Seth is a male example, though he was meant to be a girl originally.
  • A Father to His Men: Scott seems like he's on his way to becoming this.
  • Faux Documentary: Seth is making one in-universe.
  • Five-Token Band: We have the Olsens as Americans, Vinnie and Sara are Irish, Ryan is Ambiguously Brown English and Becky is Venezuelan.
  • Foreshadowing: All the costumes the boys wear at Halloween are combat related - Scott is a Power Ranger, Vinnie is a Ninja Turtle, Ryan is a gladiator.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble:
    • Vinnie is The Cynic.
    • Scott is The Optimist.
    • Ryan is The Realist.
    • Sara is The Apathetic.
    • Meanwhile both Becky and Seth have elements of The Conflicted.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Sara only ever has scenes with Scott or Shane, and none with the other soldiers she's heading off with. This mostly because her actress couldn't be there on the same day.
  • The Glomp: Shane to Scott right before he leaves.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Sara is blunt and brutally honest but does care about her friends.
  • Halloween Cosplay:
  • Happier Home Movie: The film opens with Seth's recordings of a Halloween party - establishing the friendships.
  • The Heart: Essentially Scott's function in the family and the rest of the protagonists.
  • Heroism Motivation Speech: Scott's final interview is one of these, talking about how he wants to look ahead to what he's moving toward.
  • Hiding Behind Your Bangs: Seth wears his hair like this, showing his detachment from the others. Older photos show him wearing it off his face.
  • Hypocritical Humour: In the party scenes Ryan says "of course Vinnie's looking for more drink" and then is later seen passed out on the table.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: This is the motivation for all four of the soldier protagonists. Sara in particular.
  • I Will Wait for You: Becky initially breaks it off with Vinnie, saying she can't deal with it. But she returns to him right before he leaves, implying she will.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Scott pretty much collapses crying the evening before they're to head off.
  • Isn't It Ironic?: Becky leads the friends in singing "Stand By Me", considering she won't do so after all.
  • Jitter Cam: In some of the bits that Seth filmed himself.
  • Lady in Red: Becky notably has her red hood up over her head while Vinnie is flirting with her.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Ryan is a goofball in the party scenes, but has matured and buckled down by the end of the film.
  • Letting Her Hair Down:
    • Done the other way around with Becky. In the flashbacks and home movies her hair is down. When we see her arguing with Vinnie, it's worn partially up.
    • Played straight with Sara who wears it up for every scene except the ones where she shows vulnerability.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Despite what she's about to go through, Sara is relatively upbeat and accepting of her situation (Light Feminine). Becky is more conflicted and angsts about everything (Dark Feminine).
  • Lotus Position: Sara and Scott are in this position during their talk.
  • Manly Tears: Shane when he hugs Scott goodbye.
  • Maybe Ever After: The last we see of Becky, she and Vinnie look like they might be patching things up. But it's not confirmed.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Scott is sandwiched between Shane who "keeps the lights on", and Seth who is implied to be a Child Prodigy.
  • Morality Pet: Ryan for everyone else. He's seen comforting both Scott and Vinnie on the final night.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Sara functions as this to Scott. She's the only character he goes to for guidance.
  • Not So Stoic: Sara's confidence falters on the final evening before they go to war.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Bobby Calloway slips out of his American accent as he says "let me do something good with it".
    • Paul Sparkes likewise during his "Scotty's a good kid" speech.
    • Robert Madden whenever he has to say the word 'thought'.
    • Thomas Fitzgerald reverts to an Irish accent for "we're all here as well".
  • Plot Parallel: Becky's tension with Vinnie parallels Shane's with Scott. The latter gets a more direct resolution.
  • Promotion to Parent: Shane appears to be parenting Seth after the parents' death. He seems to want to parent Scott as well.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ryan judging by his reaction to Vinnie and Becky seemingly making things up.
  • Shout-Out: Scott has a Band of Brothers painting on his wall, and several prints can be seen in the background.
  • So Proud of You: Ryan reveals his father said this to him before they left.
  • Stepford Snarker: Vinnie's snarking hides his loneliness.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: It's suggested that Scott resents Shane's success at keeping the family together.
  • Team Mom: Sara hints that she's this.
    "Can't let those idiots go off on their own. They'd be lost without me."
  • Training Montage: One showing the protagonists getting into shape, with the "Get On Back Home" cadence playing in the background.
  • True Companions: Scott clearly cares about each of his friends, and the feeling is mutual.
  • Vague Age:
    • Sara is a bit older than the boys, seemingly knowing the family through Shane. But is clearly younger than him.
    • Shane too is implied to be somewhere from his late twenties to late thirties.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Seth is very aware of what's going on around him and more accepting of the situation than Shane.