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Played by Record

An experimental short that delves into angst and hinderance.


Written and directed by Danny Rio, ‘Played by Record’ is an experimental comedy film that delves into one man’s angst whilst attempting to play an LP vinyl record. John Williams stars as the central protagonist, who’s infuriation escalates during the course of the narrative. Produced in black and white, with no verbal character dialogue, the film utilizes on-screen-text to convey conversations. Despite being billed as a comedy, the film largely omits implied humor – instead focusing on character tribulations.

The 11-minute film opens with an introduction Williams’ character, a businessman-like figure with a trilby-style hat. After unlocking his briefcase to reveal an un-sleeved record, he sets about playing the record on the player – with unfortunate complications. The narrative also explores the backstory of how he retrieved the vinyl in the first place. The overall plot is weakened by the lengthy runtime – which feels a tad long-winded that might just thwart viewer engagement.

Danny Rio doesn’t quit succeed in living up to the expectation of the genre. The unamusing storyline can be tedious viewing at times – drawn-out by the continuous character hindrance that would benefit from witty dialogue or rib-tickling action. The low budget production value is of a reasonable experimental standard, albeit slightly shattered by its unnecessary jukebox soundtrack. John Williams’ portrayal fails to captivate from the offset – which is perhaps due to the mundane narrative and muddled post-production. A forgettable watch.

Played by Record Short Film


Runtime: 11 min

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