I didn’t know what to expect when producer Sky Crystal reached out to me with an advance screening copy of What I Knew He Could Be. All I knew was that it was a short film produced somewhere near Atlanta. I knew nothing about the plot, the writing, or the people involved.

That meant I wasn’t prepared for how thoughtful it would be.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that WIKHCB is absolutely worth the 17-minute run time. It’s a short story about forgiveness, change, and acceptance. Frankly, I was touched. And I don’t feel that in a lot of gritty short films.

Preston Taylor proves himself completely competent as a budding director. In particular, Devenaire leads a solid cast with a stellar performance as Damien. The film was also remarkably well shot. Props to Preston Taylor and David Belitz for putting together a short film with HBO-worthy lighting and framing. Everything comes together as a cohesive whole where nothing feels lagging.

WIKHCB should be released sometime at the end of this year depending on film festival coverage. Personally, I hope this gets circulated as much as possible. As a former film student, I’ve seen some pretty dismal short films made by budding creators, and this definitely doesn’t fit in that category. I’m excited to see what the WIKHCB crew does in the future.

Overall score: 8/10

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