Feltbeats.com was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Tom Felton’s latest short film, How I Didn’t Become a Piano Player to review.
How I Didn’t Become a Piano Player is a short film, written and directed by Tommaso Pitta at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). It is based on the short story by David Nicholls, “Every Good Boy”. Tom plays the Voice of Ted, who gives a frank and often quite hilarious retrospection of his time learning to play the piano.
The film opens on a football pitch. Two teams of children battle it out in a big group, when suddenly the ball is kicked towards a boy who is standing completely alone. The goal is open; it’s only him and the keeper, he brings the ball as close as he can, he shoots and- he misses. The final whistle is blown and his team has lost.
Say hello to Ted (Logan Shearer). Nine years old and “remarkable for being entirely without ability”. His brother and sister are gifted in their own ways, but he can do nothing well. He’s tried various sports and enterprises, but he is still searching for something, anything, to be good at.
Then his father brings home a piano, and it becomes obvious… music is clearly the answer.
The film follows Ted experimenting on the piano, and taking music lessons from Mrs Patricia Chin (Gabrielle Hamilton), who doles out the homework for months with little improvement, much to her exasperation. But Ted does not give up, and drives his family mad in the process.
“Sharps were flat. Flats were sharp. Chords were destroyed. A cat walking across the keyboard would have struck more correct notes… No, a dog! A sheepdog in boots!”
Ted is ever optimistic of having a breakthrough though, even after his mother and Mrs Chin both inquire as to whether he might like to give up, or at least practice less. His piano playing is painful, but also quite funny. The very out-of-tune piano adds a lot to the horrific noises that emanate from its strings.
This film is witty and charming, and still maintains a light-hearted feel even when the worst happens during the climax of the film.
I would certainly recommend this one for Felton Fans to watch, as it’s a lot of fun even in the short amount of time it takes to view. Hopefully you all get a chance to see it for yourselves very soon.
In the mean time, you can listen to David Nicholls read “Every Good Boy” over on The Guardian’s website, as it has a lot of the same lines as the film. The trailer for the short can be viewed on the NFTS website, and you can like their Facebook page. How I Didn’t Become a Piano Player was also recently screened at the LA Shorts Fest.