On Hold: A Delightful Short Musical Film

Directed by Jake Nielsen and written by Jake Nielsen and Matthew Predny, On Hold is an inspiring yet relatable short musical film about having the courage to follow your dreams.

We are introduced to wonderfully unique character Gabby Stencil, a Viscorp worker who wants to quit her job in order to pursue her dream of becoming a composer but quitting her job could come at a price, especially when she has to pay next weeks rent. Doing a film in the form of a short musical is a clever idea as it helps the audience to join in and sing along, whilst sending out an important message that will stay with them for the rest of their life.

Madeleine Jones is brilliant as Gabby, she perfectly portrays the emotions of frustration, confusion, and irritation as she decides between staying at a job she loathes or following her dreams. You empathise with her, especially when she experiences some level of discouragement from her fellow colleagues who tell her it is too late for her to follow her dreams, that she is ‘too old’. 

Visually, the film has dazzling cinematography. The panning shots of the Viscorp office helps to draw your attention to the innovative colour palette the office has, which adds a quirky personality, not only to the office but the colleagues too. The perfect use of close up shots helps you to read the resentment and dissatisfaction displayed on Gabby and her colleague’s faces.

The music is impeccable; the sound of the piano keys playing at the beginning and throughout reminds you that you are in for a musical treat and the harmonizing voices of all of the colleagues singing together adds a magical quality to the film. The music helps you to go on a journey; the low subtle, slow music reflects the moments where Gabby doubts herself and the upbeat uplifting music reflects the joy she feels when she thinks about her dream.

On Hold is truly a thought-provoking film with the ultimate themes of encouragement, believing in yourself and staying true to what makes you happy. It makes you think whether you are living your life in the best way or whether you are just existing. It speaks to an audience of any age, it doesn’t matter what age you are, following your dreams is incredibly important and On Hold reminds you of that.  It is no surprise that this film won an Oscar-qualifying film festival. Film and Television Business is looking forward to seeing Jake Nielsen’s upcoming projects and we really do hope that this film gets nominated for an Oscar as On Hold speaks volumes.


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