Swim Zack Swim(2002)A few weeks ago, I reviewed a film by Sterling Productions called Emmett. My impressions of it were not too positive due to some failures in editing and shortcomings of directing, but the young cast was enthusiastic enough (and Matthew Rappolt gave the impression of a boy with huge acting potential), all of  which convinced me to watch and review another of that studio’s productions.  In the meantime, the website of Sterling Productions was renewed – which gave me hope that the studio will keep producing films. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect” which has given me high expectations for future productions from the studio.

Swim Zack Swim is a 26-minute short film written, produced and directed by Sterling Johnston.  In the film, the viewer is introduced to the young Zackary Thompson (Evan Phillips) who becomes interested in swimming after talking with his best friend, Christopher (Robert Mc, who used to be on the local swim team of Toronto. The nearest pool is 15 kilometers (a little more than 9 miles) away.  But that doesn’t stop the two friends’ determination to break their daily routine and spend the day hanging out by the pool.

Once there, Zack observes his friend’s excellent technique and decides that he wants to learn how to swim that well too. He has to overcome several obstacles and the distance to the pool is only one of them. His father insists that they camnot afford the swimming lessons that Zack needs, because every single cent is to be saved for his further education. Yet, Zack doesn’t give up and secretly finds a job as a helper in a local store, which allows him to pay for swimming lessons.

One of the funniest scenes in the film results when Zack decides to use some of the earnings from his job to get himself a real swimming suit. I was on my town’s swim team for several years and still find it ridiculous to see people swimming in shorts. One could hardly walk in them, let alone be on a swim team or even just have fun at the beach  (but the fashion now dictates that shorts are cooler – for whatever reason).

The story of the film is simple, yet fun to watch.  The camera work is definitely better than that in Emmet, especially when it comes to the underwater scenes (especially the great opening scene). The musical score, by KYN, also enhanced the overall mood of the film and makes it more enjoyable to watch. Don’t raise your expectations too high, yet if you are up for a  short refreshing story, Swim Zack Swim is your film.

Film`s official web page

PS. Despite the fact that theskykid.com does not have any affiliation with the production company I would like to finish this review with a quote of their mission as published on their web site :

Sterling Productions is a not for profit production house dedicated to helping local youth fulfill their dreams and goals of starting a professional acting career.


  1. The short film “Swim Zack Swim” sounds like an interesting film about young people´s enthusiasm, so often miscouraged by their parents or other adults who only see the obstacles. Of course, when you grow older, you often get more realistic but too often that is shown merely as pessimism. Young people also are the ones who are the easiest learners; compare for example how much more difficult it is to learn a new language as an adult than if you´re really young. The same goes for most of things, both academic subjects and sports. In for example ballet dancing, you get retired after your 30th birthday in many dance companies. Therefore I think, according to the interesting review, this would be a very encouraging film for new talents (depending of course of how it ends)!



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