We shot a short short film yesterday morning — remind me never again in one day to attempt to shoot a short, edit it, then watch the Superbowl, then finish the edit — and got it all polished up today. It came out pretty well, and was a blast to do. It’s been ages since I’ve done a small film, shooting for no reason other than the fun of it. And this was actually even a bit above that as it was super simple narratively, but we did rent a bunch of equipment (7D! doorway dolly!) from rental places in Manhattan to make it look really good. And I think it does. Maxine did a stellar job with the camera work, and Vince was so solid in the main role.
The reason I felt we had to get it done yesterday was that there was a deadline for a 2-minute film submission today. We got it all done, I burned the DVD and then rode a bike over to 3rd Ward to drop it off. Sunday is the 4th anniversary of Moviehouse, a kind of film art collective screening night (or something) and they had an open submission for 2-minute films to potentially show at their event. I didn’t really read too much about it, just saw the open submission, knew I had been desperate to make something fun, and put the plan in motion. At one point I said to Vince, and realized it was true, that with this kind of project, “a deadline is almost as good as getting paid.” And it really is true. Having a deadline helps so much, gives you that push.
There were a lot of factors contributing to the fact that I hadn’t made a fun film in a long time: moving to New York meant kind of a social reset and it took some time to find like-minded folks, Maxine and I have been pretty swamped trying to take Hitman to the next level, and working on Musicwood at the same time, and — and this one was a tougher realization — it’s been secretly hard for me to get into the swing of things because this was something that Mike and I always did together, and with him gone, it’s kind of a tough reminder. It’s been 6 years (really, 6 years?) and it’s definitely dialed down a bit, but it’s still tough. Last Wednesday, Mike’s birthday, I finally got around to digitizing all the films we made in the 90’s (those VHS’s are getting close to crumbling) and I’m in the process of getting them up on vimeo. I’ll post the link when they’re up.
There’s an even weirder thing, which is that I have this raw footage for a film Mike and I shot in 2001 or 2002, and have since lost the finished piece. You have to understand, we were making little films whenever we could, although, since neither of us had a camera or any kind of editing equipment, we had to find people to borrow it from all the time. So at one point we decided we were going to apply to be a team on ABC’s Amazing Race. We made up this whole narrative for our team, where Mike and I had been best friends but then he stole a girl I was really into and we hated each other, but then they broke up so now we’re trying to patch our friendship back together. You know, the kind of stuff that reality tv eats up with a spoon.
For the application you also had to send in a video of the team, so they could see how you did on camera. And for some reason, we thought it would be best for us to make this completely bizarre video where Mike was this shirtless guy living in an old abandoned shopping center in Annapolis (Parole, now a crazy mall/America place), and I was his friend who used to live there but somehow got out. He phoned me, and I was imploring him to leave the crazy shopping center, and finally he does, extolling the fact that “there’s a whole world out there!!” The implication being that Amazing Race would allow him (and us) to experience that world. It was totally bonkers. I was working as an editor for TLC at the time, so we cut it on the AVID I had access to, and recorded it out to VHS.
And sent it in, and I think I saved the project for ages, and then somehow it vanished. No trace of the finished film has ever turned up, but I have the raw footage on a miniDV. I know at some point I’ll try to re-create it — although it won’t be 100% because I know there was music of some kind, and I had MIke do some voice over for it — but right now, I’m too too busy to think about it…
At some point though, it’ll be a blast.
Oh, and no shock, we didn’t get into the Amazing Race, although I remember Lee K was really digging the film.
And then hey, Thursday I got an email that said Moviehouse is going to screen it Sunday Feb13th as part of the mini festival we submitted it for! Amazing! Stop by 3rd Ward if you’ll be in the area, it should be fun…looks like about 10 films, so it’ll be great to see our film projected large, and with an audience…I will report how it goes…