105 Ways to Give a Book

The Film Is Up!

You Pay Your DuesTonight the husband and I see our movie, along with eleven others, on the big screen. You can see it in the comfort of your own home on the computer screen. Watch it. I’d love to hear some responses; positive would be better of course (“You people are like movie making gods!”), but oddly original comments are also fun (“I like the way the lead looks like a cross between Niles from Frasier and Sting.”).

Author and blogger Robin Brande wrote our screenplay — in about three hours. My husband directed, edited, and fretted for two solid days. My job description as producer was, according to Bill, “to make sure everything happens that needs to happen, and get lunch.”

I think we all did admirably. Hope you agree.

16 comments:

Little Willow said...

Congratulations! How I enjoy watching a good film during dinner. :) Break a leg! Rock the premiere. :)

Franki said...

Love the film. I am totally amazed at the whole 48 hour process. You guys must all be brilliant to do something like that in 2 days. Loved watching it. Enjoy the thrill of a great production:-)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I enjoyed the film very much. In particular, I appreciated the sound quality and the use of the soundtrack. Also, the film noir effect of the window-blind slats' shadows upon the faces was put to good use in a setting that mixed the modern with the 1940's era.

How was that?

MotherReader said...

Very specific, Alkelda. See, now I can add that we sent our composer certain scenes and he timed the music for maximum drama.

And the window-blind effect, well you've GOT to have that.

Michele said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele said...

(Let's try this again with Google deciding to open its browser window thereby causing a typo !)

Oh shucks ! I'd love to watch it, but given the size of the file, I'd be here all night trying to download it on my pathetically slow dial up connection...

Bah Humbug as Mr Scrooge once said !

jules said...

I WANNA SEE! I WANNA SEE! But I have to download something or other to watch it, and my tech support (el husbando) is not here. Wah.

Can't wait!

Kelly said...

I loved it, MR! Robin's script is hilarious (do any of you live with a homeowners' association?)

The lead actor is fabulous and the music and look just great.

You guys rock!! Kudos to your husband too.

HipWriterMama said...

Loved it. Did I imagine that the actress who played the private eye's assistant had a voice like Julie Andrews?

zee said...

What I liked best was your allusion to the movie Chinatown, but I am still trying to figure out that whole sister/sister-in-law thing. The acting was funny, especially when the lead almost messed up in the script. Very good picture quality. It would have been neat to add some graininess to the film to make it look older. Oh and the accent of the secretary was great.

Bill Coughlan said...

In addition to being a defnite "Chinatown" homage, the whole resolution was intended to be overly complicated and confusing -- as with many of the noir films of the 40s, the plots tended to become so convoluted that you never really knew who was on whose side, or often who they really were. Which is indicated by Roland's "losing his target of focus" in the end (which was scripted, BTW).

As for making it look "older," I often do add film grain to some of my pieces (to emulate something like 16mm film stock), but opted against it here, just as I didn't go completely black-and-white, but sort of half-saturated. I was looking to sort of bridge the gap between classic noir and contemporary comedy.

Andra's accent (as Lil, the secretary) was debated (was it perhaps going over the top?), but she wanted to do it, and I thought it was worth a shot. As for being like Julie Andrews, I think it channels a little more Brooklyn than Britain, but that's just my take.

On the technical side, the movie does require QuickTime 7 -- SAG rules prohibited us from making it directly downloadable, but I wanted to make sure the format was as sharp as possible (something I've never been happy with using Real or Windows Media).

Glad people are enjoying it! We're going to submit it to the DC Shorts film festival, so we'll have to see how that goes...

MotherReader said...

I wrote this on Robin's site, and wanted to mention it here as well. It should be noted that not only did Robin write the script in about three hours - successfully incorporating our film noir concept, a bracelet, a president, and the line - she also wrote it based on the locations we could secure and for roles we needed for the actors based on availability (2 big parts, 4 smaller parts, 1 walk-on and 1 voice over). Now that’s what I’m talking about.

The film was very well received at the screening. The audience laughed in the right places, totally got all the jokes, really seemed to love it. The Film Project organizers were very impressed with it, and the group that we've always thought was miles ahead of us - Washington Improv Theater - came to talk to us about how much they liked it. Very nice.

As I sometimes remind Bill, it's not about making a perfect short film, it's about making the best short film you can make in 48 hours. It means a lot to mean that you guys have taken time to watch it. Thanks.

zee said...

Bill,
I see what you are saying about the convoluted plots. I wondered if that "slip up" was scripted or not. Since it was scripted, it's even more impressive since it sounded unscripted. I hope my comments sounded positive. I really did love it, and am jealous that you all can do something so good in 48 hours.

Little Willow said...

Did you see Michele's post about Lauren Child??

http://scholar-blog.blogspot.com/2007/05/book-related-news.html

bookbk said...

I loved it! I especially liked that all the stock noir elements: the femme fatale, the faithful secretary, etc. And the convoluted resolution ("she's my sister! And my sister-in-law!") was hilarious. It's amazing that you could put all that together in 48 hours.

eisha said...

Finally just saw this - what a riot. MR, I do see the Sting-Niles thing, and also I think the actress reminds me of Mary-Louise Parker. I love all the noir-ish elements, esp. the voiceover. That's an amazing accomplishment for 24 hours. Kudos to all involved.