Format: 16 mm
Length: 6:20 min.
Completed: 17 February 2009
In a post-nuclear world a father has to kill another just to feed his only son a meal.
This project started around January 2005 during my senior year of college. A friend in a lighting class, Jon, had a cinematography class that required him to shoot a 'chase' film. I asked if he would let me write and direct his movie and I would provide all the elements besides the camera and film.
$40 went to food, $9 to a salvation army, and the rest was spent at Home Depot, for duct tape, water jugs, flashlights, and costume parts. I reused my monkey suit for the third time. Like a college education, a monkey suit is one of the most important investments you can make in your life. I had just finished shooting Gusanitos the weekend before this, so with no sleep and not enough time to prepare we got all the actors and locations together last minute. The worst thing was the costumes weren't completely stable for filming, and we had no permits. Run and gun.
it only took us two days to film: one day at the beach (which had this amazing winter fog and frozen lake) and one day at Mt. Trash-more and other locations. Like most of my films the actors had to suffer. First of all it was bitter cold, wearing uncomfortable clothes, digging holes, and they weren't allowed to breath during takes because it would fog up their water bottle helmets. But hot chocolate and coffee made it all better.
Since it was a silent film for a cinematography course, I spent the spring semester working on building a complete sound design for college credit. It would have been a huge time saver if I had some microphone on set - never again. I somehow got a mix cut together using FCP, which my teacher Ric Coken compared to "fixing a window with a hammer." He also said it was pretty decent, but the music was too grating and needed more lulls and a peaceful (angelic) change when the husband sees his wife in the end. I couldn't have agreed more, so I decided to rewrite the music and teach myself how to use Logic Pro a much better tool for mixing audio and making music. But college ended soon after that and I got involved in various other projects...for four years!
Occasionally I would find time to work on the music. I studied the structure of some classical pieces of music and built a new track off of that, and changed it to fit the film. When I finally finished the mix in early 2009, I spent a couple weeks time "pulling a Lucas" and added some post digital effects. I shot my eyeball and my tongue and added them to the mutant characters frame by frame in FCP. Unhappy with how the dog food can landed in the shot where the husband dies, I digitally fixed it to have the text 'dog' facing the camera - asinine, but I thought it would help drill home the theme of dog-eat-dog world. I added voices to the people characters to give them more life, but I still needed a voice over from Mason I called him a couple times, but man its embarrassing to ask someone to do some work for something they did four years ago. Just bad producing on my part. Live and learn, then forget and die.