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Thursday, June 01, 2006

[48hours] Screening

So our film has screened to mixed reviews. I prefer this one…

Bongo And the Sponge Monkeys

I might be getting everything mixed up now but I'm pretty sure this was based on a true story - about a girl and her lover who wake up one moring after a night of passion to find they are handcuffed together and key is no where to be found. Very nice acting - loved the guy and his love of food - nice touch. Hope it does well.

…to this one…

Over a dinner, one couple recounts the story of how they met to another couple. They woke up handcuffed together and had no idea where the key was.... Or did they? This had some nice production values and some genuinely funny moments, interspliced with dinner scenes that felt like a really bad ad for housing finance.

“Bad ad for housing finance”, that’s pretty bloody harsh! (though if there are any ad people out there who want a housing finance ad written, I’m available). This one was nicer…

Bongo And the Sponge Monkeys

(Based on a true story)

It was probably based on a personal experiance [sic] of a crew member becuase [sic] I couldn't think of anything it was based on. It was nonetheless a fairly well told romance.


However, I showed it to my workmates yesterday and apparently they laughed out loud the whole way through (I wasn’t there and was told by a third party later). This makes me think that ours didn’t stand out as well when viewed with other funnier, but less story driven movies.

One of the films in our heat was hilarious, I laughed my arse off. But in the end it was just a string of references to other films in that genre. This may sound like sour grapes, but part of making a film is making something unique rather than rehashing a series of jokes from other films (which is why I refuse to see any of the Scary Movie incarnations).

I'm not bagging any of the films in our Heat because they all had redeeming features. The guys who made Amish Housewives apologised for "taking 7 mins of [the audiences'] lives away". Which was fine by me because I laughed a lot at that film. Even the girls who made the last film in the Heat: Shoedunnit. Because they were all girls, male characters were denoted by moustaches.


mike said...

Oh, you're amongst friends here with your comments. I'm still trying to work out whether I've ever seen a housing finance ad like that. I've got no idea where that review came form.

There are some interesting discussions going on in the 48 Hour forums at the moment on whether serious shorts get short shrift (excuse the alliteration). It seems to be everyone's expectation that a 48 Hours short will be funny, if not downright stupid. If it's not funny, then the expectation is that it should be, and then they'll try to find stupid things to laugh at anyway. Which is a shame. Ant Timpson said he considered telling audiences before a short that this was meant to serious, but thought that might be biasing the audience too much.

"Serious" comedies, which I think is what ours is, probably lose out a bit on that front as well.

Speaking of stupidity, I've finally got my take on the weekend's activities up on my website:

- once upon a time...part un
- once upon a time...part deux
- once upon a time...part trois

Tom said...

I'd like to think that the judges would take well-crafted comedies more seriously than the audience did. C'mon, we all laughed at the crap bits of the others at least as much as the intentionally funny elements, and the Ed Woodish "so bad it's good" factor kicks in on a lot of them. Sometimes that's intentionally played up (as in the toy soldier effects in Das Monarch) and it becomes very effective as a parody. The rest at the time we're just laughing at cock-ups. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Even the laughs we did get at the screening tended to be at the broader humour. However, when I've shown it to workmates, they appreciated the character development and the plot twist at the end at least as much as the belly laughs. I hope the judeges do too. Otherwise, next year we'll just all dress up in women's clothing and employ a drunken P-crazed monkey as an editor. I volunteer for the latter!

mike said...

I think the "view it more than once" rule should come into play here. (Ahem, yes I just did make that rule up - probably needs a catchier name.) The Ed Woodish moments get stale pretty fast. Serious comedies will usually get repeat laughs: how many times have you watched a particular Seinfeld or Simpsons episode and still laughed? (Not that I'm comparing our short to either of those, but you get the picture.) Comedies that rely on crap (either intentionally or unintentionally) will usually not be laughed at again. (There will always be exceptions, of course, but there's a reason they're called "exceptions".)

I noticed this effect two years ago when viewing Taika Waititi's winning short - I saw it in the heats and was almost literally rolling in the aisles. I saw it again in the final and barely raised a smile.

Having said all of that - roll on the drunken P-crazed monkey!