My STRANGEly, POLITE story….
Me and my partner Mike5ive (@TravisChambers) started entering this 48 Hour Film Project about 4 years ago and have been addicted ever since. Every summer, we devote these two days into making a movie no matter what’s going on in our lives. You pull a genre (comedy, drama, etc) at random out of a hat, the committee tells you a character a prop and a line of dialogue that HAS to be in your film and you have two days to make this happen. For people not familiar with how film works, just know that 48 Hours to produce a 7-8 minute film is no where near an easy task, especially if you have limited crew, limited resources AND limited (see: ZERO) $$$ but we make it work.
Polite Strangers is our fifth entry into the competition. Honestly, I never care about winning this comp as long as we get a finished product made, because many times in life you can have a million ideas, some good ..some bad, but if you never execute them they just die with you. And trust me, over the years we’ve been notorious junkies of that drug called ‘procrastination’
“They graveyard is filled with dreams”
The first two years we did the competition basically under the wing of two film making buddies of ours, so we had to live and die by their decisions, their crew and any fu*ksups along the way. It was an experience and we made what I’d like to think life long friends in Ben&Nathan (A Cult Of One Productions), two white guys, that were like 8-9 years older than us, who we had nothing in common with but an interest in film, but for some reason we clicked and sh!t worked….go figure.
The first year we didn’t get the film in on time because of editing issues, the second year B&N didn’t care about the rules because they just wanted to show the film they wanted to show (360), so we just rolled with it. Either way, we learned a alot working with them and by our third year they were tired of doing it and we were ready to strike out on our own and see what we’d produce.
That third year we created Syphagonerheagitus (our first stab at a comedy after two dark a$$ dramas). It was the first time we struck out on our own and began creating the semblance of the Gumbo Monster style. Our script, our direction, our actors and we were going to live and die by our own decisions….mistakes and all. Sh!t was fun and apparently it was a standout because people from other teams that were involved with the 48 Hour Project still come up to us years later citing that film.
Of course it wasn’t a masterpiece of epicness, really nothing you do in 48 Hrs will ever be perfect by any means, but for a first film…it wasn’t so bad
Because our editor wasn’t editing the footage AS we were shooting, we ended up with a movie that was too long to qualify.Well, really we could’ve made it shorter but 5ive put the decision in my hands whether we wanted the better movie or to qualify with something inferior and I never settle for inferior, so I told him “fu*k it” and we ended up with a 15 minute joint. Purposely defiant in the name of art….guess that’s something I partially picked up from B&N…
Funny thing about that situation is that 5ive ended up with a life long grudge against the editor because he ran away with all of our footage so we were never able to make a cut of the film that we were fully satisfied with.
The next year we pulled “Mockumentary” from a hat, another genre that we’ve never dabbled in before. 5ive was nervous, I was anxious….combine that together with a kicka$$ support group and team (see: INGREDIENTS) and we got Knowitalosis. It was our smallest crew yet. When dealing with people one thing is certain…THEY WILL FLAKE ON YOU, especially if no money is involved. I think on paper we had like 20 different people to be in the crew, had this big initial business meeting at this semi-expensive Chinese restaurant, had a bunch of promises and by the end of it we had like 5 or 6 people still standing. As always the motto was “fu*k it, let’s make it happen”, which will ALWAYS be the motto moving forward and should always be the motto when dealing with anything worth pursuing.
Once again, not perfect…but I like it and I read in an article from a rapper who I really don’t remember who, probably Kanye or T.I, dunno…but he said “If I like it, someone else will…even if everyone else doesn’t, someone will and that’s all that matters”…of course that was a paraphrase because there’s no way I can remember the quote verbatim, but yah..you get the jist of it.
That year we finally made a film that could qualify…it was short enough, it got to the point and we finished it EARLY….BUUUT, for some reason one hour before it was time to turn it in our computers caught AIDS or something. They wouldn’t burn a copy of the movie for nothing and it wasn’t until like two hours later that we were able to turn in the movie. SMH
This year, we had it on our minds that we’d at least qualify, if for no other reason than to quench my dude 5ive’s urge to want to compete in this thing. Entering this project was his idea from jump…he came to me and Kloud ‘Kdot’ Stryfe with it one day and of course we support our own so we jumped in head first with our homie. I never cared about winning like I said above, I only cared about the art…but after 4 years of getting my itch scratched by having finished product..this would be the year that we finally aimed to get some Neosporin for 5ive and do the damn thing the right way….
….and of course sh!t never goes as planned. People flaked as usual, we had the smallest crew ever (AGAIN) and this time life had us even broker than before. We had no locations secured, for the first time no prep meetings before hand, my grandfather AND Kloud’s grandmother passed away in the same week setting us all back even further mentally and physically with funerals and such….so yeah, this year was the epitome of us winging some sh!t.
…This year was also the first year that we finally, FINALLY got the film in ON TIME and qualified. We pulled ‘HEIST’ and ironically enough, we had just finished talking to a guy that told us he feared that genre of all because pulling off a heist in 7 minutes sounded impossible.
Will we win? Who knows, I’ve been in enough competitions in general to know that many of them are 60% politics, plus our competition this year I can’t lie was the STEEPEST competition ever. I mean cats were coming with cameras, stories, picture and sound quality that we can’t even begin to afford yet. I mean damn, one group even had ANIMATION…these f**ckers slid ANIMATION into a 7 minute flick and the sh!t was hilarious. Gotta give credit where it’s due, I enjoyed watching damn near all of our competitor’s films this year. But as always, what’s the motto? “F**K that, MAKE IT HAPPEN” and we DID (Many thanks to ROX, HEEM, K-NAE, PONS, LWEBER, RYANMAC, KDOT & COOP)
NOLA’s own Marshall Faulk just made a statement in his HOF speech that stuck with me hard, of course I’m going to paraphrase but he basically said: “Never let your circumstances, define you, your worth or your outcome” …some sh!t like that…all I know is when I heard him say it, it struck hard….and it always will.
So yeah, here is POLITE STRANGERS, love it…hate it…criticize it or be mildly amused, I could care less because with all that it took to get this project done. From illegally hijacking an elevator for an hour, to trespassing and slick side breaking and entering spots all over the place to get the shots we needed, to youtube refusing to upload our joint for days and not to mention loss of sleep (5ive stayed awake for 96 hours straight and had to deal with my perfectionist nitpicks getting this done) proud couldn’t describe what it meant to actually get this done, screened and counted.
KLOUD made the posters, click HERE to read how he went about it:
And yeah, if you read all of this I appreciate it, I really do….here’s the movie…finally. Two days to make a 7 minute film, this one is our director’s cut (15mins)…peep it!
Line Of Dialogue: “Try it, what have you got to lose”
Character: Tami Bison, interior decorator
*DISCLAIMER: We may have broken the record for “F-Bombs” used in a 48HrFilm, NO all of those EFFs weren’t in the script…but uhh, yea….heightened emotion + forgotten lines + adlibs galore + time limit on elevator usage = FUCK FUCK FUCK lol….there were versions of this scene with must fewer EFFs, but with the extended shot used in the elevator, the one chosen captured the emotion best (aside from all the F*CKS) ….the new drinking game should be how many times you hear the word “F*CK” in this entire 15 min joint, lol…other than that…good a$$ film…enjoy