Wrote and Directed a Short Comedy Film

We shot our short comedy film last Wednesday night for the February 2, Iron Mule Festival. The title, Spork Wars, was shouted from the audience. A spork, of course, is a spoon and fork.

Spork Wars is a silly story of a spork salesman, played by Michael Martin, who tries to sell sporks and connect with diner owner, Jay Fortunato, only to discover a familial bond from the old country.

While I had hoped the shoot would take an hour, it took three.

The secrets of my recent filmmaking productivity?

1. a deadline.. there is nothing better than having to finish something by a drop-dead date. A deadline is a line in the sand and I’m pretty good about not crossing.

2. a crew… one of my seven secrets to success is to “Pile on the People.” In filmmaking, you get to work with awesome, funny, creative people. It’s been superfun to make new friends, like Ryan Decker, Ali Mao, Michael Martin, as well as work with old friends, like Pat Bishow and Jay Fortunato!

Don't you love a good diner? Gee Whiz Diner!
Don’t you love a good diner? Gee Whiz Diner!

3. a location… The peeps at the Gee Whiz Diner were super-nice. And in exchange for free use of their lovely diner space, I promised to promote them! They are located on 295 Greenwich Street, right near the Chambers Street subway. Try the Greek salad.

4. a sense of humor (and flexibility)… Of course I wanted my actors to speak the lines exactly as I wrote them. But Jay and Michael are improv geniuses. Naturally, they strayed. It was cool. In fact, I was laughing so hard, especially at their improved bit about gyros, that I feared my convulsive laughter would ruin the sound track.

5. a letting go… I really don’t know what the credits should look like or how the background music should sound. I forget to call, “Action!” I don’t know all the filmmaking nomenclature, but I did my best. And done is always better than perfect. And very good is a nice place to start.

Alison sent me the RC (rough cut!) last night. And I have to admit, I found it pretty funny. I showed it to my 15-year old who chuckled, which is a pretty good response from a 15-year old.

Let me know what you think. Come to The Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Festival, 8 pm on Saturday night, February 2.

I won’t be there. I’ll be in in Charlotte, NC, co-leading a memoir writing workshop with Ms. Cynthia Sloan. If you’re nearby, please join us. When she and I get together, there’s always laughter (and tears)! There’s still room for a few more at the story of your life, memoir.

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