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Comedy, Film, Opening, Special Event

The award-winning short film “Ripped Off”

A few weeks ago, some friends of mine entered the 72-Hour Film Festival in Frederick MD, of which I had never heard, but appears to be at least tangentially related to our dearly departed Art-O-Matic. (And by dearly departed, I mean, hasn’t occurred in a way that my former band could play one of our 5 yearly gigs at it.) I had seen their work in the 48-Hour Film Fest and liked what they did, so was elated when the called me to help out on their film, but somewhat unconvinced when they asked me to act — as one of the two leads, no less.

I have never acted before in a film ever, aside from from student projects in college, but then again, I act like I’m a legitimate communications professional everyday. Also, playing a dopey writer is well within my range. Plus, I was able to get us into my office space at Affinity Lab for a location, which worked out really well, except when I shouted “KHAAAAAAAANNNNNN!” during the all-important Star Trek nod, while an iPhone programmer class was happening 20 feet away in a another room. Of course, the scene didn’t make it into the final product.

We were given an inital screen shot and a final screen shot we had to copy and then 72 later, had to produce a less than 6-minute film with a story line, characters, the whole schmear. If you’ve never done one fo these short-window film festivals, they are bunker mentality all the way. We met Friday night at Tony’s (the director) house, threw around ideas for the story, then reconvened at 8 am to start shooting. It was one of the ore fun experiences I’ve had creatively, as we had a basic outline of how the movie would be set up, but no real script, so we got to riff and improv alot to see what the crew liked and didn’t, what worked and what didn’t. Also, if Tony ever decides to do a blooper reel, there’s plenty of cracking up at dumb ideas.

Finally, while I was away for the weekend, the films were screened in Frederick and there was a competition, and WE WON TWO AWARDS, including for Best Acting (!) and Best Amateur Film. We were also nominated for Best Sound, Best Writing (HA!), and Best of the Fest. So, to review, that means I can market myself as an award-winning actor. WHICH I WILL DO.

So, here’s the film.

NOTE: The allusion to a banana peel when we’re outside is a reference to the film shown just before ours at the screening, a throwaway joke that only worked that one time, but was part of the festival’s guidelines of trying to link up each film to the next in some small way. Breaking the fourth wall feels weird, even when you’re supposed to do it. I don’t think I could ever be in a production of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


About manonthestreetdc

Reporting on events in the nation's capital


One thought on “The award-winning short film “Ripped Off”

  1. Very well done! I L’ed O L several times.

    Posted by Mike Boggs | October 12, 2011, 11:01 pm

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