Or How I Made a Charlie Kaufman Love Letter without Knowing who Charlie Kaufman is.
The project I had been working on since the beginning of the year went up on YouTube last week, and it occurred to me that I had failed to provide an accompanying blog post as of yet. Having neglected the blog pretty extensively for a while now, and even using it for a few patches in the film itself, I believe it's only right to return to the site that started this whole "DudeMeister" gimmick in the first place.
Of course, if you've yet to treat yourself with the rollicking comedic delight that is Don't Shoot! then you might want to do so now via this handy embedded version:
Once the hilarity has finished devouring your senses, proceed onward with this nifty Q&A that no one asked for.
Q: What the hell did I just watch?
A: You just witnessed what happens when I am denied the chance to make something. I make something bigger. Two months bigger. What started out as a silly inside joke ended up snowballing into this gargantuan mockumentary that exposed mine and my friends short-and-long-comings, and somehow managed to incorporate a meaningful message (however crowbarred in said message was).
Q: So it's actually real?
A: Mmmm, partly. Everything you see the guys (Cameron, Nick, Josh, Austen, Charlie) saying and doing is 100% real, however hard that may be to believe. The Risk script is real - you can in fact read it here - and the whole refusal business is real. When Risk went kaput, I picked up my camera and channelled my frustration into annoyingly interviewing my friends about it, as a way to kill time. Little did I know how damn hilarious some of them would be *cough*Cameron*cough*. Obviously, everything I say in the film is a scripted piece of nonsense, along with our resident scientist, Joyce Prett.
Q: Josh isn't really an alcoholic then?
A: Not as far as I know, but I believe right now he's more concerned about the fact that he was "misrepresented" as a compulsive FIFA player. Go figure.
Q: What would you call your multi-faceted role in the film?
A: Oxymoronic Master of Narcissistic Self-Deprecation.
Q: Who is that lovable-rogue-yet-suave-intellectual of a silhouette known only as "ATR"?
A: I'm afraid I am still not allowed to divulge that information.
Q: Is that geek room really yours?
A: Yep. Star Wars mini-busts and all. #NerdPride
Q: Dude, everyone hates it when people hashtag outside of Twitter...
Q: Why the Credits Song at the end?
A: Uh, I think you mean 'Ode to the Credits'. And really it was just this simple ditty I wrote and recorded in three hours prior to finishing the film (hence its wonkiness), as a means to get people to stay and admire my abnormally large name for a little longer.
Q: That is a stupidly long name.
A: Right? It gets worse with middle names. Two of 'em.
Q: Your parents were not kind to you, in regards to future paperwork...
A: No. No they were not. But they were kind enough to lend some feedback during the editing process, which is why they found themselves in the Special Thanks credits (also, you know, having me kind of helped as well).
Q: There were a lot of Special Thanks. Care to tell us what the hell Francis Ford Coppola had to do with this film?
A: Just like my furry friends in the Kingdom of Caring, I would very much care. Coppola there directed Apocalypse Now, which Risk was very liberal in referencing, while Don't Shoot! took some inspiration from its behind-the-scenes documentary/exposé Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. Now the funny thing about that is I have never seen either of those films. I'm a huge phony. Instead, the influence was filtered down to me through those geniuses at Community; namely creator Dan Harmon and writer (particularly of the "Documentary Filmmaking" episodes) Megan Ganz.
Q: How about the other people thanked in that section?
A: Well, I don't think I can do anything in my life without attributing it in some way to Joss Whedon, whilst Ben Blacker's Writer's Panel Podcasts have taught me so much about writing and Jane Espenson's 'Writing Sprints' gave me focused and driven time to work on this thing. My guitar teacher was in there for obvious reasons, along with the ever amazing comedic-musical talents of Garfunkel & Oates. And of course there was BriTANick, without whom I don't think I would have even considered attempting a sketch in the first place, let alone expand upon one with a 15 minute documentary. Seriously. Check. Them. Out. They're my heroes right now.
Q: Are you aware that you spelt JUDAS wrong?
A: ... Well now I am!
Q: You quite literally interview and talk to yourself in Don't Shoot! - is that a thing you make a habit of in real life?
A: Huh. Uhm...
Q: Were you apprehensive that the lengthy time code (14:22) would turn a lot of potential viewers away?
A: A little bit. But I figured/hoped that the curiosity that I somehow managed to make a film that long would at least warrant it a click, and then I was just betting on the ever-changing nature of the documentary to keep them hanging on.
Q: Finally, what's next?
A: I'm currently developing another documentary about how one misspelling of a notorious biblical figure can make a man hate everyone and everything he has ever known.
Q: Sounds... well it sounds. Been great typing to you.
Thus ends my blog post about my latest film, which has its flaws, but stands as a nifty reminder to myself that creation always finds a way out, if you give it the time. #Proudsies. Remember you can watch Don't Shoot! - A Filmmaker's Frustration right now on the Tube of You, which I've heard supports Like, Favourite, Subscribe and Share features that I'll leave in the capable hands of your own free will. With your help, it could go viral by Christmas*!