Sure, any movie that has at its heart doodie is bound to get some cheap laughs. But don't think the team that made the Wall of Shame short as part of the 24-Hour Film Race was only interested in toilet humor. A cast and crew of 20 actors, cinematographers, and sound and lighting engineers worked all night and day to get their 4-minute film done only for the love of the craft. Those who watched the submissions at the Bill Cosford Cinema on May 5 were appreciated of the strain put in and voted it Audience Favorite.
As per the guidelines of the contest, the team was given the theme of the film (identity theft), an action (sealing an envelope), and prop (shaving crème) that needed to be used in the short at 10 p.m. April 29. They stormed Tate's Comics in Fort Lauderdale that night and worked 24 hours straight to produce much more than a piece of crap. Check out the movie after the jump, as well as a Q&A with Julio Alvarez, the director and editor.
New Times: During filming were there any big fights/funny incidents? We ask because
even with a long shooting schedule things get chippy, so we can't
imagine what happens with so much pressure.
Julio Alvarez: There were no fights. Most of us had worked together before and we all
really like each other. Everyone remained amazingly cool and collected
yet energized throughout the whole affair. We were all having a lot of
fun. The only slightly tense moment came when someone reminded me of the
time for the 56th time that morning, while we were desperately in the
middle of trying to shoot a complicated confrontation scene with six
actors as the sun came up.
That said, our time management wasn't great.
When we got there, even before we got our theme, we were shooting these
beautifully lit B-roll shots (none of which made it into the film) and
credit sequences. As the night progressed, we abandoned trying to light
everything as if we were on a Ridley Scott set and it became a
run-and-gun kind of night. We had to be out before the store opened at
10 AM. That meant getting the cast and crew out and about ten tons of
gear that we brought with us.
How much of the story was developed ahead of time? How much did you
figure out on the fly? In other words, did the main storyline of this
film-- somebody pooping in a comic store -- come by as a result of
immediate inspiration or has somebody been dreaming this up for a long
This story was the product of years of careful collaboration between...
er, it was actually the first thing that popped out of head-writer Juan
Navarro's mouth after we got our theme... he said, "something ridiculous
like... someone comes in to the store and sh*ts on the floor!" And away
we went, much to the chagrin of one of the other writers, who thought
it was all a bit low-brow.
If somebody described the movie as "a piece of crap," would the team be honored or insulted?
I guess it would depend on their inflection and on whether that person knows their sh*t or not.
Does Tate's Comics sell fake doggy doo? If so, how come you didn't include a quick shot of some in the movie?
I didn't see any fake doggy doo in the store. I think Tate's tends to be
a classier joint than what we turned it into (sorry Tate... if we do
the web series we promise no more bathroom humor!). The poop was
supposed to be a chalk outline, made by one of the store employees to
document the crime, but no one had any chalk so we used tape. We played
with the idea of not showing anything (leaving it to the imagination)
but a little flash of the outline just seemed funnier.
If you had to describe the film in one sentence, say you were pitching
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the idea, how would you do so? Here's our thought: Out of the box toilet