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Genre: Heist. Prop: a horn. Line of dialogue: "Do you think you can do that again?" Character: Marco or Muffin Gabowitz - works with animals.

Proudly presenting Cyclopean Pictures The History Job

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The Cyclopean Pictures screening is Tuesday night at 9:30 PM at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. Purchase tickets for this screening, or for other screenings at this handy link. If you go, please consider voting for "The History Job" by Cyclopean Pictures for awards.
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It was the best of times, it was the not quite so much. Overall, it was a really fun time with a product I am proud to have been a part of. Here's how it went down: please feel free to correct inconsistencies between my faulty recollections and the reality of things (but only if you were there, k? No channelling allowed :-)). And I will try not to provide many/any spoilers until the actual film is up on YouTube, which I will provide links for. Therefore, large pieces and some specifics will NOT be covered here.

Friday night the team received the genre, the prop, the line of dialogue and the character. These were to be essential parts of the movie without which it would not be eligible. We got heist, a horn, "could you do that again?," (or something similar) and Marco or Muffin Gabowitz, animal handler. Each movie must have the same prop, line of dialogue and character.

The script team toiled long into the night, writing and writing and editing and re-writing. The rest of us went home and tried to get some rest for the production days ahead. Herr Director chose some of the actors from a huge cattle call for the 48 hour event, and they agreed to become part of the cast. Everyone in the cast, save one, was a joy to work with. The last one was a total diva, even though he only appeared for perhaps 5 seconds of the film. Sheesh! Some actors.

The next morning, we assembled at a location in Greenbelt, then stumbled through the woods, carrying much equipment (and luckily much water because various someones were bright enough to understand that 90 degree heat plus physical exertion would = dehydration without said liquid) through poison ivy, biting bugs, spiders, various woodland forest creatures, etc to the shooting location, which I must say was an excellent place to shoot what was shot. 2 scenes were shot in the lovely location, which took quite some time given various logistical realities, and then we meandered back with everything (a bit lighter now because we drank all the water and now just had to transport empty stuff), did NOT sink in quicksand, did trip over things, did NOT fall down ravines, but otherwise made it out alive. I took the precious tapes and went off to download/rough cut them in the beautiful coolness of Studio Cyclopean. The rest of the group toiled with another scene to be shot, which worked out quite well.

Then was the set up for another elaborate scene which included lighting issues, technical issues, other issues, issues issues, etc. It was an indoor scene which is always more difficult to light and properly set. Last year I was hanging out a window to shoot. This year I was up kinda high on a ladder. This year I only shot a little of the film, which took off a lot of pressure. It also made sense given that I could download stuff and do some preliminary editing. That was a real time saver.

The film that was created was very ambitious. Despite that, if not for a few technical hang ups, I think that we would have made the first of the 2 deadlines for the project. The deadline we missed made us ineligible for professional judging. This was despite two people with computers rendering and burning DVDs in the back of a car that was rushing to the delivery point. It was a heroic effort. However, we DID make deadline #2 which means we will be screened on Tuesday night, and are eligible for audience given awards. So if you're going, vote for Cyclopean Pictures "The History Job."

I know that most of us are quite sore from carrying stuff through the woods, plus other physically demanding tasks including shooting video, stunts, and other stuff. Lack of sleep, bug bites, junk food and overuse of caffeine don't help much either, but I think it was all worth it. I can't wait until the copy is up on YouTube.


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