Tag Archives: crimes

150 Pokémon

 

  1. Chardinal: The Vegetable-Bird Pokemon
  2. Awrengula: The Salad-Bird Pokemon
  3. Cukale: The Super-green Pokemon
  4. Lavra: The Magma-worm Pokemon
  5. Coalcoon: The charred cocoon Pokemon
  6. Mothma: The Moth-to-a-flame Pokemon
  7. Shrimptide!: The Just-a-shrimp Pokemon
  8. Prawnwave!: The Just-a-Prawn Pokemon
  9. Lobstrodon!: The Lobster-dragon Pokemon
  10. Nimphie: The Nymph Pokemon
  11. Exuviber: The Worm-in-the-stone Pokemon
  12. Dagronflee: The Dragonfly Pokemon
  13. Meggit: The Gross Pokemon
  14. Poopuh: The Hidden Pokemon
  15. Flyhammer: The Noisy Fly Pokemon
  16. Maggi: The Magpie Pokemon
  17. Magpol: The Collection Pokemon
  18. Magthief: The Shiny Thief Pokemon

Starters

  1. Rattaboy: The Cowboy-Mouse Pokemon
  2. Sherrat: The Cowboy-Universe Pokemon
  3. Filletven: The Sharp-billed Pokemon
  4. Terraven: The Fear-Monger Pokemon
  5. Retrag: The Harmless Snake Pokemon
  6. Relttar: The Harmful Snake Pokemon
  7. Primechu: The Crossover Pokemon
  8. Omegachu: The Coming-Storm Pokemon
  9. Dustshrew: The Cowboy-Mouse Pokemon
  10. Outshrew: The Outlaw-Cowboy Pokemon
  11. Echmy: The Spiny Rat Pokemon
  12. Bizarech: The Bizarro-Echmy Pokemon
  13. Echmevil: The Evil Echmy Pokemon
  14. Echsteel: The Robot Echmy Pokemon
  15. Grichmy: The  Dark Echmy Pokemon
  16. Myche: The Sideways Echmy Pokemon
  17. Trefairy: The Dark Fairy Pokemon
  18. Trefable: The Grim Fairy Pokemon

Flykemon

  1. Bubblemander: The Inverse-Charmander Pokemon
  2. Bubbmeleon: The Inverse-Charmeleon Pokemon
  3. Bubblizard: The Inverse-Charizard Pokemon
  4. Jujupu: The Weirdly-Omnipresent Pokemon
  5. Boobat: The Cave-Bat Pokemon
  6. Bloodbat: The Super-bat Pokemon
  7. Weirdtato: The Strange-Potato Pokemon
  8. Sadanum: The Wild-Potato Pokemon
  9. Spuddle: The Super-Potato Pokemon
  10. Proras: The Hero-Paras Pokemon
  11. Paramore: The Great-Parasect Pokemon
  12. Nosquito: The Mosquito Pokemon
  13. Moresquito: The Greater Mosquito Pokemon
  14. Primelet: The Primal Diglett Pokemon
  15. Dugmega: The Last Diglett Pokemon
  16. Sparkasaur: The Fire-Bulbasaur Pokemon
  17. Embersaur: The Fire-Ivysaur Pokemon
  18. Infernosaur: The Fire-Venusaur Pokemon

Bulbasaurs

  1. Purpoot: The Coot Psychic Pokemon
  2. Tomoren: The Mustache-Monkey Pokemon
  3. Tomoroon: The Mustache-Fighter Pokemon
  4. Sailorkie: The Ship-Dog Pokemon
  5. Schipperie: The Captain-Dog Pokemon
  6. Toadpool: The Flame-Tadpole Pokemon
  7. Toadwhirl: The Flame-Tadpole Pokemon
  8. Toadwrath: The Flame-Tadpole Pokemon
  9. Smoken: The Illusion Pokemon
  10. Meer: The Illusion Pokemon
  11. Alakazaar: The Traveller Pokemon
  12. Hitguy: The Hitting Pokemon
  13. Punchman: The Punching Pokemon
  14. Pummeldude: The Pummeling Pokemon
  15. Belligari: The Expressionist-Flower Pokemon
  16. Nosferbell: The Expressionist-Flycather Pokemon
  17. Laughinbell: The Expressionist-Flycatcher Pokemon
  18. Tendrang: The Gloomy Jellyfish Pokemon

Echm1

  1. Tendoom: The Man-of-War Pokemon
  2. Plebble: The Pebble Pokemon
  3. Stonelyte: The Stone Pokemon
  4. Bouldord: The Living Boulder Pokemon
  5. Sproutle: The Grass-Squirtle Pokemon
  6. Growtortle: The Grass-Wartortle Pokemon
  7. Grasstoise: The Grass-Blastoise Pokemon
  8. Slowrant: The Tyrant Pokemon
  9. Lazor: The Cyber Universe Pokemon
  10. Cybor: The Cyber Universe Pokemon
  11. Bizz’r: The Bizarro-Farfetch’d Pokemon
  12. Kiwone: The Singularity Bird Pokemon
  13. Doomdrio: The Evil Bird Pokemon
  14. Slodge: The Toxic Pokemon
  15. Slodgarro: The Bizarro-Slodge Pokemon
  16. Slumdge: The Dark-Slodge Pokemon
  17. Slydg: The Cyber-Slodge Pokemon
  18. Eglods: The Sideways-Slodge Pokemon
  19. Kokodgomon: Slodge-616 Pokemon

Echm2

  1. Ghoosty: The Spooky Pokemon
  2. Ghoolie: The Spooky Pokemon
  3. Bumpsenite: The Spookiest Pokemon
  4. Luminix: The Light-Worm Pokemon
  5. Wisper: The Sideways-Haunter Pokemon
  6. Goodgar: The Benevolent Gengar Pokemon
  7. Crabtain: The Pirate-Crab Pokemon
  8. Voltblade: The Electric Pirate Pokemon
  9. Atomicor: The Destroyer Pokemon
  10. Atomicull: The Destroyer Pokemon
  11. Eggspert: The Brilliant Egg Pokemon
  12. Moonsprout: The Night-Bloom Pokemon
  13. Shadeleaf: The Night-Bloom Pokemon
  14. Skullcapp: The Night-Bloom Pokemon
  15. Sasalomon: The Universe 616 Pokemon
  16. Wawa: The Mouth Pokemon
  17. Blabla: The Talking Pokemon
  18. Arsick: The Food Poisoning Pokemon
  19. Ollace: The Poisoned Pokemon

Jujupu

  1. Rutice: The Ice-Beetle Pokemon
  2. Rutidicicle: The Ice-Beetle Pokemon
  3. Eggvil: The Bad Egg Pokemon
  4. Wiregla: The Firewire Pokemon
  5. Squroot: The Math Pokemon
  6. Bizarticuno: The Bizarro-Articuno Pokemon
  7. Bizapados: The Bizarro-Zapados Pokemon
  8. Bizoltres: The Bizarro-Moltres Pokemon
  9. Koing: The Sea-Lord Pokemon
  10. Pretreastar: The Sea Star Pokemon
  11. Protreastar: The Sea Star Pokemon
  12. Et: The Evil Clown Pokemon
  13. Mantinant: The Bug Lord Pokemon
  14. Rhizogoing: The Single-Cell Pokemon
  15. Rhizogone: The Single-Cell Pokemon
  16. Cragmar: The Canyon-Magmar Pokemon
  17. Volichen: The Volcano-Lichen Pokemon
  18. Bulldonk: The Stupid Bull Pokemon

Psychics

  1. Magikill: The Evil Magikarp Pokemon
  2. Gyradont: The Useless Pokemon
  3. Swimswam: The Turtle-Dragon Pokemon
  4. Wurmol: The Wormhole Pokemon
  5. Bizarreon: The Bizarro-Eevee Pokemon
  6. Cybereon: The Cyber-Eevee Pokemon
  7. Sideon: The Sideways-Eevee Pokemon
  8. Grimoireon: The Gritty-Eevee Pokemon
  9. Eevil: The Evil-Eevee Pokemon
  10. Brakio: The Burrowed Shell Pokemon
  11. Brakambria: The Burrowed Shell Pokemon
  12. Zyloh: The Vascular Plant Pokemon
  13. Floe: The Vascular Plant Pokemon
  14. Bizarrachu: The Bizarro Universe Pikachu
  15. Evilchu: The Evil Universe Pikachu
  16. Gritchu: The Dark Universe Pikachu

Legendary

  1. Cyberchu: The Cyber Universe Pikachu
  2. Sidechu: The Sideways Universe Pikachu
  3. Zuruchu: The 616 Universe Pikachu
  4. Tyrohite: The 248 Pokemon
  5. Remew: The Renewal Pokemon
  6. Mewowth: The Villain Pokemon

Vvinni Gagnepain’s “The Shining”

Directing class, 2010.  The assignment was to direct a scene from a film we hadn’t seen, using only the original screenplay and our own ideas.  I chose Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, and I had about two weeks to get the whole production up and running, three or four weeks to finish it.  The result is below.

Vvinni Gagnepain’s The Shining from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

In my mind I always go back and forth on whether I like my adaptation or not.  I had the most people working under me for this shoot and on top of it I had my directing professor looking over my shoulder the whole time (who was a very kind and non-judgmental person, but it was still terrifying).  I had a limited cast pool and I’m not sure how my actors did with my idea for how the movie went and just generally how they were as actors.  I wondered about my set, I wondered about my decision to use the tracking dolly, I worried about a specific edit that doesn’t work at all.  Mostly, I was worried about living up to this:

Upon this viewing I was pleasantly surprised by how not awful it was.  The dolly track isn’t as obtrusive as I remember it being, Tim Maloney as my Jack Torrance works surprisingly well (Despite it being a line flub, I really enjoy the way he says “I’d like to hear those things”. I also like how the reading and wording of that line only adds to the psycho-sexual feeling of this scene), and I think the sudden re-appearance of the ghost ambiance works well to cover up the terrible edit I was talking about (which was my plan, I’m just never sure how well it works).  In the end I like this scene, and since directing this I have seen Kubrick’s version so I can answer that question that’s burning in your mind: Yes, I do think my version of this movie could be better, and I do think that the general ideas I’m working with are better in this scene (And, to a certain extent, I do think the set design in what I did come up with is better than Kubrick’s).  Now is my scene better than “The Shinning”?  No. Oh my no.

Help! My Lawn Ornaments Been Taken by ROBBERS!

Another one of my impossibly punctuated and long titles, as well another testament to my cinematic crimes, we’ve arrived at another pretty definitive piece in the Vvinni Gagnepain oeuvre. It’s also one of the most beautiful, silly, and incomprehensible pieces I’ve made. Let’s take a look at it:

Help! My Lawn Ornaments Been Taken by ROBBERS! from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Lawn Ornament falls into a category of films that I call “The Beautiful Mess”, and it represents everything about this category that I love: It’s a wonder to look at (even if some composition choices are strange ones, I feel like everything mushes together into a wonderful surreal soup), the plot is all over the place (It’s essentially a “Crime Movie”, taking bits and pieces of genre conventions without really doing anything to put them together. This may sound like a criticism, but it’s most certainly not), and all of the performances are greatly sincere and take this odd world they’ve been thrown into at face value (I really do enjoy the performance of everyone in the film, give or take a Vvinni Gagnepain).  The only few thing’s I’d change if I were to release a “special edition director’s cut” would be to fix the aspect ration and the freeze frames (I made this before I really understood what an aspect ratio was, which is why the film has some weird letterbox issues), and I’d probably re-do the sound mix (Rigsby’s screaming scene peaks and there’s not much to do about that, but the knocking on the door in the house is nearly inaudible, and Mr. Henry’s song gets a bit drowned out by stock music in the background).

Nevertheless, I consider this film a huge success. What about you? Do you feel like eating a money omelet now?

Without the T’s: Escape from Tomorrow

The story of Escape from Tomorrow and how it was made precedes the film itself, to the point where many people may not actually recognize the itle: It’s the film tha was shot over a period of about three years inside of Disneyland without Disney’s permission.  Besides the accomplishment of the feat of actually shooting most of the film inside of the park without anyone noticing, there’s also the impressive fact hat Escape from Tomorrow is currently showing in theaers and Disney isn’t doing much to stop it.  As such, this film has garnered quite a lot of focus among guerrilla and independent filmmakers and my greates fear going into the film was hat the story of the making of this film would be beter than the film itself.

I’m happy to say tha fear is unfounded, and in acuality Escape from Tomorrow presents a surprisingly accurate depiction of a family vacation to Disneyland (and I am including the nightmarish ride through “I’s a Small World After All” and being kidnapped by Epcot scientiss).  The story largely follows a father, Jim, and his family as they spend one last day at Disneyland.  Jim’s son, Elliot, desperately wants to go on the Buzz Lighyear ride (and when the ride closes down the son gets into a fit of depression); Jim follows two young French girls through the park and fantasizes about them; He tries unsuccessfully to connec sexually with his wife, Emily; and he experiences a nightmarish fever dream where the park itself seems to be teeming with devil-beasts and mad scienists.  This last part, though, is mostly relegated to he second act and even then only in small doses.  Instead, the focus is on the absolute irritaion hat any family experiences not only at Disneyland, bu on any family trip.

Not every scene was shot on location in Disneyland, as I’m pretty sure a scene in a nurse’s office and a scene in the basement of Epco were both shot off site.  However much of the film was shot during regular Disney business hours, which makes the cinemaography highly impressive.  Mostly the film seems to rely on natural light (which I’m told Florida has lots of), however when non-natural light is used (and I’m not exactly sure how hey were able to bring lights into Disneyland and not raise suspicion) it’s for ableaus that bring everything back to it’s classical Disney roots as everything seems highly saturaed and staged in the most incredible of ways.  There are also plenty of great instances of framing and plenty of fun visual gags, the most memorable one being making an out-of-focus Mickey Balloon look like some sort of demonic monster looking over Jim’s shoulder.

The effects work is also very well done.  Again: this is a surprisingly accurae film, and so the effects work to bring in a feeling of having a nighmarish fever dream.  So we can see some of the strings and where mating and digital face replacement was used, but it’s not a bad thing.  Even in the case of simple distorion that happens on some sort of ride through Dia de los Muertos (I really have no idea what atracions there are in Disneyland), the sound and the simple visual of a large fisheyed screaming face was wonderfully disconcering.

This isn’ a film for acting or for writing, as the actors (while cerainly not being bad) seem to have been more concerned with geting their performances done in a small number of takes instead of giving an ineresting performance.  Much of this also has to do with the material, as a father having marital problems in Disneyland isn’ necessarily new and the screenwriter certainly didn’t approach it differently. But this is a guerrilla film hat proves not only can these ypes of movies be made, they can be made well, they can look fantasic, and they can actually get wide disribution, even if you’re going up against the legal monsers of Disney.  For these reasons, and the reasons above, my arbirary grade for Escape from Omorrow is B+: It’s certainly worth seeing, a well done experiment, and a film where the most nighmarish thing isn’t a demon-possessed touris or a witch-seducress, but rather the ambiance of being surrounded by people in cartoon suits and children screaming with glee.

A "B+" Grade.

100 Awkward Situations

As per a request (and, yes, I DO take requests), I have compiled together this list of 100 Awkward Situations. Enjoy? Maybe? I hope so… I really hope so.

  1. You’re standing in the line at the grocery store and read out a magazine headline “The New Pope is Gay”. You chuckle, only to realize that the New Pope is standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

  2. You’re riding your motorcycle, only to realize that you’re wearing a pleather jacket and now NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  3. You think you’re talking to a cat when it’s really a person.

  4. You’re riding your bicycle only to realize that you’re wearing a pleather jacket and now NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  5. Somehow you pronounce “Mexico” “May-Jock-Ahl” at a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

  6. You’re standing in the line at the grocery store and grab a bag of skittles. To make sure no one gets the wrong idea you shout out “I’m not Gay, you guys! I like Skittles! I SWEAR!”. Also, The New Pope is still standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

  7. You’re riding a horse only to realize that you’re wearing a pleather jacket and now NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  8. You walk into a job interview, and instead of shaking the interviewer’s hand you grab their face and scream until your eyes bleed.

  9. You tell your elderly neighbors about your love of industrial noise-punk. The awkward part is that your neighbors are deaf.

  10. You’re riding on the city bus only to realize that you’re wearing a pleather jacket and now NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  11. You’re standing in the line at the grocery store and notice that the person in front of you is buying a suspicious amount of carrots. You tap the person on the shoulder and scream “Lots of carrots huh are you a rabbit? Ha ha HA!”. The person stares coldly into your soul. Also, the New Pope is buying a whole lot of skittle behind you, does this mean he’s gay?

  12. You decide that your cousins Bar Mitzvah is the right moment to tell everyone that you don’t know what a Knish is and make a really big deal out of it.

  13. When someone asks you a question, you try and reply “absolutely” but you’re really really hungry and so instead you say “Hamsolutely”

  14. You go up to a person to introduce yourself, but you mistakenly shove them to the ground and step on their head.

  15. You’re on the train and you’re eating way too many moon pies but you can’t stop because they’re too delicious.

  16. You’re in the line at the grocery store and “Sweet Home Alabama” comes on the radio.  You turn to the New Pope behind you and try to get him to sing a duet with you to the song, but the New Pope doesn’t understand because he doesn’t speak English and the translator doesn’t know the lyrics to the song. Also: Isn’t that translator a little TOO handsome to be a translator?

  17. A friend of yours tells you about a new album he just bought, you try and feign interest but instead recite the entirety of “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock”.

  18. You’re at a Steven King book signing, and when you approach the table to have him sign your copy of “Under the Dome” you realize you instead brought “Under the Hawthorne Tree”.

  19. You walk into a record store and ask the desk clerk what classic rock is. The clerk begins to reply, but you cut him ff saying “Screw it, anything made before 1986 is basically doo wop anyways”. The awkward part is that you’re wearing a Steely Dan T-Shirt.

  20. You realize that you almost spelled it “Stealy Dan”.

  21. You’re in the line at the grocery store, and the cashier is waiting for a price check on five boxes of Cheerios (there might be a sale going on).  You look behind you at the New Pope and wave. The New Pope frowns and tries to catch up on “All My Children”. You give a meaningful look at the New Pope’s translator and say “You’re too handsome to know this, but every goddamn Pope loves that show” and give him a meaningful wink.

  22. You’re at the Pleather Convention and you don’t know how to tell the Convention-goers that NOBODY LIKES THEM.

  23. While discussing “Midnight’s Children” with your book club you come to the sudden realization that this entire time you thought it was written by DC comics’ zombie supervillain Solomon Grundy.

  24. A homeless person asks you for change and you go into a thirty minute tirade about the fiscal cliff.

  25. You’re on a bus to Newark, bored out of your mind. To pass the time you start screaming “NEW YORK/ I’M GONNA MAKE IT/ BACON PANCAKES/ NEW YORK/ NEW YORK”. You then realize that you don’t know the words to this song, and now everybody on the bus knows it.

  26. You’re in the line at the grocery store and a very flustered young man taps you on the shoulder. “Hey Man, you think i can go in front of you, I only need to buy this Honey baked ham, and I’ve got get it in the cooler soon”. You smile, but realize that you’re smiling TOO much. Flustered, you try and get out of it by staring at his nose and saying blankly “Hamsolutely”.

  27. You think it’s going to rain when you leave for work, so you put on your poncho. When you leave for work, you realize that it never rained, but you still have to walk home in a poncho.

  28. You’re at your Great Aunt’s wake, and to comfort you’re grandmother you tell her about the latest season of The Walking Dead, afterwards solemnly adding “So at least she’ll stay dead and never come back, ever. She is dead and gone forever. But man, I really like that show”.

  29. You’re at the dentist and you nod to a black man who’s waiting to have his braces removed. You start to wonder if by nodding at him you’ve proved that you’re racist. The awkward part is that you’re also black.

  30. You’re talking to your friend about salads, and they say “Yeah, I usually like to use Mizuna in mine”. You Smile and shout “MIZUNA?! I DON’T EVEN KNOW HER!” and laugh about it for the next half hour.

  31. You’re in the line at the grocery store, the cashier has returned and finishes checking out the person with the Cheerios. “That’ll be 39.05” says the cashier, you tap the Ham Man on the shoulder and whisper to him “I bet it wouldn’t be as much if Obama weren’t in office”. The Ham Man turns to you and says seriously “I work for Obama. That man pays 39.05 for EVERY grocery trip he takes. He’s a good man”. You smile and say “Yeah, that’s what Congress WANTS you to think” and nod your head exactly five times and add “I voted for Ross Perot”.

  32. You’re at a movie theater and you’re going to buy a ticket for the new Superman movie. You tell them “One for Superman”, and the Ticket clerk tells you “Actually, it’s called ‘Man of Steel’. You chuckle nervously, and then proceed to cry for fifteen minutes silently saying “I didn’t know, I’m sorry. I’m really really sorry”.

  33. You see a white person with glasses walking down the street. You run up to them and scream “FUCK RADIOHEAD! I HATED THEM IN THE 90’S AND I HATE THEM NOW” and run away. Later you realize that nobody in Radiohead wore glasses.

  34. You’re at the zoo and your friend turns to you and says “Wow, this is really an awkward turtle moment”. You smile and nod, but then realize that there’s a turtle staring directly at you, and it does not look happy.

  35. You’re on the bus and you’re talking about public radio and how it needs to be better funded, when the bus crashes. As your crawling along the wreckage, you find the bu driver who is close to the end of her life. You clear your throat, cough up some blood, and say “This wouldn’t have happened if NPR had government funding. I’m just saying”.

  36. You’re in the line at the grocery store. The Person with all of the carrots is being checked out now (follow by the Ham Man, followed by you, and then the New Pope and his handsome translator). You look around the line and realize that EVERYONE is buying a suspicious amount of carrots. You shift on your feet and shout “Wow, I guess I missed the memo saying that the carrot pope was coming to town!”. You laugh and everyone stares at you. The handsome translator taps you on the shoulder and whispers “The New Pope IS the Carrot Pope”.

  37. You’re in the bus station and see a family of Amish. you run up to them and scream “Hey do guys own a farm? I own a farm on Facebook! Do you have facebook, we could own farms together!”. You go into depth about your facebook farm for the next two hours, and the Amish father smiles politely and listens, but the entire time you’re really thinking about his hat.

  38. A homeless person asks you for spare change and instead of giving them a dollar you give them the keys to your house and say “It’s yours now, just be sure to water the plants!”. You then follow the homeless person back to your house and peek into the window to make sure they’re going to water the plants.

  39. You’re ordering breakfast at Denny’s and the waiter asks if you’d like hash browns with your Moons Over My hammy. You smile and say “Hamsolutely!”. The awkward part is that you’re a Hasidic Jew.

  40. You’re in the middle of your discussion of climate change with the UN general assembly when you mistake the Chinese representative for Chow Yun Fat. “Holy Shit, you were in Bulletproof Monk” you yell out. The Foreign dignitary frowns and says “I don’t like talking about that chapter of my life”.

  41. You’re in line at the grocery store and the clock is ticking away, you’re waiting and waiting and waiting. You open a few bags of Skittle and start to eat them while the cashier checks away at those bags of carrots. The Ham Man turns around and watches you eat Skittles, in fact everyone is watching as you eat through three to five bags of Skittles. You panic. You turn around and yell at the line “I like the taste of Skittles, this has nothing to do with whether or not I love the Pope”. The Pope tries to ignore this.

  42. You’re on the phone with the doctor’s office to confirm an appointment. The receptionist asks your last name and in a fit of panic you throw the phone to the ground and begin screaming. You burn off your fingerprints and swim across the ocean to Cuba and when you get to Cuba you realize that you can’t speak Spanish and your throat hurts from screaming the entire time.

  43. You’re in a restaurant, eating alone. The waiter comes up to you and asks if anyone will be joining you today. You tell them “No”, and the waiter screams at you “THEN YOUR LIFE IS SAD AND MEANINGLESS”. When they bring out your food, you realize everything has been made to look like a frowny face.

  44. A homeless person asks you for spare change, you pick them up and carry them into the nearest post office, all the while telling everyone you see that you’re doing what has to be done.

  45. You’re in the security line at the airport and a TSA agent asks you for your ID. Instead of giving them your ID you give them your suitcase and start telling them how zippers work.

  46. You’re in line at the grocery store, and the cashier has finally finished ringing up all of the carrots. You tap the Ham Man on the shoulder, but they don’t want to talk to you. “You’re just going to make fun of Obama again”. You look behind you but the New Pope is refusing to make eye contact, and the handsome translator had to use the bathroom.  The radio cut out halfway through “Sweet Home Alabama”, and you’re all out of Skittles.  You shift on your feet. You see the person is paying with a Discover credit card. Throw down all of the packets of gum and say “Discover? I don’t- I don’t really even know her? That’s… that is a joke! HA! HAHA!” You look around the store and make sure everyone understands this. No one makes eye contact with you.

  47. You’re on your first date, and everything seems to be going all right. Your date leans in and looks at you directly in the eyes “This date’s going great, usually people throw up on me by now”. You smile, why would- Uh oh. You throw up.

  48. You’re with your real estate agent, looking for a new apartment.  This one would be nice if it weren’t for this small kitchen, you think. You try and tell this to your real estate agent, but instead you shout out “I THINK I’M GOING TO SET THIS ENTIRE PLACE ON FIRE”.

  49. You’re at a bar and overhear people talking about the new Star Wars Episode VII, specifically about Han Solo’s role in the plot. You speak up “Oh, Is Dustin Hoffman going to be Han again”. The entire bar laughs at you. The awkward part is that you’ve never seen Star Wars.

  50. You quietly realize that absolutely none of these situations would be happening if you had higher self esteem. Then you start to panic that at any moment you could wake up in a bathtub of ice with your kidneys missing.

  51. You’re in the line at the grocery store, and nobody is looking at you. Suddenly you shout out “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?”. Nobody smiles, and you realize that as time has gone on you don’t even remember what Orange is supposed to look like. The New Pope seems to be warming back up to you, though.

  52. You’re on a date, and you think it’s going really well. Your date looks at you “Hey, would you want to head back to my place and maybe we can cook some pasta together?”. “Hamsolutely!” you say with gusto. Your date frowns at you: Their parents were killed by ham.

  53. You’re playing a game of Scrabble with your favorite aunt, you put down what you think to be the perfect word only to realize that you spelled out POOP. You’re aunt shakes her head: it’s not even a high word score.

  54. You’re at a mixer and someone asks you what kind of music you like. You smile, take out your iPod, and play for them thirty four minutes of people rubbing meat on paper. After it’s over you say “I also like Carrie Grant” and smile the biggest smile you can.

  55. You’re relieved when you realize that your longstanding fixation with pleather is over, but then you find yourself thinking about it again and about how NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  56. You’re in the line at the grocery store and the Ham man has bought his ham and is packing it up into a paper bag. You jump over your cart of empty skittle wrappers and help him with it. The Ham Man looks at you and says “Thanks”. You say “You’re welcome, Ham Man”. The Ham Man gives you a look of utmost disdain, “My name’s Chris” he says.

  57. You’re on the bus and you realize that you’ve been traveling in the wrong direction. Too polite to do anything about it, you get off at the next stop and realize that you’ve entered into the bad part of town.  Even though it’s broad daylight, and nothing seems too dangerous, you panic. A person walks by you, a mugger? WHO KNOWS. “Hey” says the Mugger. You scream. “Please for the love of God don’t mug me I gave my house to a homeless person” you scream. The mugger says “Dude, chill. You want me to buy you an iced latte?”. You don’t want to know what this means in mugger speak, so instead you run as fast as you can straight down the middle of the road, all the while screaming “Once upon a time I was falling in love/ but Now I’m only falling apart./ I don’t know what to do/ it’s a total eclipse of the heart”.

  58. You’re meeting an old high school acquaintance for the first time in five years. You palms sweat. Your acquaintance finds you in a coffee shop “Hey man, whats up?” the acquaintance asks. You throw scalding hot coffee in their face and wet yourself.

  59. You’re playing video games with your young cousins. You’re winning the video game, and in a fit of celebration you pour an entire gallon of milk into their gaming council and shout at them “That’s how we DO IT” whilst fist pumping. It’s awkward because your cousins are lactose intolerant.

  60. You’re in a bar, drinking alone. The bartender walks by you, shakes her head, and says “It’s people like you who make me want to gouge my eyes out with toothpicks”. She then gouges her eyes out with toothpicks.

  61. You’re in the line at the grocery store and the cashier begins to check out your groceries. They stare at all of the empty Skittles wrappers in your cart and sigh. “I was hungry”, you plead, “I was hungry for the rainbow!”. The cashier furrows their brow at you. “But… but it’s not a gay thing. I swear. I’m not gay!”, you then look over at the handsome translator and wink three times.

  62. You’re sleeping in your bed when you get a phone call: It’s the president of the united states. “We need someone to accompany me to the best theme park int he world, do you want to come with? We’ll be joined by my two best friends George Clooney and Tom Waits”. You jolt up in your bed: Is this a dream? Does it matter? NO. You lick your lips in grim determination. “Hamsolutely”, you say. The President starts to say something, but then hangs up.

  63. You’re walking down the street on a gorgeous summer day and you pass by The Gap. You stop dead in your tracks: Pleather. Tons of it. Terrified you turn around and shout to everyone staring at you “STOP HATING ME! PLEASE! STOOOOOOOP IT!!!!”. It’s of no use, because NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  64. A homeless person asks you for spare change. You stop in your tracks, take out your wallet, and remove thirty one dollar bills. You hold them up high for the homeless person and for everyone around you to see, then proudly declare “I have no change! I am broke as a button!”.

  65. You’re driving across the country when you’re pulled over by a police officer. “Do you know how fast you were going there, son?” asks the Officer. You smile your biggest smile, give the officer a fast food wrapper, and say “No thanks, I’m from Wisconsin”.

  66. You’re in the line at the grocery store. You look at your watch: Has it really been an hour. You look up at the cashier for answers. “An Hour? AN HOUR? No way has it been an hour!”. You jump up on the conveyor belt and begin squashing your tomatoes screaming “I can’t believe it’s been an hour”. The Handsome translator turns to the New Pope and whispers something. The New Pope looks up at you and says “God lives outside of time and space, but he cannot forgive you”.

  67. You’re picking up your son from school. “Hiya Kiddo, how was school today?” you beam with pride. “Oh, it was okay, we got a new class hamster and we named him Copernicus”. You laugh a little too loudly, then whisper to your son “And soon it’ll be as dead as the REAL Copernicus” before laughing more and more.

  68. You’re walking down the street and pass by someone who is slightly overweight. You stop, look at them in the eye, and say “POO POO POO!” then make a gun with your fingers and shoot at a nearby pigeon with it.

  69. You’re at the Used Car dealership, looking at used Civics because they’re affordable and have great mileage. “We also have some great Fits, if you’re interested” says the Dealer. You look in the eyes of the dealer and say “If I wanted a Fit, I’d have slept with your mother!” and give a big pelvic thrust.  It’s awkward because the dealer is your brother.

  70. You’re watching the newest Iron Man movie for the fourth time. At the precise moment Robert Downey Jr. puts on the Iron Man suit for the ninth time you stand up and applaud wildly and sing “He’s done it again/ That Iron Man/ Put on his suit/ Now he’s ready to boot/ Evil, that is”. The other people in the cheap theater shake their heads and try to ignore you.

  71. You’re in the line at the grocery store and you just realized that you forgot to buy milk. You gaze in horror at the cashier “I forgot milk. Oh no! I- Shoot. I… I really need to get milk” you try and explain to the Cashier, the New Pope, the handsome translator, the really nice Hispanic lady who’s been very kind about your outbursts. You shake your head in abject horror. You reach over the cashier and turn on the intercom “I FORGOT THE MILK”, you yell and stare into the laser scanner as your words echo throughout the store: This might be the worst day of your life, and the New Pope has the most beautiful hands you’ve ever seen.

  72. You decide to order a tamale from a food cart and practice your Spanish. “You want a tamale?” asks the Cart clerk. You nod and smile and say “C’est neci un pipe”, then you grab the tamale from the clerk and mush it into your face.

  73. You’re on a date, and it’s going alright. The waiter brings out your food, “The Lobster for the lady and a giant platter of small microwavable pies for the gentleman” the waiter says. You look at your pies and smile, then look at your date and say “My grandma made pies before she died” before digging into the platter.

  74. You’re visiting the living history monument of the battle of Gettysburg.  As the battle reenactment rages, you dart out onto the battlefield and start singing the hit ABBA song “Waterloo” while dancing. Everyone claps politely, but you can tell nobody understood your artistic intent.

  75. You’re taking a guided tour of Carlsbad caverns and marveling at the sheer beauty of the caves. A fellow tourist taps you on the shoulder and asks if you can take their picture in front of one of the gaping bat infested chambers. You nod, and say “Hamsolutely”. You take the picture, but it turns out horribly because the tourists are wondering what sort of monster you are. You nod, hang your head low, and say “Hamsolutely” before walking away out of the caves.

  76. You’re in line at the grocery store, or rather you’re running through the store to get some milk while the cashier and the New Pope and everyone else wait for you. You get the dairy cooler and fumble to get the doors open. You grab a carton of milk, and drop it. Milk spills everywhere. You stare as the milk pools around your feet and shout back to the counter “I dropped the milk. Do I still have to pay for it?”. Silence. You shake your head: Of course you do. You grab another carton and drop this one as well. Soon you’ve dropped almost all of the milk and the floor, and your shoes are soaked. You bring the last gallon, clutching it with dear life, and walk back to the counter with your shoes squeaking. You look at the cashier and say feebly “I need to buy thirty-five gallons of milk”.

  77. You become convinced that you’ve been spelling your name wrong for the past few decades and have a moment of panic. You rush into the nearest government building and scream “WHO AM I?”. The government workers sigh, as this is just another part of their usual day, and continue on with business as usual as you curl onto the floor and throw up.

  78. A homeless person asks you for spare change, and instead you give him your copy of Gideon’s BIble that you always keep with you on your person. “I hope this book changes your life, it;’s kept me from being shot eight times!”. Right as you give the bible to the homeless person you’re shot, and as you bleed out the homeless person frowns and says “Actually, I’m Buddhist. Sorry”.

  79. You’re friends are talking about the latest season of Game of Thrones and you’re casually listening. When they get to the last episode one friend turns to you and says “Oh, hey, you may want to close your ears, this is a pretty big spoiler”. You shrug and tell them to go ahead. Once they reveal the climactic end with the Dragon Lady you stand up, fuming “I can’t believe you ruined that for me! Now I can’t watch the rest of the series!” you scream. It’s awkward because you’re the head writer for Game of Thrones.

  80. You notice a hipster reading a newspaper on a stoop. You stomp up to them and curtly say “You’re not getting away that easily. I know you’re Jack the RIpper”. The hipster stares at you behind their glasses: How could you possibly know? You wink and take their newspaper and scarf.

  81. You’re in the line at the grocery store, which was nice enough to give you a towel to dry off the milk. The cashier is weighing your produce items. You look over at the New Pope, milk dripping down your face. The New Pope doesn’t know what else to do, so they smile and nod. You nod enthusiastically and say “Mom always said I gots to drink lots of milk!”. You turn to the translator, who shakes his head and says “I will never say those words to his holiness, you terrible and ugly man”.

  82. You’re on a date, and it’s not going well. Your date finishes their glass of wine and smiles at you politely. “How’s your food?” they ask. You choke on risotto, stare at your date in terror and say “I don’t understand black people”.

  83. You’re on the phone for two hours and think you’re talking to you mother, only to realize that you’ve been talking to her cat.

  84. You suddenly realize that you don’t know where the Canary Islands are and let out a pained shriek in the middle of workday.

  85. You’re talking with your therapist about your issues with pleather. You’re making real headway, until they notify you that the couch you’ve been sitting on for ten months now, the one you thought was genuine pig’s hide, is actually pleather. Your mouth hangs open, and you jump out the window.

  86. You’re in the line at the grocery store and it’s time for you to pay. “That’ll be 57.96” says the cashier. You smile, take out your wallet, and giver the cashier your credit card. “Is this debit or credit?” the cashier asks. You freeze. The cashier asks again “Debit or credit?”. You hold the card in front of your face and shout “I DON’T KNOW THE BANK JUST GIVES ME THESE THINGS AND I USE THEM! STOP JUDGING ME!!!!!”

  87. You’re walking out of the movie theater with a group of friends. You fall to your knees in awe and terror as you realize that now every time you try and picture a native American they’ll have Johnny Depp’s face. You’re friends ask you what’s wrong and you shout “JOHNNY DEPP’S FACE!”.

  88. It’s your time to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for solving all conflict in the Middle East. You walk up to the podium, the crowd applauds. You quiet them down, you nod to the foreign dignitaries and wave to the thousands of newspaper and Al Jazeera reporters who made such a feat possible. The crowd quiets down, anticipating the single greatest speech in history. You clear your throat and say “Thank you, I am hamsolutely humbled to receive such an honorable award, and I know that I wouldn’t have been able to-” It’s too late. Nobody’s listening to you anymore. A wave of nervous chuckles echo through the room, the King of Saudi Arabia tries to busy himself with Angry Birds. You begin again “I am hamsolutely humbled to…” Nope. The audience clears out. The Kohmeni looks over at the Emir of Qatar and spits on him. The Nobel comity takes back the award, and kicks you off the stage before thorwing balls of paper at your face.

  89. You walk onto a crime scene that the police need your expert consultation on. As you look over the evidence and scour the scene, your iPhone goes off. You make a big deal about answering it, even though it’s the cable company calling you to see if you’re happy about your service. You walk through the crime scene and contaminate it while raving about the cable’s on demand service. It’s awkward because you traveled back in time to 1856 and the police have no conception of what “cable” or an “iPhone” or “Contamination of evidence” is.

  90. You’re driving your car to the post office when you realize that you left the postcard you were going to send back home. In a fit of rage you drive into the ocean and run over a child’s beach ball in the process. The parents try to use the beach ball as a means to explain death, but it doesn’t work.

  91. You’re in the line at the grocery store and the bag boy is bagging up all of your groceries. You gingerly touch them on the shoulder and say “It’s okay, Bucko, I got the rest of this”. The bag boy nods and leaves, and immediately you place three cantaloupes on top of your eggs. The New Pope, who is now having his Skittles and magazines checked out, tries to help you. You slap away the New Pope hand and shout “What I say? I got this!”. You continue to try and figure out how paper bags work while the New Pope and the translator watch on in exasperated terror.

  92. You’ve been calling you hamster a dog for the past fifty years, even though the hamster has been dead for fourty-six of them.

  93. You’re at your cousins Bar Mitzvah. The Rabbi find you and says “It was a great service, don’t you think?”. You grab the Rabbi by the beard and say “RELIGION IS THE OPIATE OF THE MASSES, YOU PIG!”.

  94. A homeless person asks you for spare change, and instead you sing every single top 40 hit from 1979 to 1991.

  95. You’re in line to meet Bill Clinton at a local charity event. You walk up to the former president and say “I think you should have played Batman. Really. YOU SHOULD HAVE”. Clinton tries to smile.

  96. You’re at the Opera, and during the final aria you throw a pig onstage and proceed to theme clap until the pig dances. The pig never does.

  97. Years have passed, and you’ve come to the realization that: You know what, pleather isn’t actually that bad. In fact, you kind of like pleather. You walk up to your mother on her death bed and say “Mom, I wanted to let you know that it’s been a tough road for me, but I think I’ve finally come to respect pleather. Your mother coughs, and says with her dying breath: NOBODY LIKES YOU.

  98. You’re at a breakfast diner and you order two eggs with toast. When the waiter asks how you’d like your eggs you laugh for five minutes and then say “I guess I’d like them on a plate!”. The waiter shakes their head: They’re not going to get a tip form this table.

  99. You’re on a date at the symphony for a nice afternoon of classical music, wine, and cheese. You put down the picnic blanket, take out the bottle of Pinot and glasses, the Camembert and brie, then you put the picnic basket on your head and run around making robot noises. The awkward part is that you’ve had your leg replaced by a prosthetic, and nobody really likes to bring it up.

  100. You’re in the line at the grocery store, and you’re ready to leave. You pick up your oddly shaped bags and look back at these people who’ve you’ve laughed and loved with. These people who, for the past hour, have endured so much and have stuck by you throughout everything. You throw down your grocery bags. You address the grocery line: “Okay, fine. I’m in love with the Pope, and I don’t care who knows it!”. The New Pope looks at you. He smiles, rips off his pope hat and throws it to the ground. He runs up to you and together you both embrace and kiss. He leans in and asks, in perfect English, “You mean it? You’ll love me forever, for better or for worse, through richness and poorness?”. You smile, stare deeply into his eyes and whisper “Hamsolutely”.

Write-In 2012

On Halloween 2008 my filmmaking colleagues Andrew Gingerich and Matt Kane found themselves with a RED camera for the weekend. They did what any self-respecting opportunistic filmmaker would, and they decided to make a movie. They decided to make a film about the upcoming 2008 election, which they shot on the spooky eve of Halloween. Third Party ’08 can now be found on both Andrew’s YouTube and his Vimeo.

But our real story begins about four years later.  Another election was looming on the horizon, and the more and more I heard people complain about how little they liked the “two candidates” the more and more I realized that it was time for me to make an election film. So I contacted Andrew to see if I could pick up (more or less) where Third Party ’08 left off, only this time shifting focus from a Third Party Candidate to a Write-In candidate.  Andrew was more than happy to help me with the script, planning, we were even this close to getting Jim Wescott to fly to Iowa and reprise his ongoing role as Roger Deerborn (But he was busy with a stage production at the time. I’m pretty sure he was playing a king), and Andrew spoke to a county representative in Sioux City Iowa to figure out how Write-In ballots are actually counted and tended.  So come October of 2012 I flew to Sioux City, Iowa, where Andrew heads the Cinema department at WITCC and together with his students we made this film about a taco getting elected president:

Write-In 2012 on YouTube

I enjoy how this film turned out, and although perhaps “A Sad Day” was seen by more people, I do consider this to be my largest work of 2012.  The first few minutes are very expository, and very much an info-dump, but I feel that it mostly pays off by the time we reach the end.  This was one of the first projects that the students of the WITCC cinema department actually had lead production roles on, it was my first time directing a large crew since graduating (and the first actual film set that I was on since earlier that year in February), and it was one of the more in-depth projects in terms of planning and marketing that I had worked on (you can still be friends with Taco Tapir on facebook. He gives you a heads-up whenever they have a buy thirty get five free deal).

This is all to say that I was a bit under-prepared and over-whelmed by the time we started going into production, fortunately I only think it only had a minor effect on the overall quality of the film.  I’m not sure how well some performance beats read, there are some minor (very minor) sound bumps here and there, and I really would have loved to have had some taco wrappers or more taco-tapir memorabilia around in the latter part (On a long sidenote, though, I’m very impressed that you cannot tell that the American flag in the corner that’s featured in the background of a great deal of shots is being supported by a C-Stand.  Even with this knowledge, it still looks like a flagpole. Hooray).  We did create some taco tapir taco wrappers, as you would know from this earlier post, but we only had enough to print out wrappers for one close-up shot which we had to scrap during the editing process as it just wasn’t reading correctly.  I am very happy to add “election fraud” to my list of cinematic crime, though, as we had a number of fake Iowa state ballots printed out (and those election envelopes look damned good).