Tag Archives: festival

My Name is Ward Armstrong and I Travel Through Time

This began as a writing warm-up for the Ministry of Playwriting, and it grew into the most viewed film of mine and perhaps the film I’m most known for.  So, now here it is, re-uploaded on the New Henceblog: My Name is Ward Armstrong and I Travel Through Time:

My Name is Ward Armstrong and I Travel Through Time from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

To clarify: I don’t think this is the best film I’ve ever made (that honor belongs to Lamplight Breakfast on a Burning Kitten), but this is consistently an audience favorite. It’s easy to see why, as it’s a good joke vehicle (wonderful lines/readings that stick out: “I will send you to the dinosaur times”, “Well, you can’t stop the Squid Monster”, and “They have these saws for arms. It’s TERRIBLE”) and the main performance of Leroy Twarogowski is delightfully befuddled.  On another viewing, I feel that the pacing is a bit off, and that I could have done a much better job editing this together (the Mexican standoff scene doesn’t quite pop as much as it should) and I really wish I was able to include the take where Leroy pronounced it “Moo-Tants”, but if memory serves me correctly it just wouldn’t fit in.

Teh Cld Wr

Here’s another old Henceforth Classic, from my high-school/basement days: Teh Cld Wr.  Although, interesting fact, Teh Cld Wr (though shot my senior year of High School in 2007) wasn’t completed until I was in my second semester of College (winter of 2008).  Another interesting fact: Teh Cld Wr was the first film that I’m credited as directing on my IMdB Page (the film that got me my IMdB page was Andrew Gingrich’s Wholesale Souls, though).  So, Teh Cld Wr occupies an interesting place in the Henceforth mythology and chronology: A bridge between the years I discovered my craft and the years I honed it, and for the longest time throughout college I was known for making Teh Cld Wr.  That’s the preamble and history for the video, so now let’s take a look at the film itself:

Teh Cld Wr from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

The early henceforth films were plagued by a number of problems, many of which are found in every film people have made with their friends in basements: Sound quality, a lack of expertise in editing, general low-quality.  So these are given problems, and even among those the only glaring issue is the sound (I was rather ambitious with editing, and I do think it’s a notch above most of the other films that my fellow high-schoolers were making).  The early henceforth films can also be marked as having a bizarre grasp on color correction.  Part of this was intentional, as was the choppy nature of the film, but even so… it gets a bit tiresome.  Also, because of the choppy nature of the project, many of the best gags are cut out (and because of general disorganization, an entire segment on the Vietnam War was cut out.  Oddly enough, the Vietnam War segment was the reason I decided to make this project).

But there are also some good nuggets in here, and I don’t think it’s completely a waste like some of the other early films are.  The part about the arms race (1 apple, 2 apples, don’t use the apples) is still one of my favorite scenes ever, as is the part regarding the Berlin Wall (“I can’t until the late 80’s” is a gem).  I also think the acting is remarkably decent, given how old we were and how little experience I had with directing.  So, although this isn’t my best work, and I’ve grown by leaps and bounds since the creation of this (or at least I’ve gotten better at hiding my mistakes) this will forever be attached to me and for a good amount of people it will be the earliest film of mine they can see.  And I think it’s a fantastic film for that purpose.

Delicious Pound Cake

As the seven previous readers of the Henceblog know, much of my senior year of my undergraduates degree was spent putting together my senior thesis project: Delicious Pound Cake, a story about cake and the apocalypse.  The story of how production began and the story of pre-production can be seen with the Cakelog video series, but overall the creation of Delicious Pound Cake went by smoothly without much of a fuss.  Except that about a week before production began I had around half a ton of plywood fall on me and crush my leg, and that we got into a bit of a location snag for our general store (getting the proper papers signed in time, it wasn’t too terrible a problem, but it was something).

So, for the entirety of production I was on crutches, and for a sizable portion of production I was on painkillers. The funding campaign never took off as much as I would have liked it to (mainly because of lack of visibility and lack of funds for those who could see the campaign), and that coupled with general lack of organization on my part and business form all involved (this was, after all, still a school project) caused us to be a bit scattered during filming at times, and caused me to overlook a few pivot things.  But, in the end, the project was completed, and it went into the festival circuit.

That’s around where the previous Henceblog left off. Well, the festival circuit wasn’t kind to Delicious Pound Cake. Or maybe it was so kind it decided to leave it alone, but at any rate the film never made it into anything. So, I decided to put it up online so it can be free for anyone to watch anywhere. That’s where it is now, and that’s what is embedded below for your viewing pleasure:

Delicious Pound Cake from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

I now understand why Delicious Pound Cake didn’t make it into any festivals, I think the script was a bit lacking, and the overall apocalyptic idea was just barely underdeveloped (enough, though, to make it very difficult to understand, and enough to create a few glaring issues [like this one: how is it that all of the spices and the like in the general store are all unharmed EXCEPT for the vanilla? Shouldn’t all of the spices have been vaporized in a nuclear blast?]).  However, I do think it’s a fantastic senior thesis, and I also think it’s one of the best movies I’ve made (not THE best, mind you, that honor belongs to Lamplight Breakfast on a Burning Kitten).  We all did the best we could, and I still think that it should have gotten into at least one festival. But oh well, Next time.

A Sad Day

Well, quite a bit has happened since the Henceblog went down, and I’ve released a few films since then as well.  The first film would be “A Sad Day”, based off of a series of short scripts I wrote about a man named Stumpy who can’t do anything right.

 

A Sad Day from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

“A Sad Day” was created by me and a fellow filmmaker and board game-maker Will Culbert as part of a three minute film festival for the Santa Fe Reporter.  Over 300 films were submitted to the festival, and we were lucky enough to be one of the fifty final films chosen to be shown in the finals.  We didn’t walk away with any awards, but to simply be a part of the festival was a great thing.