Digital8 video, 7 min., 2002.
Alan then asked Garrett to be involved in the next Gauntlet, where scripts would be exchanged between directors, entitled "Random Eyes." Garrett wrote a script entitled "The Teenage Bingo Brigade," a surreally funny non-story set at the beach. Warren Blyth asked to direct the project.
Garrett himself asked to direct a script written by Bravo friend Jonason Ho, entitled "I've Been Mocked Enough," a strange tale of a western-style battle between superpowered men. He picked "Beautiful Zelda" alums Volcano Todd and Colin Brown to play the lead roles, and lots of other faces recognizable from Garrett's student films made small appearances (including "Mort's" Daniel Arbuckle, going above and beyond the call of duty). Volcano Todd's pet dinosaur, Nighttrain, also stars in the movie. The silly, basically silent short contains impressive special effects, including the "Blue Sea Eagle" designed by then-SCFX president (USC's official special effects society) and special effects master Jason Porath. True to Gauntlet form, little effort was put into shooting the film. It was a fun, very small, shoot, shot handheld and fast on two separate days. (Because he needed to go back and get more people in it than Colin and Cano.)
This was the only script from the original Bravado batch I really liked. Jonason is an odd man.
Harry Pottash was hung over when doing his cameo. He never really left the apartment, shooting his material inside in the kitchen, or just outside on the deck (I digitally altered photos of him shot inside to look like they were shot outside). John McCulloch, Paul Zirkle and Michelle Brochman were also shot on the deck, so that I could sneak people in who were barely aware a movie was being shot.
I was very proud to shoot with screen legend Nightrain, who plays the ten thousand firebreathing dragons. A friend of Volcano Todd, Nightrain is perhaps the greatest unsung minority star working in motion pictures today.
I thought this thing would run about 2 minutes. It came in at 7. Frankly I'm amazed I got so much mileage out of this schlock.
The same hat is worn by nearly every character in the film. I've had that hat since I was a small child. The same gun is used four times, the same eagle footage is run in reverse at the end ...
Daniel Arbuckle plays the guy in the tiger mask here. In case you were wondering.
"I've Been Mocked Enough" was written to be a traditional genre film. A standard melodrama. It was set in a world where the hero wears white and the villain wears black. Where the character's intention was clear-cut and the plotline was straightforward. It was also a tribute to Stephen's King's Gunslinger series, which I haven't read.
At first the movie felt like a brainless schlock. On a closer look, I realized that the imagery told a very different story from the voice narration. In fact, the film was carefully constructed to contrast the standard and subverts the traditional western genre.
By making no effort to differentiate between the character's costume, feature, gesture, the direction they were facing, and making them wearing the same cowboy hat, the line between the good and the evil was blurred. The meaning behind each action became complex. The moral intention became ambiguous.
It was a daring decision to film on location instead of a controlled studio environment. I would like to applaud the valiant effort to obtain the desert-ish feel by filming at a outdoor sand-volleyball court. The volleyball nets was brilliantly improvised into the movie.
Even the minor villains were well conceived. They were remorseless as they went on their evil rampage with their straw hats and goofy grins. It was as if they were on vacation. But when they perish I couldn't help but felt sympathetic toward these poor, mis-guided bastards.
The special FX was top notch. The fire-breathing bald eagle indicts America's imperialistic abuse against the third world countries under the Nixon administration. I was disappointed when the 1000 fire-breathing dragons was replaced by a shitty dinosaur hand puppet. But the irritation was minor.
The movie was almost perfect. The ending fell flat with a half-assed dance sequence that went nowhere. Nevertheless, we were hinted from the beginning -- as "the man with no name" broke the fourth wall -- this is a different film. This is a film where the incoherence is intended, where the experimentation is applauded. Perhaps it was the perfect ending to this perfect post-modern masterpiece?
In conclusion, I enjoyed the revisionist take on the script. I felt very fortunate and flattered that my meticulously crafted story didn't go to waste.
But seriously, it was fun to watch.
The Random Eyes Page
The Teenage Bingo Brigade
Back to the Shorts
Back to Orange Cow Motion Pictures