No Taming This Shrew


How to make a movie without even trying

I spent Saturday in the company of tremendously funny people. My "DC Guys," whom I've known since I was but a wee slip of a girl (like 22, for pete's sake!), get a bunch of us together a few times a year to make short films for the 48 hour film project. It is hilarious work, but I have to say it's really work.

J and C, who typically write the screenplays between the time our team gets the "genre requirement" on Friday night and when the team shows up for filming at around 10 am, are two of the funniest people I know. I have humor envy. I've considered joining them for a screen writing session, but I've found that my Angry Estrogen Factor often hurts their humor. Just too mature, I guess...

Then we start filming with a really odd assortment of people from varying sectors of DC life -- journalists, yoga instructors, tech managers, academics...we've got 'em all. They're also really funny people. T. was the villain in our superhero film, and B. was our hero, and they're both show stealers nonpareil. I was a sassy journalist (Lois Lane type) harassing the cops and frolicking with the hero. Thankfully I own a rainbow assortment of journalist trenchcoats, so I was ready for the day.

As far as the film goes, it's a superhero plot featuring The Mime (nobody fights crime like the mime!) and his evil nemesis, the Khan to his Kirk, The Ventriloquist. It's a damn funny script, featuring gems like "Damn your mimed masonry!" and "Booze jockey! Fetch me that bottle of wine!"

We spent about 6 hours in a bar shooting and reshooting scenes for a 7 minute film. We didn't do my scenes until last, so I had plenty of time to catch up with people I hadn't seen since the last time we got together. People had bought houses, asked people to marry them, and had minor life crises since last we met. (Indeed, a former boyfriend of mine is getting engaged to his girlfriend, which is both excellent and somewhat queasy-inducing...)

So basically I get to tag along with the guys (most of whom are married to rather extraordinary women who are clever enough to not come to these) and play make believe for a day. They would howl with derision if they heard me say this, but I'm so happy they let me come with them on these adventures. I almost wish the films came around more often. Almost...