It’s been so busy this week I didn’t get to tell you about Tuesday night, when I took a day off work and went to Royal Oak for May’s Mitten Movie Project, a monthly screening of short films. Our DFC class project was in it, and it got a few chuckles where it was supposed to, so I was happy.
But the highlight (for me, anyway) was a short by Mike Eshaq, “MT* Crib*: Arab American Style,” which was hysterical. (I’m obscuring the name of the cable channel’s well-known show in the title, just in case they have robo-goons out there looking for copyright violators. In the Q-and-A, I asked Eshaq how he got permission to use their name and graphics and he said, “Um, I didn’t.” So let’s keep it our secret.)
Anyway, a trip to Ali’s crib to see “how they kick it in East Dearborn” followed the template down to every jerky push zoom and quick-cut edit. The actors were all friends, it was a low/no-budget production, but it worked. The first big inside-the-house laugh featured Ali’s mother yelling downstairs in Arabic to make sure no one is sitting on her living-room couches. Talk about comedy as a unifying force; is there a single ethnic group in America where women don’t protect the living room with their lives? In the Snoop Dogg episode of this very series, there was a sign outside the living room: THIS IS NOT A KICK-IT ROOM. (There were signs everywhere in Snoop’s house, in fact. NO EATING IN THE STUDIO and CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF. Sometimes having an entourage is like being a Cub Scout den mother, I guess.) It wasn’t clear plastic furniture covers, but it was close.
The featured attraction seemed to be this; we watched all three episodes. The filmmaker wasn’t there — he’s off in L.A. establishing his showbiz career — so the stars came to the Q-and-A. I didn’t really have any questions for them; mine were all for the filmmaker, and they boiled down to “how the hell did you find room in your budget for a freakin’ helicopter,” but that was answered by someone sitting near me, who replied, “His parents are really rich,” and that was that.
The director of our little student production was there, and asked if I’d be game for a weekend filmmaking challenge associated with the Detroit-Windsor film festival next month. Here’s how it works: You assemble a team, and on Friday you’re given four elements — a location, a genre, a line of dialogue and a prop. You have until Sunday to turn in a short film (OK, video) incorporating all four, which are then screened for the crowd and judged for fabulous prizes that usually boil down to a couple hundred bucks. It actually sounds kind of fun. A veteran of one of these described his most recent experience; I forget the location, but the rest were action/adventure, “I’ll have to get back to you later” and a hat or something. “Don’t plan on getting much sleep,” he said. Deadline is a drug, as we all know. We might have to do this.
If nothing else, the making-of featurette will be a great video for NN.C.
So, a little bloggage:
Mitch Albom, man of the people, whines that the Wings are doing really well in the Western Conference NHL finals, and yet still there are empty seats at the Joe. Bad fans, bad! At last count, a hundred or so commenters had reminded him that the state is in a recession, and major-league sports tickets might be considered a luxury under such circumstances.
The Poor Man is back with a while new comics series — The Amazing League of Pundits. And it’s hilarious.
Something I didn’t know was happening: A few thoughts about eBay’s decline.
That’s it, folks. I have a doctor’s appointment in an hour to discuss a flare-up of my plantar fasciitis, and I think I’ll impress him with my commitment to fitness by riding my bike there. At this point, it hurts too much to walk.