Synopsis: The audience is inside the movie theatre, ready to watch the feature presentation. Meanwhile… out in the lobby, the employees bust out in a fantastical dance musical.
Production Year: 2009
Type: Fiction Short
Role(s): Production Assistant
- Coke Refreshing Filmmaker’s Finalist and Winner 2009
- Played nationally on 30,000 screens
December 6, 2008
After class last Thursday, myself and a couple of guys from the film school hung out for a bit and chatted about a film project that one of the guys has starting up in about ten days. Apparently his commercial proposal had been selected as a finalist by Coke for their “Refreshing Filmmaker’s Award.” Every year, Coke collects entries from several film schools and the schools narrow down their best entries for submission. Coke ends up with 300 total submissions nationwide and, from those entries, 10 are selected and each given $7500. That amount goes a long way given how deeply discounted students get things through school, although not as far in Los Angeles as it might in other less-expensive areas. Then 1 final commercial is ultimately selected and run in 21,000 theatres nationwide.
Over the course of the later-evening, we talked about the budgeting for it in detail and he’s asked me to help out on the eventual filming. Essentially, I’ll just be running around the location while he directs things and doing what I can to help make it smooth. You’ll be able to see the final product on Coke’s website later in January and can vote on it.
What is the short about? Well, the 50-second final product will involve a wacky salsa-style beat suddenly breaking as the concession workers in a threatre start ‘playing’ on various items around the lobby. It then kicks into high gear as people start ‘extreme’ salsa-dancing, unbeknown to the patrons inside the theatre itself.
There’s apparently a lot of over-the-top salsa dancing involved, at least as far as I’ve ever seen. In an audition video that I was shown, one of the dancers was literally flipping over people. The gag at the end is that someone in the theatre comes outside to refill his Coke and catches them, but then ends up joining in the dancing.
February 24, 2009
A fun little update and something to keep an eye out for this spring/summer if you’re taking in a movie: I was lucky to have worked on a (very) short film entitled “Meanwhile…” that was recently named this year’s winner of the ‘Coke Refreshing Filmmaker’ contest.
While it will be difficult to be certain which particular theatre screens nationwide will be showing the short, it will be shown on roughly 21,000 screens during May and June. Thus far, the theatre chains involved appear to be: AMC Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, Loews Cineplex, and Regal Entertainment Group.
A bit of background: A classmate in one of my film-related classes was its producer and had asked me to get involved. He, along with the film’s director, had submitted a proposal to the ‘Coke Refreshing Filmmaker’ program in the fall and that proposal was one of ten selected as a finalist for funding. The finalists received $7500 to complete their films; given the small amount, it was very dependent on volunteer work and steep discounts when filming occurred in December.
My role was essentially to assist the producer with some planning, managing some logistics, and, during shooting, perform a wide range of whatever-needs-to-be-done tasks around the location. I’ve continued to express to both the director and producer that I plan to take full credit for pushing the film over-the-top with my main on-screen contribution: the creation of raining popcorn. I am usually hiding behind the counter in the dancing shots…
October 16, 2009
The Coke short that I helped on – “Meanwhile…” played well this evening, as I got a chance to see it for the first time on the big screen at the AMC theatre in Edina, Minnesota. Well, it played well, give or take the people who were still gabbing during it. In my mind, I had this image of everyone in the audience transfixed by it, but the reality was a little different. I wanted to yell out ‘Pay attention to the short film people, I did that popcorn!’ but I restrained myself.
I’m going to admit that I was a bit worried on Friday when the tide of insanely-positive reviews turned on “Where the Wild Things Are.” I figured Spike could do me no wrong though, but it turned out to be an odd viewing experience. The main thing to keep in mind is that the movie is slow. as. heck.
I was apparently not in the mood for that sort of film last night and caught myself yawning a lot. I’m sure that the screenplay, with its many layers and meanings in the Wild Things world, will become one that is highly-analyzed. As a film, I didn’t find it to be awful or anything and perhaps it will grow on me some rainy afternoon on video, but it didn’t really rock my world. For comparison on recent movie tastes, I enjoyed “Up” a few weeks ago much more. It also made me keep thinking of Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” a lot and how much more I enjoyed that film.
When one attends it, you’ll likely find the theatre to be an odd mish-mash of parents with young kids and hipsters there to see the new Spike Jonze/David Eggers hipness. By around an hour in, we had kids in our theatre randomly walking in the isles, crying, and being led out by their parents.
It was bizarre.
The marketing has all been about it being a kid’s movie and it really is not that kind of film given the pacing and depth.
November 15, 2009
A bit of shameless promotion: The Coke-themed short film “Meanwhile…” that I worked on back in December 2008 has finally made its way into theaters… it began popping up back on October 2nd and is shown just prior to the start of a given film (either before or after the previews).
It should play through into the early holiday season…. Please keep your eyes peeled the next time that you’re at the movies and you should have good odds of running across it…