ACT III. Open on a barrel-chested Russell Crowe in the center of a cyber arena. He holds a computer mouse in one hand and an iPhone in the other. He looks up to the stadium and bellows.
Are you not entertained?! Was it not I who uttered “retardé,” sending the Tea Party into a media frenzy?
Was it not I who kept the memory of Albert Wesker alive through parody and pithiness?
Was it not I, digital denizens, who filled YouTube with politico penis jokes, a talking vagina and an Occupy Wall Street video anthem?!
Have you forgotten that it was I, Thadius Gadflyus, who brought down the Hollywood Goliath, changing the 2012 Academy Awards with but a mere TWEET?!
So… I ask you once again; Are. You. Not… ENTERTAINED?!
More specifically (and with less bravado), if you feel you’ve received at least $1.99 worth of entertainment over the last two years from my blog, would you mind helping my little film?
Please download The Crooked Eye from iTunes! The Gods command it!
Yes, kids, my passion project that started in 2006 (when basic CGI for a film short cost about the same as a Nissan 360Z) and finished in 2009 (when the same CGI cost $42.50 – please shoot me in the head) is now on iTunes!
For a film short, this is the end of the line. It’s final stop. That’s why I need your help in getting it out there. Pretty-please visit iTunes and download the film. Watch it. Then rate it and write a review. (The more reviews and ratings on iTunes, the higher the chances that some stranger will also download and watch it.)
For those who don’t know, this project started out as a short story my mother had written in 1995. I had always wanted to adapt it to the screen as a gift back to her — a way of saying thank you to her for all the years she supported my desire to be an actor.
I ran into many snags along the way and ended up going way over budget. I should’ve dropped the project out of fiscal responsibility, but the idea of doing this for my mother – for the artistic side of both our lives – won out. She had no idea I had done the film when she was sitting in the audience for the premiere screening. It was a perfect night.
But why should you see it, let alone share it with everyone you know? How about this:
- Best Screenplay – HDFest New York
- Best Animated Short – Red Rock Film Festival
- Best Narration – Seattle True Independent Film Festival
- Linda Hunt (Academy Award winner, NCIS, God of War)
- Fay Masterson (Visioneers, Eyes Wide Shut)
- Katherine Boecher (The Spy Next Door, Supernatural)
- Joe Duer (Ugly Betty, Charlie’s Angeles)
Shot entirely in front of a green screen, The Crooked Eye would already have an otherworldly feel to it even if the filmmaker, D.C. Douglas, hadn’t worked so hard to make the entire experience that much more artistically enriching. At times it feels like a live-action film with subtle bits of animation and at other times it feels like a painting come to life. All together, it is a unique look and an ethereal viewing experience.
Based on a short story by Betty Malicoat, The Crooked Eye is the story of one day in the life of Sharon (Fay Masterson). Her inner thoughts and turmoil narrated by Linda Hunt, Sharon seems to drift through life, displaying one thing to those around her while mentally and emotionally experiencing another. She may be there physically, but her life seems to be taking place in an entirely different realm, haunted by her memories of love lost.
The Crooked Eye manages to envelop the viewer in the atmosphere of Sharon’s mind, for better or for worse. The omnipresent narration of Linda Hunt eventually seems to come less from the screen and more from your own head (how did she get in there!?!) and the pleasant look of the film offsets the not quite so pleasant emotions that the story itself creates. Sharon is not a happy person at the time of this tale, and the story is therefore fraught with her fears and insecurities.
So why does it feel so comfortable? Maybe because we’re all so good at swimming in our own equally fragmented currents, sometimes it just takes the right nudge to jump into and enjoy the emotional river of someone else. The Crooked Eye doesn’t give you a shove, more like the floor slowly sliding out beneath you; you’re already in the deep end before you realize what happened.
I have never seen a film that comes so close to how anxiety and depression really feel. Sharon’s feelings made me uncomfortable, as they were suppose to. Sharon was sinking so deep into a black hole she might never have gotten out… A great short.
– Terry King, Examiner
Based upon a 1995 short story by Betty Malicoat, “The Crooked Eye” is a beautifully constructed 18-minute surreal short film that follows Sharon (Fay Masterson) through her daily drudgery of living in a world where she is not as she seems and her psyche’ is flooded by memories of a recently unraveled marriage.
A dreamy whisper of a film, “The Crooked Eye” features original music from Abraham Peraza and Lilia Popova that exudes an almost mystical blend of spiritual isolation and a loss of hope while remaining strangely and peacefully meditative.
“The Crooked Eye” includes an eerie yet comfortable narration from actress Linda Hunt (“The Year of Living Dangerously”) essentially serving as the inner voice of Sharon… Having already screened at nearly 20 film festivals…, “The Crooked Eye” is an intriguing and thought-provoking short film from D.C. Douglas…
– The Independent Critic
In all honesty, don’t see this film for the CGI. We were working with both hands and a checking account tied behind our backs. We went for a simple, surreal quality. It is not a 300 visual experience (though I am grateful for all the work my team did with limited time and resources).
See this film for the wonderful acting in it. See it for the feel, mood, music and emotion. See it because my internet presence has upset FreedomWorks, Andrew Breitbart, and Brett Ratner.
In closing, I humbly ask your help in sending my passion project off onto the great iTunes distribution platform. Please download, watch, rate and write a review. And then, send the link to a friend you think would enjoy a subtle psychological journey. (Or post on Facebook, tweet, stumble, fark, etc.)
DOLLY into a close-up on Russel Crowe’s sweaty, kissable face.
If you do that, citizens of the net, I promise you; as long as there is blood in my veins and honor in my heart – I WILL make another YouTube video! … One that involves genitalia! … And doofus POLITICOS!!!
The crowd erupts in chants of “Download now, download now!” Russell Crowe collapses onto his knees, then checks the twitter feed on his iPhone.
FADE TO BLACK