What the heck just happened? As I sit here at my computer pondering over what I should write, I’m half thinking I’ll wake up from a dream and the last two weeks would not have existed. Let me slap myself and see if that wakes me up…
Alright, still here, just a little sore now…but, I think it’s safe to say, I’m not dreaming and the last two weeks – possibly the greatest two weeks in our Guerrilla lives - did happen! What happened you might be asking? Well, let me explain.
This summer we submitted our music video for the Gelonius single, “The Last Slice”, to the Edmonton Short Film Festival. We’ve always loved The Last Slice as it’s a perfect satire of all the sad songs out there today and I mean, it’s a song about pizza. AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE PIZZA?!?!
Anyways, we submitted it to the festival and crossed our fingers for the best. In September we received the incredible news that The Last Slice made the cut and was going to screen at the 2015 Edmonton Short Film Festival! What amazing news this was!
September 26, the red carpet was rolled out and our Guerrilla Team was out in full force. We had an absolutely amazing experience at the festival; getting our pictures taken on the red carpet, mingling with other filmmakers and most importantly getting to see our film on the big screen. The audience embraced Mark and his love of Pizza with open arms and heavy laughs. We didn’t win any awards but seeing the joy we brought to the audience was a very special experience and something that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
A very big thank you goes out to Daniel, Sharlene, and the rest of the organizers and volunteers of the Edmonton Short Film Festival for putting together this remarkable festival. Supporting the arts, especially film, is very important to us and this festival allows local filmmakers to showcase their work and for that we are very grateful we were able to be apart of it.
While the Edmonton Short Film Festival was going on, another half of our Guerrilla Team was competing in the 24/One Film Challenge as part of the 2015 Edmonton International Film Festival. What is the 24/One film challenge you may ask? Well, teams have 24 hours to write, shoot, and edit a short film (no longer than 7 minutes). Not a very easy task, however, we were up for the challenge…again!
We teamed up with Justin Cauti at 201 Pictures and together (as 201 Guerrillas) we penned out a script titled “The Lobster” – a story about a man, Kevin, trying to win back his boyfriend’s love by cooking him a delicious lobster dinner. Things get “fishy” when the Lobster comes alive and offers Kevin a helping claw in his failing relationship.
We had our story and now we needed to hire a cast and crew. On the acting side of things, Andrew Joseph Pahlke (winner of the Best Actor for Overtime in the 24/One Challenge in 2014) would play Kevin, James Wilkinson as Cody (Kevin’s boyfriend), and Jeff Woodward as the voice of the Lobster – think Nick Nolte in 48hrs. - Oh and the actual Lobster…Larry The Lobster!
Our crew consisted of Justin Cauti & Justin Kueber (Justin CK) as directors, Sam Reid as editor & cinematographer, Sushami Pomerleau-Piquette on sound, and Lany Bonneau on animation.
We started filming around 3pm and we were finished by 630pm. The editing took us until about 130am and we were in bed by 2am. Not bad considering the previous year we weren’t in bed until 6am the next morning. We felt good about our final product – hoping it would make the top 10 – and handed it in confidently to the judges.
One week later…
We sat in the Landmark Cinema, nervous, antsy, not sure whether we were going to leave happy or leave crying our eyes out. It was announced that there were 13 films that were going to be screened. Surely we were apart of that Top 13. Right? Film after film went by and The Lobster still had not screened. I was sweating bullets…I don’t do well with this sort of thing. I could even feel my legs shaking at one point, Until #11…lucky #11 there it was 201 Guerrillas. Our group of 7 let out a combined sigh of relief. We did it!
The Lobster was met with many laughs; more than we anticipated actually. It was great to see people embrace the characters and our beloved talking lobster. This gave us hope for the People’s Choice Award that would be given out after the screening.
Ballots were handed out and the packed house voted for their favorite film. Awards were given out in many categories. Sound, Editing, Actress, and then came Best Actor…Best Actor, they announced…Andrew Joseph Pahlke! The repeat! This made us jump from our seats seeing AJ get the repeat Best Actor Award. He deserved it all, as he was truly fantastic in this film.
And then the Best Film Audience Choice Award…we sat there nervously. We knew we had the potential to win it but you never know when it is your peers voting for you. And then we heard it “Two-Hundred-One Guerrillas”! We jumped up from our seat, high fiving and cheering. What an amazing thing to hear. We won Best Film!! Best Film at the 24/One Film Challenge for the Edmonton International Film Festival. In the immortal words of Justin Kueber “THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”
We had such a great experience competing again in the 24/One film challenge. It is a very challenging thing to do making a movie in 24 hours but we pulled it off with ease thanks to our fantastic cast and crew. It really was a team effort and I love working with these guys!
Another huge thank you goes out to the festival organizers and volunteers for the 24/One Film Challenge. And, as well, thank you to the audience who voted us for Best Film! We are glad you guys enjoyed our work and we cannot wait to compete again in 2016. 201 Guerrillas will be back!
Keep your eyes peeled after October 10th for the release of The Lobster. And if you haven’t seen it already, check out the Official Selection of the 2015 Edmonton Short Film Festival, The Last Slice.
Thank you everyone!