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Hi, I'm Tanner. I like cloudy days and fish tanks. I have a wife and a kid. I like them as well.
Posts tagged student film
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TOM ALMON - THE RELUCTANT HERO

Hey Dad, thanks so much for reluctantly portraying the mighty Papa Nemo in one of my student films many years ago. Although you were blessed with the coveted lead role of a community hero with the incredible ability to jump off high dives and catch beach balls while in mid-air, I realize that you were still nonetheless…

a. extremely pissed off the entire time,

b. more embarrassed than you’d ever been in your entire life,

and

c. quickly realizing that your son was “no Spielberg, that’s for sure”.

Yet for some reason you stuck with it and saw the whole damn thing through till the bitter end, and that’s saying a lot considering we had to shoot your dramatic death scene in front of the entire UMBC women’s swim team. Hell, I even I almost jumped ship that day, and all I had to do was hold a camera.

So yeah, if dads are measured by their ability to put up with their kid’s stupid art projects than you’ve gotta be the best dad in America. Thanks man.

STUDENT FILM SERIES: METHOD FOR SELF-DEFENSE AGAINST SCORPIONS

A few weeks ago for “Flashback Friday” I posted a polaroid of my main man Geoff chewing on M&M’s in an effort to create sound effects for my short film, Method For Self-Defense Agains Scorpions. Anyway, last night I dug up a poorly digitized version of the film and figured I’d post it here. It’s around 14 minutes long which probably means that none of you will ever watch it, but I figured what the hell, maybe someone will watch the first minute or so.

For me the highlight of the film is my Uncle Pat, who has a cameo as a grief stricken husband whose wife (played by my mom, obviously) was tragically killed by a scorpion. I love the moment when he awkwardly places his elbow on my friend Kevin and slowly delivers this gem of a line… “she was stung three times in each eye”.

Anyway, the film is based on a short story by the brilliant Argentinean writer Fernando Sorrentino. I remember sitting down and actually writing a letter to him asking if it was okay to make a film about his story. And I remember getting a very nice hand written letter back saying yes. I feel bad for you kids these days who may never know the feeling of getting a real hand-written letter from someone in a foreign land, it was so exciting. My mom actually has the envelope Mr. Sorrentino sent me framed and hanging on her wall, as she was quite fond of the Argentinean stationary.

Anyway, if you have a few minutes please give this film a shot, not so much for my film but to simply hear one of Mr. Sorrentino’s brilliant imaginative tales. It really is quite an amazing story.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY 03 - “DOG BOY AND STRONG MAN”

Oh sweet student films…

Back in my college days my best friend Nick shot a black and white film by the name L’Invitation. It tells the tale of a love triangle involving a Gypsy, a Cannibal, and a Bearded Lady. Of course what carnival love triangle story would be complete without a few supporting characters, such as a Strong Man and a Dog Boy in a cage. 

What’s crazy is that I showed up to set on the first shoot night with a full head of hair. Somehow I was bamboozled into letting my friend Gage shave my entire head with a Bic Razor so that he could tattoo my head with a Sharpie. Needless to say my folks were not too pleased.

For anyone who may be curious the liquid dripping down my body is Hershey’s syrup, the go-to blood of choice when shooting black and white. 

On a personal note this photo really bums me out because I realize that I’ve gained at least 40 pounds since this photo was taken. What the hell happened to me, I gotta get back in shape, it’s embarrassing. Damn you metabolism!

 Anyway, if you’d like to see the film, it’s on Nick’s Vimeo. Here’s the link.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY 01 - “PAPA NEMO AND NOMAR”

I took this behind-the-scenes polaroid of my dad and best friend Nick as I was shooting one of my student films back in college. The film was called “Nomar No. 3” and here is my best attempt at a coherent synopsis…

1. Nomar is the son of Papa Nemo and Nora.

2. Papa Nemo has the amazing ability to jump off a diving board and catch a beach ball before he lands in the water. Because of this amazing ability he is a bit of a legend in the local community.

3. One day, after years of never dropping a beach ball, Papa Nemo misses. Full of shame he decides to sink to the bottom of the pool and drown rather than resurface for air.

4. Nora, Nomar’s mom (played by my mom, obviously) immediately demands that Nomar take over where his father had left off. Unfortunately Nomar is afraid of swimming, much less jumping off high dives and catching beach balls.

5. Now this is where it starts to gets weird. For some reason Nomar’s fear of swimming has to do with a party that took place in his backyard some years earlier. Nomar’s parents had invited Bruce (Nomar’s best friend) and Life Guard Geoff (Nomar’s nemesis) over to celebrate something (I can’t recall what), and during the course of the party they hoist a children’s kitchen playset up into the air via a tree and start beating it like a pinata with a whiffle ball bat. Suddenly the playset erupts and fried chicken comes flying out and everyone starts crawling around on the ground devouring the chicken. Somehow this incident led to Nomar not ever being able to swim. Go with it.

6. Nora starts drinking dangerous amounts of cough syrup because Nomar refuses to take over where his father had left off.

7. Nomar’s best friend Bruce helps Nomar train to be a beach-ball-catching champion just as his father had been. His methods involve a “tight” moped and a mannequin with a mustache.

This all leads up to some sort of epic conclusion involving Nomar and Bruce getting sent to the “Time Out” bench by Life Guard Geoff. I shot the whole damn movie on 16mm film and I remember at one point being in the middle of a swimming pool treading water while shooting with a heavy Bolex camera. To this day I still can’t believe that I didn’t drop that camera below the water, my arm was literally like jello after about a minute of shooting.

Anyway, I’d say that’s a pretty good inaugural “Flashback Friday” post. Maybe one day I’ll post the film here…