The time has come for Matthew Marshak to meet his maker.

Picture by Timothy Merks

This week I just wanted to do something that made me laugh. I might do one about Hell and one about Purgatory at some stage.

Hope you enjoy it.



The Hack

The story of Rupert Winward, hack science fiction writer in the 1960s.


Picture by Timothy Merks

My Daughter and I have recently been binge watching the original series of Star Trek, and we’re loving it. This is born from that, a recent bout of writer’s block, and my own fear that I’m a hack.

It’s part of a longer story that I might write one day and the character is definitely someone I’d like to do more with.

Hope you like it.

The Hack

Film: Department for Accidental Advancement

Today’s film is an adaptation of The Department for Accidental Advancement and the first two pager to be animated. It was made by the three Multimedia and Design students, Colin Grey, James Martin, and Kathleen Tran. It’s a lot of fun.

Here’s Colin’s introduction:

The short film was created by three students, studying Interactive Multimedia & Design. The courses in the program cover a multitude of different topics, though this course in particular acting as an introduction to 3D Computer Animation. As the project assigned was required to not be too short or long in length, Two Pages A Week was recommended by the professor, as a two page script provides a fairly attainable scope in the time provided. After reading through some of the scripts to get a feel for them, we came across The Department For Accidental Advancement. This script in particular felt like a great mix of serious and funny, with unique character personalities and dynamic, which helped give an immediate mental image of what we could produce. We ran with it and ended up with what you see.

Film: Ellipse

Today’s film is Ellipse, directed by Kevin Oh. Here’s Kevin’s introduction:

We chose Ellipse because it was short and sweet. Just the right length to enjoy the story (with a great turn at the end), but just short enough to do it on a tight schedule. I probably shouldn’t go into productions hoping they’d be easy ones anymore. First problems came up when we realized how understaffed we were. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have an amazing wife who was there to organize every single casting session we’d have (and we probably went through at least fifty actors/actresses to find who fit the roles the best). Then the usual conflicts of scheduling the actors came up, other crew members who couldn’t make it, it started becoming a real nightmare. Also, my wife was beginning her pregnancy, and you can imagine how hard it was for her through such a hectic schedule. Finally, first day of shooting and we’re finally rolling the damn camera. The actors are going through the scene, and I can hardly believe it (it didn’t even matter if the dolly was loud as hell). Suddenly, from up above, all of us hear this horrid ripping sound. We had attached planets onto the beams above the set as our interpretation of the script, and fucking Jupiter began tumbling down into our atmosphere, choosing to bounce right between our actors. Dear God. I suddenly felt all the tension and stress built up in myself dissipate if only for a moment. The moment was too good we put it after the credits.

Other notes:
– Ultraviolet lights really helped us make a cheap looking set (which admittedly still looks pretty cheap) into a decent looking one.
– We were really trying to make the actor’s heads look like planets in orbit, thus the stark black interior of the cafe, and the slow revolving dolly in every shot
– We decided to use a famous Russian composer’s music for the film, which is interestingly enough set in space. This caught the attention of copyright laws and we got a chance to speak to this famous composer’s agent. We never contacted him directly, but we were under the impression he watched the film and thought it was ok. Then he proceeded to sell us the rights for fifty dollars. We have yet to get back to him.
– On our last day of shooting to get the shot of Eloise spinning around at the beginning, it ended up just me and the wife crewing alone (and of course the actress). We were expecting more people and even brought catering. More Subway for us I suppose.
– We were really torn on who got what part. We met with so many amazing actors and the film could have gone in so many directions that we didn’t know what to do. Ultimately, we saw our favorite Eloise actresses and our favorite Remy actors do the entire scene together in the callbacks. That’s how we ended up with our choice and that’s who we had on set. Now if only we the dolly would stop creaking during the dialogue…

Film: Taste

I haven’t written a script for this week due to being quite ill. Instead I’m going to finally get around to posting all the films that people have been sending me. Apologies to all the filmmakers for taking so long.

The order will be determined by how quickly I can find them in my email inbox. The first is Taste directed by Tyler Moldovan.