Hear, Speak and See

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Runner-Up - Best Comedy - Silver Spoon Film Festival 2005

Andrew Gingerich, director

Evan Riffe
Special Thanks:
Greg Ley
Jared Ross

Discuss this film on the Exploding Goldfish Blog

This is arguably the first "real" project I ever did. By the time I began work on this short, I'd been interning at PSD Channel 10 for a few months and had realized that there was really no point in waiting any longer to start working on my own projects. The technology was finally all there and accessible, and my parents, incredibly tolerant and supportive people that they are, helped me with the purchase of a G5 and Final Cut in December of 2004.

I wrote the script for Hear, Speak and See on new year's eve. It was the easiest thing I have ever written. The words just flowed onto the page as though I'd been rehearsing them in my head for years. I started writing around 9:00 and finished right at midnight. I took this as a good sign.

Sometime in January I cast Evan Riffe in the film, and we shot the whole thing in my living room one afternoon, with no preparation other than a cursory read-through. I edited the whole thing that weekend.

Around this time I had just watched The Five Obstructions and been quite taken by the concept of a filmmaker faking the same film five times, each time with different restrictions placed upon him. So I enlisted the help of Greg to come up with ways to irritate me while I re-made the film several times. One version, I recall, had to be a music video, and one version had to contain only synthetic materials. These versions were not shot.

One additional version, though, WAS shot. I forget exactly what the restrictions were. I think there had to be a plant, an umbrella and a window in every shot, and every shot had to be exactly ten seconds long. Anyway, I got the idea that we should do the exact same dialog and performance, but in an utterly ridiculous setting. So I got Evan back one cold night, and I enlisted the help of Jared Ross as a general-purpose crew member. I had Evan barefoot in a Hawaiian shirt, sitting in a lawn chair on my patio in the middle of one of the coldest nights of the month, with a bamboo stalk next to him, a red umbrella in one hand an an iced tea in the other. The visuals were great, but oh how Evan Suffered for them.

Unfortunately, the time constraint is the one that killed me. I couldn't get the pacing to work when each shot was exactly ten seconds long, and I got so stuck that I ended up abandoning the multiple-versions concept.

This single version, however, did get accepted to the Silver Spoon Film Festival in Loveland and played in the coolest venue I've ever shown a film in: the Rialto, an old 1920's theater restored to its original glory. The film got a fantastic reception, I gave a quick Q&A about the difficulties pirates face when cooking, and the film won runner-up for best comedy. Even though it was way better than the movie that won best comedy. Not that I'm bitter…

-Andrew Gingerich