In early 1994, my dad died after battling a brain tumor and being in a coma for a couple of months. It was a sad and traumatizing time. I was mostly alone in the house I had shared with my little brother and my mom, then my dad after her passing. But my brother wasn’t so fond of being there without my dad, so he wasn’t there much.
I saw a class advertised at Chicago Filmmakers being taught by one of my favorite cartoonists, Heather McAdams. I think it was called Creative Filmmaking, and it was all about thinking out of the box. I wanted to take it, but didn’t have the cash at the time. So my little brother loaned me the money (I think — I HOPE — that I eventually paid him back) and I took the class. Heather taught us how to use a 16mm camera, how to edit 16mm film - and all kinds of different techniques for compelling visuals, including scratching and drawing on the actual film, and using found footage. It was fun and inspiring.
For my final project I came up with the idea of a caffeine addicted maid being constantly fed coffee by her ominous employer to speed up her cleaning, only to realize at the end that she had been served decaf. It would be BW, shot on 16mm and done in one night. Faith Darling and Carrie D’Waay were my on-camera talent, with a cameo by Craig (well, his hand) and a handsome friend of Kari’s named Russ as a nearly naked man inexplicably in the shower.
It was lots of fun, very inspiring, and I was able to incorporate some of the techniques Heather had taught us. She was happy with the final film, and had told us we could bring anything else to show if we wanted… I brought NUT CRACKER with me. It was so cool to see it projected onto the giant screen in their theater space.
Years later, Jilly Idle came up with a custom soundtrack for this silent short, which just brought it to even more life. It stands as one of my most favorite children.
1994, BW, 16mm film, 5 min.
Click on thumbnails below to start slideshow of images from the short film!
The relationship between Woman and Maid at the beginning of the movie. Spitting out a cigarette
Pouring a cup o joe for the Maid
Carrie D’Waay and the most menacing cup of coffee
One of my favorite shots. Ever.
The Maid randomly finds a man in the shower (Russ GIbbs)
Faith Darling literally sparkles, thanks in part to stars scratched directly onto the film emulsion and animated from frame to frame
The hand of God (Craig Goding) dropping coffee beans. Hand colored and animated directly onto the film itself
Much happier after coffee
Carrie D’Waay delivering a cup of pick-me-up to her tired maid Faith Darling. And yes, how about that stove and fridge in the background?!
I played with a lot of angles and lighting to create a more avant garde feel to this film, more so than any other I have ever done
Carrie D’Waay in a hand-colored frame from the end of the film
KAFIEND - the end titles I created with line tape right on our coffeemaker and kitchen table
12 - 13
Man in Shower
Hand of God
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