Feel Good Anyway

Lukrota Amitik (The Richness of Friendship)   short film   02:00

TWENTY120's CONNOR SWEGLE asked us if we'd be interested in contributing a 120 second-ish film to this year's collection. "The theme you must work with," he said, "is In the Age of Opulence. Your client shall be the Muse herself. You can make the logo whatever size you like." Unbeknownst to Mr. Swegle, FGA had no actual working knowledge of opulence. (Is it a fancy kind of flatulence? No? A new Windows OS? No?) Fortunately, years of Diplomatic Corps training taught us exactly what to do in such circumstances: "Smile and nod whilst complimenting your inquisitor's tailoring in a completely made-up language," which we then proceeded to do.*

With our patron duly pacified and assured, FGA set about on its task.

Recently, one of us had read Superdove by Courtney Humphries and wouldn't shut up to the other one of us about pigeons. "See how pretty they are! Don't they beckon one with their iridescent necks and multi-colored plumage?" "True," said the other, "the filthy vermin do have certain charms, and I heard they work for cheap. Let's use them!" And so, the friendly hunt began.

We donned our documentarist togs and headed into Portland's gritty urban streets to gather footage. We shot. We shot again. We shot again with better clothes. Finally, the perfect day arrived. The weather was just right, and everyone hit their marks. A wrap! Back to the studio to finish.

Whilst scanning the dailies back at FGA HQ, we spent a moment reminiscing over our earlier conversation with Mr. Swegle. "I always love doing that fake language smile and nod compliment routine. Makes me pine a bit for the Foreign Service," one of us said. "Indeed," said the other, "perhaps we should incorporate the technique into the film itself...you know, for old times' sake?" "Excellent!" And so, we drank a toast to our FS days, the Queen, decent public transportation, and our Mums, and started the arduous editing process.

As is so often the case, many excellent ideas never made it into the final cut. The Mexican Sidekick was an early casualty, as was the "Last Supper" scene. The "Odessa Steps" homage was a late but painful excision. Two minutes is such a small window! And then there were the graphics and effects. Of course they should be lovely, but how meta should they be? Is Lydian a good choice for titling, or is it just too churchy? Are big explosions really what we need here? So many questions and issues.

Soon though, we had it all sorted out. All that was left was to find an appropriately cracking soundtrack--something somber, yet optimistic...who could we call? "Let's call Joel Pickard of Hatfarm." "Excellent choice, as always." "Yes, Joel is the best in the business, and he owes his life to us." "Indeed, Joel owes his life to us and cannot refuse to compose an appropriately somber yet optimistic score for our film." A quick call to Joel set the final gears in motion, and soon the film was done.

We hope our audience will find the finished work before them both edifying and entertaining.

      * Sir Hugh Ellums-Wickley, KBE, Efficacious Techniques for Junior Diplomats
      (Cambridge: Thwocking & Thwocking Press, 1985) 1128-9.


FGA would be downright rude if they did not offer their sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Ms. C. Black of New York City for "hooking us up," as the kids say. Thanks, Black. We owe you one.

FGA: direction, story, translation, live imagery, typography, graphics, 3d, edit, color correction, wardrobe, styling, catering

PERSONNEL: Matt Eller, Bill Morrison