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Attack of the Fuzzywhumple

Spring 1992; 12 minutes; cast and crew of 5; approximate cost of $0; rated PG.

Synopsis

A 12-minute piece filmed in the spring of 1992 over the course of one day, Attack of the Fuzzywhumple is my first work. It was actually an assignment for a seventh-grade English class (small groups were supposed to produce some sort of science fiction or mystery play or skit--Jimmy Wallace, Brian Beck, Kirk Neumeyer, and myself chose to make a short movie instead). The plot: a guy disbelieves in the fuzzywhumple book (right, with a mispelled cover), a single whumple comes to our dimension five people die (Kirk dies twice), and the credits roll after the audience learns that (heavens!) there are some whumple eggs left.

Influences

Critters, I suppose, since that also involves little fuzzballs that kill people, although fuzzywhumples are not from outer space. The plot was definitely influenced by The Twilight Zone and Spielberg's Amazing Stories series. We used the ending credits music from Blade Runner in the ending credits, but I don't think that counts as an influence.

Method

This movie was filmed on a very large, cumbersome, heavy VHS camcorder. The battery pack for this thing literally had to be strapped to your back or rolled on a little cart along with the VCR that recorded on the tape (the camera itself did not hold the tape, but instead was connected to a tape deck by wires the thickness of my pinky finger). Most of the time, we left it plugged in, and used extension cords. Oh yeah, and the zoom lens was audible. Very audible.

Firsts

  • This was the first Tokugawa Pictures movie. (Hey, I had to put something in this section!)

Lessons learned

  • Quality equipment really does make a difference.

Downloads

  • "John, you're dead." (332 K MOV)
    This is one of about twelve outtakes. Why is playing dead so difficult?