Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fight the The Finish - Quintessential



Fight to the Finish (2007)
Directors: Steve Erdman, Zac Kind, and Daniel Wolfberg
Czech Republic, 9 minutes

This quintessential posting gives me a unique opportunity as a filmmaker to respond to a post about one of my own short films. Fight to the Finish was a film that Dan Wolfberg, Zac Kind, and myself made while studying abroad at FAMU in Prague during the fall of 2007. We spent the entire semester building this film up from the ground up. Interestingly enough, our original intentions were to make a comedy, but as our idea evolved the film became a powerful (hopefully) introspective drama. We were in charge of everything. After we finished the script, we spent a great deal of time location scouting, locating props (surprisingly hard to find boxing gear in Prague), and casting. We shot the film in three days (two in the park and one at an insane asylum (the film Hostile was shot there as well)Overall I am pleased with how the film turned out and what it turned into, but as Jose Goenaga pointed out with his short films; I see little things I would change. This is because I have spent so much time with the film and am looking at it with a different set of eyes than a first time viewer.

First and foremost, the Jeremy’s initial post about the film was very flattering and rewarding. Seeing someone else write academic praise about something we spent so much time on has been a really cool experience. Jeremy’s observations about subtext were quite accurate. Our advisors urged us to keep dialogue to a minimum and really “show” the audience everything. As a result we were forced to think of how to communicate almost everything visually. The wide spaces are indicative of his loneliness, the blue of his clothing communicate a coldness or sadness, asking the man to move to another bench (when there are many open ones) suggests his tradition of coming to the same place every year.

The list goes on and on, but it all adds up to the telling of the whole story. Jan and his wife loved each other but as time wore on he took her for granted and slightly neglected her. One day they got into a fight, and she died in a tragic accident. The last time they spoke to each other there was a lot of anger and blame. This sour ending, paired with his aging have worn old Jan down. He has almost no one, and approaching the end of his days. As a result Jan honors his anniversary by doing what they traditionally would when she was alive (this is why the nurse knows where he will be). This could be old Jan’s last trip to the park, and in a cathartic release with the boxing mitts, he lets out all of the frustration/sadness/loneliness/aging/etc, and comes to terms with things as they are, not as they were.

The park scenes get progressively higher in elevation until the end, and the wine scene take place at the top of a mountain with Prague castle in the background. The castle proved to be an interesting theme as the audience sees it several times throughout. This self inclusion of Fight to the Finish as “quintessential” is not an ego booster but an interesting opportunity for one of the film’s creators to shed some light on the creative process, our intentions, and our final thoughts on the film. I hope everyone enjoyed the film.

10 comments:

mckinley said...

Having been in Prague with the directors while making this film, I had the benefit of seeing its progression, from simply an idea to the ultimate finished project. I personally think it's a great short film, and love the scenes with Jan in the park, trying to recreate the everyday things he used to do with his wife, which at the time may have seemed mundane, but which now he wishes he could relive. The only thing I would change is the scene where he starts boxing on Petrin hill, the actor, playing a former boxer, could look a little more believable as one.

Zac said...

I think that steve is on point with his response about fight to the finish. Being one of the creators on this project i feel that great short films use less dialogue and when there is less dialogue the viewer gets to think more which more or less enhances the film itself.

Mike R said...

Awesome film! I really thought it was great. The story tells a lot about what happens to many people as they age together. His last day is a wonderful tribute to his former wife. Great job guys!

Anonymous said...

The points raised in this blog were both thought provoking and extremely valid. The short film itself was an inspired and creative piece. Knowing the film makers personally adds an additional perspective that the average viewer would not normally see.

Anonymous said...

I think it's truly enlightening to see the film juxtaposed with what the filmmakers were going for. I watched it first, read the blog, and watched it again (after reading) and he incite provided added a another layer to the film, and increased its enjoyability.

Griffin said...

Story of a lonely man, very thought-provoking.

k.o. said...

Very good camera work. Quite enjoyable as well.

Pamela said...

I particularly love the opening sequence, tight shots and faceless shots really hook you into the story.

Anonymous said...

this shit sucks a bag fat donkey dick

della said...

i like the narrative and narration. Good camera work.