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.