Notes from Executive Producer (among other things), Jeff Zehnder:
Dim Bereavement is a short video produced as an end of course requirement for my English 1100 course during my Spring Semester of my Freshman year in college.
It's what I like to call an "Art Concept Film", mainly because it has no audible dialog and includes some vague symbolism.
The short is unrelated to MST3K, in fact, I've been told it's quite depressing.
The story is that of a small boy who grows up, fails (in many aspects), and commits suicide.
It took a while to come up with the concept, that of a little boy growing up to be a failure and ultimately commit suicide, but I think it worked out fairly well in the end.
All of the action scenes sans the suicide were shot on a four day weekend in Cary/Raleigh in mid-April 2003, utilizing my little brother, my friend Danielle, and my old high school broadcasting teacher Mr. Walpole.
I was surprised at how well it all fell together.
The most difficult scene to shoot was by far the scenes with Danielle, which, due to the nature of the scene, caused many takes to be needed.
This was Classic Arrow's first full length short that did not feature MST3K in any way (Reservoir Drugs is slightly different in that Classic Arrow was merely videographer, the rest of the feature was produced by others) and I think it turned out fairly well.
It's somewhat of a departure to not be able to insert any references to the show into the feature (sans the toolmaster credit), but it was bound to happen eventually.
Rest assured, however, that this is not the path that CA will forever be heading down; MST3K will work its way into many more of our productions in the future.
This was also the first production to utilize the updated version of the Classic Arrow introductory logo.
For those of you following the logo-graphic lineage, it has been updated for a more 'golden' look, added shadowmaping, and that nifty keen swooping light.
It's only a matter of time before a major film studio will rip it off.
The action shots of Young Ryan were by far the most interesting, and easiest to shoot.
Kurt was excellent, and was mostly being himself.
However, making the footage look 'old' took far too long.
Initially, a simple desaturation was attempted, but that didn't convey enough of the message, so the Nigthmarish Quick Time old movie effects were applied.
They take forever to render, and have the nasty tendency to crash your computer, or at least Premiere.
After that was all said and done, it just seemed the next step to take it all the way and go for the Super 8 'Wonder Years' old movie box effect.
Yes, Ryan's 'work' is actually one of the many Chiller rooms at Southeast Raleigh High School, and the tool that he's holding is in all actuality, a hot glue gun.
All in all, it was a good shoot, and it all worked out just the way it was supposed to... and no lightsabers... god, those took forever.