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The producer/director worked tirelessly organizing, planning and preparing for the shoot on nights and days off, while working full time as a pilot domestically in China during the day. Much of the time (from Sept 2011 through July 2012) he was immersed in learning to fly a new jet (referred to as a type rating in airline industry jargon). Often, rehearsals and crew meetings would occur early in the morning or late at night via web-cam to accommodate the 12-hour difference in time zones.
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Early on in preproduction, the opportunity arose to shoot using the anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.39. The producer/director actually flew to Melbourne Australia (from China where he was working on long term contract) to take possession of the lenses. The trek from Southern Australia, through post-authoritarian China to Colorado was epic to say the least. Being that the production company was shooting on B/W 35mm negative, this feature added yet another unique twist to the movie: only 11 or so productions have ever been shot anamorphic B/W 35mm since the technique was applied in the 1960's.
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A Tale of Two Sillies (referred to as T2S) was planned to be shot on B/W negative from its inception. This being the case, several jokes and references in the script hang on the very nature of B/W. In his travels, the director unearthed several cans of Svema film from the 1990's (this Russian manufacturing company had been out of business since 1996) as well as some extinct Kodak stock from the same time period (linagraph shellburst). Having been checked out OK by the lab, the production company planned to utilize the stocks for several special shots in the movie.
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Originally the production company was going to shoot in and around the LA area. Due to lack of cooperation and soaring budget costs the managers decided to shift the locations to Colorado Springs. The decision was key and the city turned turned out to be much more friendly and cooperative overall.
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The opening and closing lines in T2S (as well as countless references throughout) are derived from opening and closing lines of Dickens' classic novel.
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Ian Floodgate was cast as Yendis Notrac but had to drop out.
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A Tale of Two Sillies (T2S) was one of the last films to be developed at Alpha Cine in Seattle before they sadly closed their doors in late 2013. The film was processed and digitized by them and is now in the process of an offline edit at low resolution as of January 2014. Upon reaching a picture lock, a high-res (4K) selective scan will be made at another lab for the final master.
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The characters in the film use the word "duge" as a substitute to "dude" which is an accurate portrayal of the group of friends and time period (1990's) from which the film is partially drawn. The term "duge" is derived from the mishearing of a line delivered by the character "Skank" from the 80's film The Wraith. It caught on and became a trope around the South Bay in various, small circles.
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The post production process encountered a number of budgetary problems which significantly delayed the release date. With music and additional photography planned throughout the Summer and Fall of 2014 the release date was pushed back to January 2015. This additional time allowed the team to develop a broad strategy for releasing independently as well as seeking mainstream distribution.
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To fill out some back-story material, the writers Brutus and Brandon developed a comic book prequel in May 2014 and began seeking artists at the Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE) in June. Several connections were made and the comic will be offered to ticket-buying audiences as a program, on the website to fans and as a part of the DVD special features.
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The writer and director make brief cameo appearances as Admin 1 and Admin 2 in scene 2 and scene 6 (both at Da Far Joe's coffee house). A pet peeve of the two in the 90's was going to coffee houses with other friends who would invariably order tap water with no ice. The concept is incorporated into the dialog of Admin 2. It's become a cosmic irony that the writer developed a health condition that has prevented him from enjoying coffee and now at cafés he is forced to order... you guessed it, WATER. But, he does get ice with it.
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The post production team secured the cooperation of a veteran filmmaker and radio station in Southern California in early 2015; with these additions the film has a lot more authenticity placing it in the 1990's. There are also a number of publicity strategies in the works to be announced later. In the meantime the director has been in Tokyo with a new day job flying commercially in and around Japan.
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