The One That Got Away.
I think everybody has one. Whether it be a relationship, a job, or in this case, a project. We’ve all had that mountain that we just couldn’t quite climb. Mine was a short film that I wrote way back in 2005. The boys and I made it through principal photography, editing, and almost a quarter of sound mixing and visual effects before scheduling conflicts and motivational exhaustion forced us to throw in the towel.
The film, originally envisioned as a short subject to be released theatrically and then formatted into a web serial, was to be a valentine to the Golden Age of superheroes. Set in the 1930s and spanning the duration of one night in the fictional metropolis of Calvary, ANLAO depicted three seemingly unrelated storylines: a country boy’s first night in the big city, a potential dangerous encounter between a waitress and her abusive husband, and a small-time con’s deadly interrogation by an out and out super villain. The connecting thread for these three tales was the intervention of an unnamed superhero (referred to as “The Hand” by the filmmakers) played by Adam “Happy” Nelson. From the outset, this film was our most ambitious project to date. Some of the hurdles we faced included multiple locations, a cast of 15+ actors, fight scenes, period details and costumes, original music, professional sound recording, miniature photography, and digital effects. In essence, ANLAO was CBP’s master thesis. That we got as far as we did I feel is an achievement in itself.
What we present for you today is the teaser trailer we cut for the film. A small slice, I suppose, of what could’ve been. But don’t get me wrong. Despite the film being abandoned, I consider ANLOA to be an important high water mark in CBP’s creative history and in resume of all the creative artists involved. Rob went above and beyond in his duties as a producer, co-writer, f/x creator, and actor to boot. Monty truly came into his own as an actor with his subtle and nuanced portrayal of Jerry Eisner as well as constantly wowing us with his digital experimentations and f/x work. Kim Walker’s performance still touches my heart when I watch it and Lincoln Hayes showcased a visceral menace we had never seen from him before. Royce Wood provided comic relief and “aw shucks” likability with amazing ease and I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see the always reliable Justin Terry and Nick Bowlin create classic comic book villains. And then there was Jamie Romero’s small but crucial role as the superhero’s wife that was a perfect blend of tenderness and sadness. The two Kyles, Anderson and England, the best thugs in the business. And of course, there was our superhero. “Happy” was a directors dream despite never acting professionally. He was enthusiastic, easy to work with, and projected an honest warmth and strength thru the costume that I don’t think we could have gotten from anyone else. This may seem like quite a long write up for a trailer that’s little over a minute in length, but I feel (right or wrong) that appropriate background and credit should be given for a project that was close to our hearts and personally taught me a tremendous amount about the craft of filmmaking.
To everybody involved: Thank You.