29 November 2008

Day 1: Saturday Shoots

After a mere 12 hours, a big part of the film is finished. And by finished, I mean shot. Which is merely step one (actually step 321) in the journey to "filmdom."

As soon as I get the photos from our official set photog I'll post them. If the movie looks as good as the photos we're in bidness,

There's plenty more coming... but I gotta go to bed.
Filmmaking is tiring, even if it largely consists of sitting around.


28 November 2008

Lights, camera....ACTION!

Today was busy. Bernardo and I traveled the entire perimeter of Belgium. A distance of over 80 kilometers!

It was fruitful. We were graciously provided with all kinds of filmmaking equipment which I'm assured is very important in the making of a film. The equipment included:

An awful lot of lights.

Microphones and mixer (in soundman fannypack)

A camera and monitor

And more stuff to come tomorrow...

Including actors, make-up and hair people, and caterers, set decorators, and... stuff.

It's awesome already. Tomorrow it'll be more awesome. Bernardo has explained to me that the important thing is to have fun. That sounds like the right attitude, so I'm going to sleep on it.


27 November 2008

Making History

The film is taxiing down the runway. The passengers (and the pilot!, and the crew) are all excited for the long dangerous journey into cinema history.

Flunky may not go down in Capital 'C' Cinema history. But it is an historical project. For me as writer and actor, certainly. And for the others as well. It's a big deal. And hopefully, it will all come together and be brilliant and thought-provoking. It will certainly be a learning experience.

Did I mention the part where we are just two days away from invading the office location and kicking holes in the walls and painting shit and moving shit to places it doesn't belong and basically swinging our dicks around like a big-shot Hollywood production? I didn't? OK. Fine. That last part isn't true anyway. But the first part is.


Cafe Belga

Flickr - two dudes at belga, hugging.

Cafe Belga is where this project began, and it remains our touchstone.

The first time I met with Bernardo and Sofia it was at Cafe Belga. Where we discussed the script, and decided to make it a project. It was back to Cafe Belga on Tuesday night, to meet with crew and get to know some of the people who will be working this weekend.

Producers, the writer, the director, two actors, makeup, sound, lights, set decoration, and the DOP all came together for beer, cheese, and shoptalk.

If I had to guess, I would surmise that it won't be the last time we end up in Place Flagey. I dunno... It wouldn't be a bad place for a film screening, for example.. I'm just saying.


24 November 2008

Solutions Labour Solutions - logos

Solutions Labour Solutions, the fictional company where the movie takes place, needed a non-fictional logo.

Andy "Shortcut Kid" McAlpine came through, as he always does, with some hot hot options. Above is Option 1, and the likely victor, with the second after the jump.

Much as we like this second version, it may in fact, be too awesome and eye-catching. The side-hanging banners are not something I'm used to seeing, which is both rad and fresh. But this company is not necessarily on the cutting edge of design, so we may go with the other - still modern and quirky - spin on a classic logo style.

If you want proof of how not cutting edge this company is, you'll have to check out the photos of the location. It is bizarre and beautiful. These may not be available yet, but they will become available.


Directors Note - Bernardo Camisao

Director’s Note - Bernardo Camisão

Flunky is more than a short film
When someone accepts to be enslaved what more can we do but cry? It’s absurd, strange, and at the same time, pitiful…
But, if we think it through… maybe this is really a situation to laugh at!
Well, in the comedy Flunky we will all witness these mixed feelings. Because our poor hapless Marco has slavery in his fate; the good ol’ traditional slavery.
And fiction is never far from reality…

Flunky is a short film that can act as a powerful metaphor in today’s economy. The individual is a central figure in the world of the job market. This small project is an attempt, through comedy and visual strength, to make our point.

Flunky is a Brussels project
This film is an attempt to emphasize the strong cultural presence of the new Bruxellois: people who come from Canada, Italy, England, U.S.A., Burundi, Portugal, and beyond, all are part of the cultural fabric of the city we call home.
Flunky has the characteristics that make Brussels the city that it is now: a mix of diversity, education, culture, and tolerance towards others.

Flunky is an artistic venture
When Ryan first showed me the script, I found it compelling because of its theme and the way he approached it: fast, funny, sharp. A simple story like this could be transformed into a powerful artistic vehicle.

Flunky is a low-budget film
When we decided to embrace this project, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But that pushed us to roll up our artistic sleeves and get our hands dirty. We poured all of our strength and determination, as well as our extent of professional experience into making this project a reality. Flunky possesses contemporary characteristics of the filmmaking process: digital, cosmopolitan, urban, fast… But without forgetting hard work and the everlasting values of poetry, entertainment, and capital “C” Cinema.


Magic Thirty - Crew

Even if this barbershop quartet got their top five favorite barbershop quartets together, they would still be outnumbered by Flunky.

Bernardo showed me the crewlist and we're thirty people. Thirty people on set.

This film has grown from humble beginnings to still-humble pre-production, but including a whole lot of people - make-up, sound, wardrobe, lights, catering, etc. Thirty people!

30. That's a lot of people.

For comparisons sake:

-A professional football match consists of 22 players and 3 officials. That's not 30. We're bigger than a professional football match. (Not including spectators).

-A barbershop quartet is only 4 people. Our cast and crew is the equivalent of 7.5 barbershop quartets.

-Jesus had 12 apostles. We have more than double the amount of people it took to get Christianity rollin'.

-A jury is 12 people. These 12 people are the perfect expression of the ideals of justice. We have many more than twelve people. i.e. we are Doublejustice!

- If you put the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Gummo, Zeppo, Chico, and Harpo), The Three Stooges (Larry, Moe, Curly), Abbot and Costello (Abbot, Costello), Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Grumpy, Bashful, Chuckles, Darling, Doc, Wheezy, Dingo) together in a room, the cast and crew of Flunky would not only outnumber them, but also win in a slapfight, though there is no scientific way to verify this.


22 November 2008

Script and snow

Bernardo and I met again today to discuss stuff. As a way of celebrating, and auguring good fortune for this project, Brussels dropped a snowstorm on our heads.

This, all filmmakers know, is very good news.

While we hashed out the final details in the script and made plans for the upcoming week. Sofia and Tinne scoured Les Petites Riens for deals.


21 November 2008

Script updates

We're just a week away from shooting, but the script needs tinkering. So it's been tinkered with. For me the difficulty comes in imagining the painstaking, carefully choreographed creative process that is 'moving pictures'. I like to improvise, and suggest things on the fly. Cinema demands exactitude.

With Bernardo's help I think we're getting closer to a final version of the script that provides enough information to the audience, while leaving room for some thinking to be done by the viewer.

I maintain that spoonfeeding information is not the way to go. Art (and I think filmmaking is an art. It is? Good. Actually, let's go with craft.) The craft of filmmaking demands that the audience be able to participate actively in the experience. All good art (and craft) demands this of the viewer. Passivity is for reality television.

I may be overthinking this..

Anyway I think we're almost there. Riding a unicycle down that line that separates obfuscation from pandering.


Actor profile - Paul Turner

Paul Turner - Darryl

Paul's interests and skills have taken him on a traveller's path - from working in Singapore at a drama academy, directing productions on a summer camp in the States, to co-founding and co-ordinating Tightrope in Brussels.

Paul comes from a performance background, graduating in 1995 from the University of Natal, South Africa with a BA Hons in Speech & Drama. After 5 years of living abroad he returned to his home country of South Africa to complete his PGCE. He then left for London where he took up a post as Head of Drama at an inner-city school. He has been in Brussels since 2004.

Paul is excited to be able to draw on his diverse experiences to portray Darryl the haunted mystery man, who may not actually be looking for the supply room.


Actor profile - Ryan Millar

Ryan Millar – Marco Duran

Ryan Millar is an actor-slash-writer and an expatriated Canadian. Among other things. He has participated in numerous plays, short films, sketch comedy videos, and Education Ministry-sponsored educational videos for high-school students. Often as an actor and more frequently, lately, as a writer. His stage credits include extensive improvisation performance and training, notably working with !nstant Theatre Company in Vancouver, and Boom! Chicago in Amsterdam. Since moving to Brussels he got to play 'The Maniac' in the American Theatre Company's production of 'Accidental Death of an Anarachist', which was alot of fun.

‘Flunky’ follows the success of his first one-act play - ‘The Power Force’, which won the American Theatre Company’s One Act Play Competition in 2007. He now refers to himself as "Award Winning Playwright Ryan Millar," which is pretty annoying.

Ryan is pretty excited to play Marco, the innocent applicant.


Actor profile - Henri Colens

Henri Colens - Reggie Sheppard

Henri lives in Brussels, where he works in the European Parliament. He is Belgian, but has spent most of his life in England. Before his political career he was employed variously as a teacher, journalist and car and book salesman.

Henri got started in theatre when working backstage in a couple of school plays and then he started acting whilst at university, in Durham, England. He's been in about twenty productions as an actor, and he has fond memories of all of them, most notably Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing (Debut Theatre Company), Dancing at Lughnasa and Disappeared (Cast Theatre Company), Stage Door and Ali Baba (The Madrid Players), and most recently Accidental Death of An Anarchist and Diana of Dobsons (English Comedy Club) at The Warehouse, Brussels.

He also teamed up with Flunky-writer Ryan Millar for award-winning one-act play The Power Force, which was a blast. He believes all good plays should challenge and involve the audience in some way, and with that philosophy in mind, in 2005 he helped set up a theatre group in Madrid called Compañía Accidente Coregrafiado which was based on the "Viewpoints" technique of legendary theatre director Anne Bogart.

Henri has little film experience, but he really enjoyed working with everyone in 'Flunky', and hopes to do more work with them in the future. Henri is happy to portray another buffoon in the make-believe world.


Actor Profile - Sofia Caessa

Sofia Caessa – Janine

Sofia is an inspiration. Everyday this Portuguese-English creator displays a different aspect of her broad creative palette.

After studying theatre in her native Portugal, she packed up and took flight to the Big Apple to develop her career as an actress. She also worked at theatrical creation and direction.

After littering the American landscape with broken hearts, she returned Euroside to pursue her dream of writing for children. She has a book ready to be published, and is the alter-ego behind the comical blog Skinny Linney. Apart from that, she’s the physical embodiment of Janine, the sweet, sadistic secretary who pulls the strings.


20 November 2008

Blogwriting - update

So this is Ryan, and I'm 'taking over' from Bernardo in the blog updating department. he has enough to do - Flunky will be filming in 9 days and has a full cast and crew, but tonnes of work to do. As the most experienced person (and the Director) he's the General in charge.

We had a three hour meeting last night (over a couple of 'St. Bernardus' beers) during which we overhauled the script to create a clear concise concrete and compelling masterpiece.

If not masterpiece, at least a solid script from which we can work.

Now that the ink is dry, we focus on the technical - set decoration, costumes, lighting, and a bunch of other stuff I don't understand.


18 November 2008



17 November 2008


Writer’s Note – Ryan Millar

flun•ky also flun•key (fl ng k )
n. pl. flun•kies also flun•keys
1. A person of slavish or unquestioning obedience; a lackey.
2. One who does menial or trivial work; a drudge.

The idea for this script began as an offhand joke with a friend. I think I was complaining about the downsides of my (then-current) short-term contract. At least, I said, with slavery there are assurances of long-term employment. We laughed at the absurdity of security trumping freedom of choice and income. He challenged me to go further with the idea, saying, “There’s a script in that.” Never one to turn down a challenge, I wrote a first draft not long after.

As I was setting up the story, I was struck by how easy it was to conceive of this world. Each character acts in a perfectly rational, self-interested, and recognizable way, in other words – everything is normal. Except that, this world is a horrifying dystopia. As least, I hope it is. Because if it’s not, we’re way worse off than I though.

Developing this script from joke, to rough story, to polished draft, and finally into actual short film is a difficult and rewarding experience. Even more difficult (and possibly rewarding) than finding long-term employment. The dedication, encouragement, and belief in this project from everyone involved is truly heartening. Without the support of the other actors, the director and everyone else, this script may well have just remained a joke shared between friends. Instead, it has grown into a project that is both an end in itself, and a beginning.



The Office seems to be normal, but some things just don’t fit...

Maybe it’s Darryl, waiting for the elevator. Maybe it’s the angel-demon secretary. The Boss is, for sure, more than just the middle man. He knows things! Marco, our hero, arrives nervously to his interview...

“Well, the payment sucks, but it’s great job security!”



Here you'll find some interesting references our film wishes to "drink from".
Do you know where the images come from?