Machiavelli Hangman: The New Age Of Digital FilmmakingIt was a regular day, at a regular get-together at a regular house, or so it seemed. The cast of the latest Independent Hollywood offering The Machiavelli Hangman (http://www.hangmanmovie.com) had come together to rehearse the scenes and do some interviews with local newspapers.
While the brouhaha settled and everyone gathered around the table to read the script, everyone radiated an aura of mystery about them as if they were in on a big secret that no one else had access to. The cast of Machiavelli Hangman welcomed me right in and offered me a seat as my nose, ears and fingers buzzed in anticipation to hear them start.
I had heard a few details about the production and how it was going to be this great big thing like Rashomon and Pulp Fiction combined but better. How it would change the face of cinema as we knew it like the Searchers did or the Sixth Sense a few years back. That it would give birth to the age of digital filmmaker where everyone with a good story could be nominated for the Oscars. Call me a skeptic but I have seen some good independent films but nothing that I could say I could see win best picture. I have always reserved that slot for big movies like the English Patient or Gladiator. Those films that show years of labor to get to where they are. Somehow I would feel, cheated you could say, to pay 10 dollars for a film that didn't cost a lot more to make.
So I went into this thinking "oh well, I'll go for the buzz and if it's decent, I'll stay for the drink," even though it usually works the other way around.
So there I was, quietly waiting for the first few uttered words of the script to form an opinion in my head of whether this was really the next Reservoir Dogs as everyone had said or just a cheap rip-off. I waited to see if the dialogue had the flair of a Quentin Tarantino or the rust of an Ed Wood. And there it was the first line that launched the script "And they stood there, two headless men in cobalt-blue suits, one fatter than the other."
Then within minutes, I was caught in a gun fire with words flying around at the speed of light. Witty comebacks ricocheting off the actors like bullets, then it all stopped and repeated. For a moment, I thought that it was a retake, but as I looked over the director who was sitting there behind his dark glasses and his fingers interlaced in front of him, I realized that this repetition was part of the story.
In my mind, I realized I had been taken and my eyes were wider than appropriate for a professional like myself so I slightly squinted and I closed my mouth that had been left open for a little too long.
The twists kept coming and although I had never in my life been able to focus on a story if someone else read it, this time, I drowned into the script as if the movie was unraveling right in front of my eyes. The special effects dazzled in my imagination and I was utterly surprised at how entertaining a story could be with the same scene repeating so many times. Like many others, I have seen Rashomon, and Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, and Memento, yet I was still amazed at how this film managed to surprise me at every flip of the page.
So I was glued to the seat until the last page and I looked down realizing that time had flown by and I hadn't made a single note. And I hadn't had a single sip of my free drink that was the reason why I had come here in the first place. Could it have been that I had gotten a change of heart? Then I looked for the writer of the piece Shervin Youssefian (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1352346/) to congratulate him but I was caught in a frenzy of applause and excitement. I got caught in the excitement and joined in the cheers as I looked on in awe at revolution in the midst of its rise. The age of digital filmmaking was about to set off and I was proud to be present while it happened.
Now I tell you and I tell everyone who asks, if this film turns out half as good as it is on the page, you can mark my words, it will be the first digitally-shot film to be nominated for the Oscars.
About the author:
Claudia Diaz is a current journalism major at her University. She is sharing with us her inside look at the upcoming movie Machiavelli Hangman: http://www.hangmanmovie.com