- Brent Lindstrom
Introducing, my second ever short film: WHY OH WHY DIDN'T I TAKE THE BLUE PILL?
(Also, check out my 1st short ever. It was a cheeky 1 minute movie for a FilmRiot competition.)
Why Oh Why Didn't I Take The Blue Pill is a parody based on the first Matrix movie.
Since this is the 20th anniversary of that movie's release, it's fitting that we celebrate with a little fun.
For me, I loved the Matrix. It was new and fresh, in a dark-damp sort of way, and it had quite an impact on modern cinema, and is even influencing movies made today.
Inspiration for this spoof stemmed from the first time I ever watched the Matrix. When Morpheus makes the Alice In Wonderland cracks, I thought, well, this is a no-brainer. Eventually someone is going to make a spoof where Neo actually ends up in Wonderland. Fast-forward twenty years, and I still hadn't seen anything like that out there. So as I was trying to find a movie to study and make my equivalent of a student film, this story was the most obvious winner.
As you may or may not know, I am a self-taught film student. I've been writing books under the name B.C. Crow for a few years now, slowly gaining more experience in storytelling. My next two books, are currently being edited, and will hopefully be great successes. While I've been writing stories, I've also been reading textbooks and watching tutorials for a few years now, trying to learn the art of visual storytelling.
But as I've studied and learned, I realized that it was time to take the plunge and make as great of a short film as I possibly could. After all, you can only take book-smarts so far. The goal on this movie was to see how close I could come to matching the cinematic style evoked by the original movie.
I wanted to do this, so that I could learn from the experts who originally created the Matrix. At the same time, this was to be my first in-depth use of After Effects. I even dipped my toes into Blender for some of the 3D liquid mirror work.
There was a lot to learn, so learn I did, mostly the hard way. I expected this project to last only a few months, but it ended up taking a full year to do everything I wanted to do. Granted, I had a cheap computer with only 8 gigs of ram and a pathetic graphics card, that took hours, even days to render 3 seconds worth of effects at a time. But much of the time I spent on this was learning how to do what I needed to do.
After spending about 1-2 hours almost every evening for a full year, crashing my dinky computer countless times, and making my family think that I'd gone mad with obsession, I've come to really appreciate the work that goes into the modern visual effects that we see in Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. While there may not appear to be a ton of those in this short, I assure you that every frame has been touched, tweaked, or completely modified on my end.
So while this spoof is far from a perfect example of cinematic wonder, it was a great tool to help me advance my film-making skills. With the things I've learned, which if there's any interest, I may share later, I think I could do a much better job next time.
And there will be a next time. I'll leave the Matrix alone, but I'll study many other great movies, and see if I can't come up with another fun story to practice my skills on. I expect, given the extended duration of this production, and the fact that I want to push my limits every time, that I'll only be able to produce about one short film per year. Definitely not the way to become an internet superstar, but I'm not currently in this for the money. I'm in it for the education.
However, if you did enjoy this, and since this did cost me a few thousand dollars to produce, please like and share this with your friends. Maybe I'll be able to eventually recover some of my expenses. But like I said, I'm not trying to make a buck off of this. Making shorts is my way of learning the trade.
I also wanted to send a shout out to my friend Tyler Weston, who helped me as I filmed this. He truly is a professional in the real world, and I learned a lot by having him on set with me. For those of you interested, he does corporate videos and more for a living. You can learn more about him at TKWP.com. If there is anything good about this short, it was because of his help, and that of my cast. If there is anything lacking in quality, (which there is plenty) I own that fully. (Hey, I'm still learning)
A special thanks to all of my cast and crew who worked so hard with me and put up with me as a rookie producer and director. You performed wonderfully, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I wish you the best in your careers.