I'm waiting for a section of a movie to render right now (it's gonna be in black and white and I shot the whole thing in color, so I have to strip the color from each clip, which is turning out to take longer than I expected) (oops - I was applying the same effect three times to each clip -- no wonder it was slow).

I'm editing FuzzyCo's latest Vidiocy entry. (The official site always seems to be a showing behind -- here's info about the current contest.) Vidiocy is yet another of Chicago's fast filmmaking projects -- this one you get three weeks or so. Which is really too long for me to handle. I lose that delicious sense of urgency I get from the 21 hours of the Fast Forward Film Festival. So I lolligag around and before I know it, it's a day or two before the due date and we have rush around as though it was the FFFF and the results suffer in comparison to people who really did spend three weeks of effort on their films.

This time we didn't do as badly, planning-wise. Shaun and I story-boarded out our ideas last week, called some friends, and planned for a shoot all day Saturday. Shooting was going to take all day and it was our last chance to shoot before the deadline, because Shaun is out of town all week for work.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, half of our cast was delayed at a charity kickball tournament. As time wore on and we got through more and more of VH1's 40 Greatest Reality TV Moments on the TiVo we realized we weren't going to be able to film everything we had planned, especially the "traveling all over Chicago" part. So we decided to chop the movie down to the part on the beach, especially convienent since the beach is a few blocks from our house.

But that generated a plot problem -- how to end the movie in its truncated form? Shaun noticed recently that all our improv training means that we're really good at coming up with beginnings, but not so great at conclusions -- on stage you can just sweep a scene away and start anew.

"Well," I said, "it's one of two endings -- either Jin wins or Death wins. ... Why don't we film both? In fact, why don't we film a dozen extra endings?"

So that's what we did -- our short film, a parody of The Seventh Seal with chess replaced by Candyland, is followed, ala 28 Days Later, by a few alternate endings.

It'll be shown Tuesday, July 20, along with the other entries, at the Lakeshore Theater.