Limpwings is now available on DVD and VOD

Hey folks, Andrew here…

Finally, over four years since its premiere at the historic Fargo Theatre in October 2011, our first feature-length film, Limpwings, is now available for purchase on DVD and digital purchase or rental via Amazon.com.

Check out the trailer here:

Limpwings is the story of Daniel Hall, a fourth year college student who’s nowhere near graduation. Daniel sits idly by as his best friend and roommate, Hope, prepares for her medical school exams and a future that will take her far away from him. In the midst of a serious arrested development crisis, Daniel awakens after a one night stand with blood gushing from wounds in his hands and feet. A quick Wikipedia search tells him that he has stigmata, the wounds of Christ. Soon after, he is visited by a real (albeit wingless) angel, whom Hope nicknames “Limpwings," who tells Daniel that God has chosen him to lead His people. Now Daniel is torn between his responsibilities as a savior-in-training and as a friend to Hope. The trouble is that responsibility isn’t really one of Daniel’s strong suits.

We are so excited to have Limpwings available online for you and the whole wide world to see! As our first foray into feature filmmaking, it holds a special place in our hearts. You see, Limpwings isn’t only the coming-of-age story of Daniel Hall; it's the coming-of-age story of Two Jackets Productions. We produced it just after wrapping up our college web series, 3rd West Ballard, and just before becoming involved in the Twin Cities film community. In seeing it through, we proved to ourselves that we could handle a project of this scope, both artistically and logistically. Since then, with our short film work, we’ve continued to hone the creative and practical aspects of the craft.

Before you head over to Amazon to buy or rent the film, I want to give a shout out to the cast and crew who helped make it a reality. Their commitment and selflessness every day on set, across five weeks split over two summers, reminds us of how special the collaboration of filmmaking is. This is why we continue to hold a deep respect for the time and talents of our collaborators, no matter how big or small their role.

Now get on over to Amazon and order the film! Then check back in early February, when we will announce our next big endeavor. Until then, keep it limp!


Film Challenge Retrospective: Level Up

Hey all, Eric here again!

As part of Film Challenge Month at Two Jackets, we’re telling war stories from 48s gone by! You may have seen my retrospective about After Hours, my first directorial effort in a film challenge, earlier this week (and if you haven’t, you should check it out). This is part two of our retrospective series, and it’s all about Two Jackets Productions’ first official entry into our favorite annual filmmaking competition, the 48 Hour Film Project. It’s called Level Up and it was made as part of the 2009 48HFP in Fargo, ND.

I was the team's director, and I learned a LOT about what not to do in a timed competition that weekend. We had a great team assembled, with Andrew producing, oft-collaborators Joey Kramer and Max Heesch joining up as general crew and writer/editor respectively, and our good friends Ashley Somphet (3rd West Ballard) and Parker Shook serving as our leads. This was, unfortunately, while Marcus was living in Toronto, so he was not involved. It's an adventure of a film that had us running around all over Fargo and taught us a lot about how to produce a 48. This is the first time we've posted Level Up publicly, so please give it a watch!

What an adventure! These were the required elements for this competition:

Character: Nicole Nelson, Pizza Restaurant Employee

Line of Dialogue: “You gotta give me something to work with.”

Prop: a laptop computer

Genre: Fantasy

Level Up really showcases how interested we are with injecting sci-fi and fantasy elements into normal, everyday sorts of stories. It’s something that has appealed to us from early on and continues to show its face in everything we do (see: You Only Die Once!, Keeping Up with the Cloneses, Hide My Thunder). Watching it now, I find Level Up very funny, but for a lot of strange reasons. Complex gags, like the fantasy-world-transplant character living in her best friend's basement unbeknownst to him, tickle me right in the funny-parts. However, I can't believe we bothered to shoot an extensive sequence about it considering it has no real consequence in the story.

Lack of focus was this film’s undoing. The brainstorming session was harried by too many cooks in the kitchen, which caused us to produce a script that called for entirely too many locations for a film intended to be shot in just a few hours. The brainstorming took so long, in fact, that Max, our writer and editor, was typing away on the script until the wee hours of the morning. This lack of sleep on Friday night meant that he wasn’t ready to start editing until late Saturday afternoon (a guy’s gotta sleep sometime). And since we were running around all over town shooting until very late Saturday night, the rest of the crew was unavailable to assist with post-production until late Sunday morning. It’s a prime example of how a slow start can have profound consequences on the rest of the weekend. Even with Max splicing away until very early Sunday morning, and Joey providing a few hours of relief editing throughout, we just couldn’t make up that lost time from Friday night. It all came down to the wire.

And we missed it. At just a few minutes before the turn-in time, our deliverable DVD finally finished burning (this was before the glory days of turning in video files via flash drive), and we recklessly sped to the drop-off location. We arrived fifteen minutes late. We were crushed.

The Fargo 48HFP people did screen our movie, which was great, but under the "Late Entries" category, meaning we had been disqualified. This didn't just feel bad because we weren't eligible for awards, but because we had a team of a dozen people working with us all weekend, and we didn't even do them the honor of finishing the project on time. It sucked for the whole team, and I felt completely to blame. It really goes to show how important it is to keep things simple, and above all, to have a finished product done on time, even if it's not as polished as you'd like it to be. Know your workflow before you begin, and know how long Final Cut is going to take to export a DVD (of course, most 48HFP competitions won’t even accept DVD submissions anymore, thank the gods).

Level Up was a filmmaking adventure that showed us that it's possible to overreach in the fevered pitch of brainstorming. We ran all across the city shooting complex sequences, and due to an underdeveloped editing strategy, ended up missing our deadline.