matthew pitner

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!

Andrew

Film Challenge Retrospective: All's Chair in Love and War

Hi everybody!  Marcus here!

In our second year participating in the Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project, Two Jackets Productions made an absurdist comedy called All’s Chair in Love and War. The only problem was that we were supposed to make a romance!  And we had such beautiful people to work with…

Joe (left) and Matt (right) are, unfortunately, not about to get romantic .

Joe (left) and Matt (right) are, unfortunately, not about to get romantic.

In the picture above you see Matt Pitner (right) who played Limpwings in, um, Limpwings, and Joe Rapp (left) who we had never had the pleasure of working with before on film.  Both Matt and Joe are members of the Bearded Men Improv troupe and are hilarious performers.  Not pictured is Emily King (YODO!, I Stole A Lot of Money!) who brought a good deal of heart to the film, and Craig Larson (Boxing with God) who never fails to crack me up.  I co-directed this piece with Andrew (something we really enjoyed and plan to do again this year!) and Eric filled the editor role.  This is all heightened by Reed Reimer’s fantastic score.

So where did we go wrong?  First, take a look at the film...

I really love the film that we came up with for this competition as a standalone piece, but it falls down as an entry in the 48 Hour Film Project.  To explain why, I’ll need the help of a Jedi Master.

There’s a scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker, our hero and Jedi-in-training is instructed by his master, Yoda, to go into a spooky cave for some reason.  Luke reasonably asks, “What’s in the cave?” and Yoda sagely replies, “Only what you take with you.”  Luke brings in a lot of rage, fear, and doubt, and ends up having a pretty miserable time of it.  The idea is that if he had gone in without all of his baggage, he may have seen something a lot better than his own decapitated head in a Darth Vader outfit.  Maybe even a rousing performance by the Max Rebo Band.

The 48 Hour Film Project is like that cave: The less you bring with you when entering it, the better your experience will be.

Allow me to elaborate.

Remember when I said our genre was romance?  Here is the full list of required elements we had that year:

Genre: Romance
Character: Betty or Bobby Bulmer, Farmer or Gardener
Prop:  A lamp
Line of Dialogue: (S)he told me it’s a secret.

Our difficulty was that we had gotten an excellent open office space that was filled with blue and red chairs, and we had a vision of using tents indoors going into the weekend.  We worked so hard to get our own set of self-imposed restrictions into the film that we lost sight of the prompt.

The first draft of the script didn’t even include the prop or the line of dialogue, because I was so busy trying to fit in our other fun items.  We never come up with story ideas before the weekend, but we found ourselves backed into a corner when we couldn’t let go of the extra elements we brought with us.  The film as a competition piece suffered because of it.  While the finished project has elements of a romance, that certainly wasn’t the primary genre and as such we failed the assignment.

We learned back with Level Up that it’s possible to not achieve the goals of a 48 but still create a film we love.  This film however, finally drove home the idea that we had to put the assignment first.  When we make films for challenges now we go in as blank slates and let the ideas derive directly from the assignment.  You’ll usually see the assigned character as our lead, and the prop and line as integral parts of the story.    It’s a really fun way to make a film and it guarantees that we are working on something we never would have dreamt of Thursday night!

In essence, we will no longer fight Vader in the cave.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that we’re unhappy with how this film turned out. Thanks to a smooth shoot, and the dedication of our crew (Ben Efron our valiant Director of Photography actually slept in one of the tents Friday night), we turned in the film on time!  And that’s really the number one rule of a 48 hour shoot: Finish.  That was even after the hour we spent getting Matt to say his character’s name correctly.  

We’re proud of the work that went into All’s Chair in Love and War, both from Andrew, Eric, and me, and from our awesome collaborators.  While we weren’t right on the ball with the required elements, we did have the smoothest shoot in a 48 that we’ve yet had in Minneapolis.  This was definitely helped by Andrew and I co-directing the film.  Sharing the directorial load allowed us to solve problems faster, and not feel like we were overwhelmed. It was a great directing experience, and one we will be repeating with our 2015 entry!

I won’t, however, say which one of us was the master and which the padawan learner...