Undergrad filmmaker produces trilogy

By Melissa Nance

The scene is set: a bare room with a table in the center. On the table, a mess of poker chips, some in piles, some scattered around, and two guns. If all goes according to plan, there will be a lot of blood spilt before the afternoon is over. In the corner sits Andre Rodrigues– writer, director and producer of a short film trilogy. He is adjusting the lighting for the last scene of the second movie.

The trilogy, consisting of The Hit, The Puffy Room and The Chase are about a hitman named Glen fiddick. In the first film, Fiddick (Rajiv Mathur), kills a bunch of people and makes his hit. In the second, Fiddick, played this time by Laim de Silva, walks in on the poker room, kills some people, and takes some cash. In the third film, according to Rodrigues , the hitman "battles with [his decisions], with whether or not he should be doing it–but there’s nothing else he can do."

So, why a trilogy?

"Then we could make a soundtrack. That’s why it was a trilogy, so we had enough songs to put a CD together," says Rodrigues with a laugh.

The first and third films include five songs, and the second film has two. The soundtrack, produced by Kirk Thurbide, features Calgary bands, including Brown Eyed Susans, Bainsbridge, El Chupacabra, Tomko Lamb, Viqueen, Interstellar Root Cellar, the Shannon Fayth Band and Thurbide.

It was important to Thurbide they made the effort to work with bands already established in Calgary, a city supportive of independent filmmakers.

"It’s a small market and it’s growing now. I mean, people are more willing to jump at the opportunity to get involved," says Thurbide.

Rodrigues agrees.

"Filmmaking in general is picking up everywhere because of stuff like this. It’s more accessible to people. I’ve done two digital videos for basically $800-$900, whereas my first film was a few thousand."

The films were made possible through a youth loan program from the Fort McMurray Regional Business Development Centre. Another factor that made the film successful was, "free help… lots of free help."

Rodrigues started working at Rogers Video to pay the loan payments, where he met John Tebbutt. One of the characters in the scene being filmed, Tebbutt also writes a video column for FFWD. Sean Bovingdon, a soccer buddy of Rodriguez, and Peter Ciuffa make up the rest of the cast present at the scene. Ciuffa acted in "Tina and Tony’s Wedding" and is currently in "Rodeo and Julie-ed."

Rodrigues finished the third film last week and plans on wrapping up editing early this week. On Sat., Nov. 27, the film will be released at Max Café & Bar, followed by music from El Chupacabra. The film will be shown at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $3 in advance, $5 at the door.

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