Cast/Crew Call: Tracy McKnightly and the Case of the Lead Shirt Embezzler

Tracy McKnightly and the case of the Lead Shirt Embezzler is a surrealist film noir comedy written and directed by Vincent Gagnepain and co-produced by Vincent Gagnepain and Andrew Gingerich. The film will be shot in Fort Collins this July. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, June 17, Wednesday, June 18 and Saturday, June 21 from 1-4 P.M. at Bas Bleu Theater at 401 Pine Street. Included below is a list of the main characters with a short description:

TRACY MCKNIGHTLY: Male, 30-65. The main character and as such the film noir detective. Fast-talking and socially awkward, Tracy is determined to solve the case and get paid.

LILAC ALEXANDERS: Female, 20-45. The female “love interest” of Tracy, Lilac approaches Tracy to investigate her husband and his role in an embezzlement.

MR. RICHMOND TAYLOR: Male, 50-70. The Business Magnate of the company that is being embezzled from.

NEIL: Male, 20-35. An associate and yes-man to Taylor.

SPADE: Male, 20-35. Tracy’s driver, friend, and partner.

THE MAN IN BLACK: Either, Age Unknown. A character that only exists in Tracy’s nightmares, the Man in Black is mysterious, frightening, and perhaps an ally to Tracy.

If you are interested in auditioning but cannot make any of the scheduled sessions, feel free to contact the director at to explore the possibility of arranging a private audition at some other time.

We are also in search of skilled production crew, including the following positions:

Key Grip
Sound Recordist
Assistant Camera
Lighting and Camera Grips
Production Assistants
Hair & Makeup

We’re particularly interested in crew who possess their own equipment (specifically dolly and lighting kits). Positions are unpaid but this is a perfect project to add to a demo reel–our goal is to create a technically superb film. Crew-related inquiries should be directed to Andrew Gingerich:

All cast and crew members will receive screen credit, a copy of the finished DVD and the heartfelt thanks of an impoverished producer


You see all this?


So why did I assemble all these incredibly different items in one place? Am I practicing to be the person who arranges all the Drawing I still life sets at MCAD? (Yeah… you art students out there know what I’m talking about…)

Rhetorical question. The answer’s no.

What would you say if I told you that Ethan and I pulled everything you see here out of a single dumpster this afternoon?

You’d probably say something like, “Holy crap! That must be one magical dumpster!” Yes. Yes, it was. It was the dumpster outside the CSU theater building. They’ve been moving to a new building, see, and Sean Cummings, award-winning actor (what awards? I don’t know. Surely he’s won awards? If he hasn’t, he should have) and all-around swell guy, called me up to alert me to the situation. Here’s the short list of what we got:

8 Plastic masks
5 vinyl masks (inexplicably, one is labeled “Tom Hanks,” but looks much more like Lyndon Johnson to me)
2 crowns
1 deluxe horse mask
1 female torso
1 set female legs
1 life preserver
4 pairs work gloves
1 steak knife
2 unused 6B drawing pencils
1 wearable beer gut
1 Macintosh SE/30, keyboard, mouse, associated cables (works!)
1 fat suit (not pictured)
1 set speakers (not pictured)
1 ethernet cable (not pictured)
2 milk crates
1 can hairspray
1 big freakin’ box o’ safety pins
2 containers shine-free powder
1 measuring tape
1 makeup brush
2 makeup pads
1 highlighter
1 roll plastic
1 pad 12″x18″ newsprint (not pictured)
1 big stack 8.5″x11″ card stock (not pictured)
2 pieces black foam core (not pictured)
1 big stack 9″x12″ construction paper
Lots of assorted fabric, including nylon diffusion netting, black velour, white linen and some greenscreen material
1 rubbermaid tub with lid
1 ladybug combination tent & tunnel
1 conical straw hat

Things we left behind:

  • A deluxe Chinese dragon head
  • Pair of dress shoes
  • An enormous pair of stilts
  • A small battalion’s worth of fake medieval armor
  • Lumber
  • A whole bunch of cardboard that could have been recycled (tsk tsk, CSU)

Don’t ask me why they were throwing this stuff out. Obviously those damn thespians don’t have the same appreciation for the finer things in life that we filmmakers do.

More Jackpot!

Yes, you read that right. A fat suit.

Thanks, Sean. You’re my hero (and a good lay, too!) (sorry, it’s late).

(Killing time) Coldplay music videos

A while ago I did a post about Classy music videos, ‘member? Well, I’ve got a couple additions to the list that I’d like to share with you.

Coldplay, Yellow (2000); James & Alex

This is a music video in a single continuous take. Let me say that again: this is a music video… in a single continuous take. How cool is THAT? I mean, most music videos look like they were attacked with a razor blade, with cut after cut after cut after cut. Furthermore, it’s just Chris Martin walking along the beach and lip-syncing in slow motion. Furthermore, the song is called Yellow, but the entire video up to the very end has a heavy blue cast. And it’s enthralling. One of my new favorites. It’s all in Martin’s performance: the way he rubs his face with his hand, the way he falls back and runs to catch up.

Incidentally, the only reason this video is so good is because the original plans, which called for the entire band, a bright sunny day, sweeping visuals and computer-generated star trails, fell apart due to scheduling complications and inclement weather, and so they just went out and shot the thing with Chris Martin and a camera. It looks like they probably didn’t even light it.

Next, I’ve got two television ads for you *GASP* that I think are just gorgeous music videos. They are—you guessed it—some of those way cool iTunes commercials.

First, continuing the Coldplay theme, here’s a recent Apple-produced 30-second spot showcasing Viva La Vida: Sonic

I only wish it was a full-length music video instead of a half-minute commercial. Absolutely mesmerizing.

And here’s an older iTunes ad featuring Paul Mccartney: Dance Around (direct Quicktime Link). Charming in its own way, very light and happy (plus flying houses, which I quite frankly don’t see enough of)

The iPod + iTunes ads have done something that I find really remarkable. They’ve established an aesthetic (think back to those early iPod silhouette ads), and grown that aesthetic, and now every ad they produce, from Bob Dylan to Eminem to Wynton Marsalis, is unique and visually rich and in keeping with the sensibilities of the music, while at the same time remaining true to the brand. I guess that’s why the Apple marketing people get paid the big bucks.

That’s enough rambling from me. Back to work. 16 Heads and Counting isn’t going to edit itself, and I’m associate producer for Vvinni’s upcoming film, and I’m trying to write a script, and… and… I think maybe I’ll just waste a little more time on YouTube.

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