2005 ♦ 7:59 ♦ produced by Geoffrey Long ♦ directed by William R. Coughlan
Solomon is a genie at the top of his game. But after winning award after award, he decides that the life of a genie just isn’t what it used to be. After discussing his concerns with his otherworldly “boss,” he opts to take an extended sabbatical, choosing a simpler life working in a hardware store (though still performing miracles on a substantially smaller scale). But one afternoon he is approached by a slick-talking “headhunter,” who relentlessly tries to recruit him back into the magical world, promising a substantially improved lifestyle with a new employer…
To celebrate Tohubohu’s second year in the 48 Hour Film Project, we decided to produce not one, but two short films. The two films would interconnect, in effect occurring within the same “universe”; in the end, a character moved from one film to the other. “The Big Lie (That Solves Everything)” — a fantasy — was the first of these entries. The short was written, shot, and edited over the weekend of April 29–May 1, 2005. It first screened at the AFI Silver Theatre on Thursday, May 5.
The Big Lie (That Solves Everything) — Original Trailer
The Big Lie (That Solves Everything) — Full Movie
I wasn’t initially sold on the notion of doing two movies at once. To a degree, it made sense — we had a pretty big team eager to join us after our success with “Screening Process,” a lot of whom had overlapping skill sets. But other than giving ourselves (and by that I mean me) more work, I couldn’t see the creative reason for doing it. And then, at a “Bystander” cast and crew brunch, someone proposed making the two movies actually overlap — having a character or interaction travel from one film to the other — and that was what convinced me. Something about creating movies in the same “universe” (à la Kevin Smith’s “View Askewniverse”) struck me as intriguing. With that hook, I was in. In retrospect, given the work involved in assembling and coordinating two teams, I don’t know that I’d do it again… though I might be inclined to bring back a character or two for a return engagement.
This was the first weekend-competition film for which we actually developed a full-fledged script; I wasn’t sure how Stuart (who is largely improv-trained) or Tim (who’s more of a comic presence than an experienced actor) would take to it, but they both made it seem effortless.
William R. Coughlan