AN ORIGINAL SHORT FILM TAKES A LOOK AT A GAME LIKE NONE OTHER
[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he great American past time, meets the great American outdoors.” WOODS BASEBALL is the latest comedy short film from director Ben Kujawski, take a trip back to the year 1997 and into the backs woods where a dysfunctional baseball league plays baseball…in the woods.
Behind the scenes
Why we decided to make this film: Famous Oldie is just a group of friends that wants to share our perspective on comedy with the world.
What were your inspirations: many different sources of niche comedy have always been important to us, and staying in that classic tradition, major inspirations would include “Fishing with John”, “Trailer Park Boys”, “Tim and Eric”, among countless others, especially the internet and obscure YouTube videos.
How did you raise funding: Out of our own pockets – a labor of love.
How did you come up with the script: Woods Baseball was an actual childhood activity of director Ben Kujawski, and the idea evolved out of that – what if there was a league of these maniacs?
Interview with the film makers of
Tell us a little bit about yourself how you got into film making?
Well, apart from some dabbling beforehand, we began making films in 2006 with Matt and I and a horrible little Mini DV camera that nonetheless served us well. Matt and I met in high school on Long Island and the summer after I graduated we were shooting all the time. In 2008 I started attending the School of Visual Arts where Trevor and I met in class. It wasn’t really until our thesis year we started working together, and after graduating the three of us kind of decided we were all on the same page.
Answered by: Director, Ben Kujawski
How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
The idea from this short came about from a game my brother and I used to play in our backyard. We would go out into the woods and whack baseballs at trees so they’d ricochet all over the place, then we’d try to run the bases before somebody could retrieve it from a thorn bush or something.
After graduating from SVA Trevor had a stockpile of 16mm film. He told me that if I could come up with a short, like 3-5 pages, we’d shoot it on film. So I came up with a first draft and it was like 15 pages or more. Being so long and therefore very expensive to shoot on film, we decided to shoot digital. Or at least our version of digital. You’ll notice this film is composed in 4:3 aspect ratio, the normal ratio for broadcast TV in the 90s, when we were all growing up. Several of our films are also processed through VHS machines after editing.
Answered by: Director, Ben Kujawski and Producer, Trevor Clifford
What challenges did you face?
Our first major challenge was hurricane Sandy. We intended to shoot Woods Baseball in the fall of 2012 but due to key personnel having their homes flooded and what not, we thought it’d be best to reschedule for the spring.
I think one of the hardest things we did was haul like 70 pounds if not more of groceries from Jersey City through the subway system to Brooklyn so that I could cook the food for the shoot.
Rescheduling actually helped us out, as we were able to build up our resources, put more thought into production design, and just all around take our time which always makes things better. Other than that the shoot went fairly well, though it was cut short a few hours due to weather.
Answered by: Director, Ben Kujawski and Producer, Trevor Clifford.
What are your plans moving forward?
We have many plans moving forward, many many plans. Woods Baseball continues to make the festival circuit, we won an award at the Canada International Film Festival for ‘Rising Star’. Currently we’re working on a lot of shorter “sketch” projects. We’re about to film a spoof commercial for “Bear Binko’s Binko’s Bear Mace: The finest mace for a bear’s face.” We’ve put a lot of effort into production design for this one, I’ve even taken up embroidery to make a “nudie suit” for the main character. Aside from this we have a number of other sketches/ web series type stuff we plan to shoot this summer. We also have two series and a feature in the works.
Answered by: Director, Ben Kujawski and Producer, Trevor Clifford and Producer, Matt Newby
Main Genre: Comedies
Budget: £2500 – £5000 How long did it take to shoot: 1 Day – 1 Week Film location (country): united States Film location (city): Connecticut
Panasonic HVX, purposely utilizing 4×3 aspect ratio for a ‘vintage’ 1997 look