Upcoming Project: Piece of Meat

A open letter from my partner in crime (and business), Mr. Matt Conant, to anyone that wants to get involved in something insane. To make a long story short, we misheard some lyrics at the iMurders wrap party few weeks ago and we can’t get them out of our heads. After working on so many peoples’ productions, corporate work, etc. etc., it’s time to shoot something, just for the fun of it. Matt explains it better in this MEGA E-MAIL of PROJECT-Y-NESS: Hey everybody,

I have a film project.  A fun one.  It’s the first of hopefully many, but I need people to pull it off.

As some of you may know, 2008 will be the year in which my company, Cinevore Studios begins making films again one way or the other.  We have an idea for a first project we can shoot and edit quickly and add to our bizarre-ass portfolio.  Before you hear it, realize that Cinevore does very little without disturbing twists and/or inappropriate unwholesomeness to it.  Those of you lucky enough to be involved in Scarfeet or Over the River, our last two big projects, know this.  Plastic surgeons who operate with their feet and human/wolf romances are not exactly what most film companies shoot.

We want to make a parody of the Britney Spears video “Piece of Me“.  It is currently the number 2 video on yahoo music and MTV.  Not only is the theme of the video ridiculous, but the lyrics are perfect to be easily mis-heard and re-appropriated.  Easily enough that I would expect Weird Al to have already been on top of it.  From what I can tell, no such thing yet.  So let’s beat him to the punch.

Our video: “Piece of Meat”.  The lyrics are already re-written – we stayed up one night and wrote them in a GoogleDoc.  If we’re going to do this, we need to shoot it soon, before nobody cares about this song anymore. The advantage of doing a parody of a popular song is that people will find it by accident, and it has the potential to go viral quickly.  Yes, after coming up with the idea, I looked to make sure nobody else had a youtube video up already.

As you may have suspected, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it the disturbing way: all-out meat-loving, bloody, rampant horrible un-sexy kind of sexiness. The type of video that makes people laugh at the absurdity and grossness, yet be unable to look away, and in fact, to forward it their friends.  The more outrageous, the better. This is full-out viral video time.  A hot chick who can dance singing a ballad to spare ribs and grinding up on some slabs of beef in a storage freezer kinda thing.  In an ideal world, by the end, we want blood physically spraying onto her like water from a hose.

Many of us have fallen into the rut of corporate video since graduating college.  Why?  Film work doesn’t pay the same, or it takes too long to climb the ladder.  At least film work in Philly.  Some of you are lucky enough to have done it more recently. Think of this as a self-motivated 48-hour film.  We have to turn it around quick to get it out while this thing is still popular.  I don’t want shooting to last more than 2 days.  1 if we can. Once we’re on set and set up, it’s gonna fly and become hilariously fun.  We have the equipment (HD all the way, baby), cameras, dolly, jib, glidecam… there’s a few components missing, but that’s where you guys come in.  The main component missing is talented, excited crew. There is no pay, all strictly volunteer for shits & giggles. You will all get credit, obviously, on Cinevore’s site and on other sites the video inevitably gets linked to.  Add it on your reels, I don’t care.  All I ask if that you be there, and if you come, you bring your all and add your crazy ideas to the pile.

I could shoot this with what I have.  I could shoot it by my damn self for that matter.  But I’m not going to.  For this video to stand above what’s already out there, I need this thing to look professional.  I want this to be a blow against the lame youtubers who ruin any attempt at serious parody by throwing a bunch of stills on something somebody else did and claiming it as their own. This thing WILL be our own, and there will be no doubt about it.  I need people who know their shit, and/or who can contribute some specialty, be it green screen knowledge, glidecam ability, whatever, and who wants to throw their talent into the pool.  You WILL be able to do what you want on this shoot, there’s plenty of room to go around.  I also have a few ideal locations in mind, so if you know anyone who owns one of the below places and has control over it, whether YOU can be there that day or not, PLEASE let me know. I have no contacts in the much-needed beef industry, and we’re a totally courteous respectful film crew.  But if the owner has a sense of humor or a love of film, that would help a lot.

what I want in order to do this properly:

LOCATIONS (need at LEAST one, preferably two):
-butcher shop
-chicken coop
-grocery store (esp. back area, or while closed)

CREW: (some of these may be one person doing multiple jobs, if necessary… the “talent” side of it I’ll be quickly casting for if I can get enough crew on board… talent’s endless in this city)
-up to 2 additional shooters
-greenscreen person (not essential)
-co-producer (not essential, but would be appreciated since I have a corporate gig for SEPTA this week also and someone else may want to field some of these phone calls. will share producer credit on the final video)
-behind-the-scenes videographer/still photographer
-effects (blood sprays, fans, meat glistening, strobes mostly)
-video editor who can turn this around quickly

-industrial fan
-light kit (<—most essential thing here)
-sound: mixer/house speakers for playback (I can get these, if necessary)

-dolly track

Okay, that’s all for now.  PLEASE pass this on to anybody else you know who is interested in being involved in a film shoot.  ANYONE who wants to be on set, or contribute things to the set, would be appreciated. Everyone else, we’ll just need BODIES there, I suspect.  We may even give you a camera (or tell you to bring your own) and take some ridiculous stills of this stupid thing.

The MAIN thing that would derail this at this point is a lack of locations.
Without input from you guys, this WON’T happen. If it doesn’t, fine, I’ll wait til our short film this spring, but there’s no reason this many of us can’t find one or two locations between ALL of us, so help me out here!  If I can find a farm or an (abandoned?) slaughterhouse-type thing we can spray blood around, this thing will officially be a go. Chance favors the brave, right?  Or something like that.  I’m done with saying “This is too complicated” and then not giving it a shot.  What I’m saying is, if this fails, it won’t be for MY lack of enthusiasm for it.  It’ll be YOUR collective faults. 🙂

I’m ready to do this. Who’s got a weekend free and wants in?  Call me immediately if you’re interested. Camera and crew positions are first-come first serve, if I’ve worked with you before. What’s the worst that can happen?  I’ll even buy meals on set, although you may not be terribly hungry. 🙂

Lastly, if anyone needs to burst my bubble, because I’m aware I don’t watch much TV (as in, there may already be an awesomely-produced parody of this on Saturday Night Live or something that I just don’t know about), now’s the time, before I make any more of an ass of myself. But I’m guessing the writer’s strike may have worked for us here.

Matt Conant
Creative Director
Cinevore Studios
matt (at) cinevore.com