Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mean Man & The Ruffians

How long has it been since the last Ruffians? Three months? . . . Nope. Just checked Vimeo. It's been four months. For a project that I said I wanted to shoot one a month, why's it taken me so long to follow up the third episode?

Two words: Mean. Man.

We filmed the short in the summer of 2007 and due to a long and convoluted story, it was never properly finished. That's been nagging at me for the past four years. Knowing that there was a project out there that I had begun, that I had invested time and money into and it was just sitting there, not being finished, it drove me a little crazy. So I decided that I was going to include snippets of Mean Man in episode 4 of The Ruffians. I was going to reveal that Charlie was something of a writer, working on a spec script in-between kills. It was going to be a somewhat lighthearted episode that would have ended in someone's homicide.

But I couldn't make it work. For the past four months, I have wrestled with this thing. I have tried to make it work and . . . it just couldn't. Mean Man kept trying to take over the episode and this episode of The Ruffians was suddenly no longer about Charlie, Alexander, or their hit list, but about this strange story that Charlie was trying to tell. It didn't make any sense, it didn't fit into the story, but I was relentless.

Until I relented. I finally admitted that it was just a bad idea that needed to go away. I slapped together a montage of the short film and posted it on Vimeo. That way, people could see what we worked on. I could get out from under its shadow. I could move on with my life. And, no kidding, within 24 hours of me making that decision, episode 4 of Ruffians opened up and revealed itself to me.

It's still going to be something of a strange episode, but I love it. It makes much more sense. It's internally consistent with the rest of the show. It's a little metaphysical (something I wasn't counting on), it's a little out-of-the-box, but I like it. I'm moving into pre-production now.

So stay tuned. There's at least two more episodes of The Ruffians headed your way.

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