Waiting for the Way (2013)

In this absurd short comedy based on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Dalv and Ess find themselves, as they do in most incarnations, waiting. Their conversations range from flawed philosophy to ponderings that smash through the fourth wall.

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Mark Cannon & Erica Erickson

Director’s Notes

I had big expectations for this short. It was our first full on comedy that was purely about nothing more than making people laugh (unlike our promotional comedic short, Coffee & Cigarettes). Immediately, I knew I wanted a comedic vehicle for Erica and Mark to pursue. Bringing Erica back was a no-brainer after she totally killed it in Seasons Change. But this time around, I wanted something lighter for her to play with. Mark I met through auditions from our planned feature film that C&C was a promo short for, and I had the chance to see him perform on stage. He was simply amazing, and I knew that I wanted to see him get to do something a little less heavy than Kafka’s ‘The Trial’, the play I got to see him act in. So I approached them both, and being theatre folks, they were willing to take on this challenge.

For years I had known I wanted to do something based on Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, but there was one problem, I had yet to see or read the play. So adapting my own version was not something that I particularly felt inclined to tackle. But still it gnawed at me. Then one day as I found myself watching the Monty Python documentary ‘Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyers Cut)’, because I love me some Python.

Anyway, they were talking about a skit they did once where contestants in a program were coming on to summarize the works of Proust. Eric Idle was talking about the brilliance of the scene because it was masked as such high comedy, “Ooh Proust” that kind of thing, but that none of the Pythons had actually ever read Proust or knew anything really of his works. I loved it. The idea that they had done this without any knowledge of the actual subject matter, or at least merely a glancing knowledge gleaned from years in school days long past was so absurd, but so hilarious.

These would be the footsteps I would follow in as I decided to move forward. I skimmed through the Wikipedia entry for the play, and I set to writing. I wanted to do something with an absurdist bent, and this was set to be it. Not only for the absurd way that I came to the re-imagining of the tale for my short’s purposes, but also in the explorations of people and their absurdities as well via the two characters that Erica and Mark perfectly embodied. They gave their characters such a quirky depth, that I immediately knew I had cast the film correctly. The story took on a whole new life through them, and I was convinced that there was no role that these two could not own with the same brilliance.

The shoot that day was absolute shit! The wind was so strong and disruptive, with dark clouds moving all around the background without consideration for our sense of continuity. Not to mention the trail we were shooting on in Manitou was undergoing fire mitigation, so all day during the shoot there were random distant sounds of chainsaws and axes chopping trees to contend with. But even with all of those chips stacked against us, we three persisted and persevered, capturing a comical little double nod for our audiences. One nod to Beckett and his amazing play (which I would end up being assigned to read about a year later for class at UCCS), and one to Monty Python whose inspiration carried me forward to, in my mind, a completely successful homage and re-imagining of ‘Waiting for Godot.’

About a month or so after releasing the film, I ended up meeting Samovar here in Manitou, who loaned his wonderful Manitou themed track to the piece. This track replaced the initial music I used mistakenly believing that the performance I used of the track existed in the public domain as the song itself did. This was not the case, and so to be compliant, I removed that version and uploaded the new film-festival ready version of the film, with original music by one of Manitou’s own.

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