My good friend and former college roommate John Curcio and I were driving around, guided by a GPS. We were singing along to songs on the radio, but changing the lyrics to suit our comedic tastes. Suddenly the iconic song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” came on.
Without a second thought, we changed the lyrics to “Alternate Route to my Heart”, creating verses to match such a theme; a man who is in love with his GPS.
We found that idea funny, and thought maybe we’d make a sketch out of it, but time went by and the project was forgotten.
Many months later, I revisited the idea after being frustrated by my now outdated GPS’s poor navigational abilities. And wala, “Alternate Route” was born. It serves as a spoof on romance dramas, essentially having similar plot structure and dialogue, but GPS themed, short, and revolving around a love triangle with said device. Films such as “The Notebook” served as inspiration.
Now, the actual filming of the trailer:
While I was happy with my writing and directing, two folks in particular deserve the ultimate acclaim for their effort. My cinematographer/editor, Teddy Filson, and my score composer, Jon Altino.
Teddy is an extremely talented and crafty DP. This project excited him, because he wanted to prove to himself and others that when he films a project, it doesn’t just look good because of his nice camera and various equipment. It looks good because he sincerely knows what he is doing. Teddy managed to rig the iPhone5 to an attachment from a steadicam using two paperclips. Additionally, he bought an app to adjust the exposure. Between those two elements, his remarkable skills, and the surprisingly high quality camera on the ‘5, we now had a pretty decent set up out of a smartphone.
Coupled with that was a bit of color correction, some sunbursts added in, and we had ourselves a fine looking trailer.
Filming took place in one weekend, using a variety of locations all in my NJ town. Luckily, a long road full of vast farmland was entirely shut down for bridge construction, so that served us well. Aside from that, we used my house in and out, a nearby park, snuck some filming in at a diner, various locations around town, and got some shots while riding in the car as our lead Eric Smith drove.
And don’t forget Jon Altino, the master composer. Sure, it looked good, was funny, and had an exceptional lead actor in Eric Smith, as well as the lovely Missy Feldman in her supporting role, but in a trailer the music is the final kick. Jon composed the score in just one afternoon, absolutely nailing it as always.
While we are well rounded filmmakers, we know our fortes, and have figured out how to use them to each others advantage. Our collaboration began in college, and with each project we do, we strengthen as a group. Hopefully we’ll find the means to make this short, several others, and even some t.v. and feature projects down the road. We’ve just chosen the alternate route.