The Magic Forest
2008, DV (1.78:1), Fantasy/horror/comedy, color, 7 minutes.
David Luce (Scumbag the Clown)
Producer/Director/Writer/Cinematographer/Editor/Art Director/Special Effects/Sound: J.L. Carrozza, Puppeteers: Ryan Murphy, Neil Cicierega, Max Pacheco, Makeup (Clown): David Luce.
The summer of 2008 was one of the most depressing, trying periods of my life, plagued with everything from strained and eroding friendships to roommate nightmares to the failure of not one, but two projects. My original Alice in Wonderland concept fell apart and the first version of Conversations with T.F. Mou didn't work out. Plus I ended up dropping out of the overpriced corporate art school I studied at for a year and learned more about ghetto life, mixology and the marijuana plant than filmmaking and was grossly disappointed about the whole thing. So I was mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore. To express this anger in a constructive way, I chose to make another sick puppet film, a long threatened and pondered sequel/follow-up of sorts to Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets. The title of the film was inspired by Ryan Murphy. We would sometimes pass through a park in Mission Hill (a "student ghetto" suburb of Boston) where several woman have been raped which Ryan jokingly would call "the magic forest". I have very mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, it's kind of pointless to make a movie fuelled mostly by your deepest frustrations and the movie goes way too far. The puppetry stuff was rushed and I didn't have enough time nor cooperation to get my shots right.
However, there are aspects of the film I am quite proud of. In some ways I think it's a better movie than Dream House. It better follows in Little Red Riding Hood's footsteps and definitely speaks volumes on my frustrations of that time period. The whole plot, of a psychotic clown telling a story about a happy-go-lucky teddy bear living in a place where there is nothing but joy and everyone just ignores the darkness of the outside world who loses his ability to feel happy, is an almost Evangelion-like meditation on the trouble and depression I was experiencing at the time. The sequences with Dave Luce as Scumbag the Clown which were actually shot very fast are my favorite aspect of the film. He was enthusiastic about playing the role, which was originally to be played by Ryan Murphy and until I realized that Dave could do the villain thing way more authentically and in typical Luce fashion took it quite far. I am happier with the "director's cut" that paces the film much better and reframes the shots, eliminating most of the puppet hands. Most of the names of those involved have been removed from the actual film, sans Dave Luce is who is very proud of this role apparently and it is not quite an official or canonical Gen-Y Films production, but I still am proud of it to some degree. Sadly YouTube muted it because of the copyrighted music I used in it so it is no longer currently available but I may re-upload it to Vimeo.
Copyright J.L. Carrozza, 2008-10.