Monday, December 21, 2009

People I Know Make Stuff

When I say "make stuff", I'm talking about taking the time out to really make something, to bust your ass for months on a passion project that you're not going to profit on, just something that you know you want that you can only get by putting the pedal to the metal and making it your own damn self. Pal Kayla Kromer had a such a passion this time last year when she decided that she wanted a hamburger bed, which then went on to become an internet sensation that even turned me into an online superstar for a bit. Kayla sold the bed over the summer and quickly went to work on her latest passion project and the results are even more impressive. My inner 10 year-old is pretty damn jealous that Kayla has made her own Millennium Falcon bed, and having seen the damn thing in person I had no idea how much I wanted one until it was standing there in front of me. Aside from being a damn comfortable bed, it looks great, has working lights and a compartment for a keyboard and mouse pad (Kayla works on her bed; she teaches first grade) and even a cockpit for Han and Chewie to zip around the galaxy in. Like its predecessor, the Millennium Falcon bed has become a big internet hit, showing up on the home page for STAR and no doubt earning Kayla thousands, if not millions, of online marriage proposals. Kayla's craft making abilities have earned her some much-deserved fame, but it's her desire to make something on her own and her talent at putting it together that truly makes her awesome. Great job, Kayla!

(photo by Heather Leah Kennedy)

I first met Richard Gale at the 2007 Fantasia Film Festival when his short film CRITICIZED screened to a pretty rapturous audience reaction (it won one of the audience awards). He met up again when the film screened at Fantastic Fest and again at a NYC genre film fest that fall and we just hit it off like the right people do. Richard's experience on the festival circuit was so much fun that he decided to make another short with the idea for getting it ready for Fantastic Fest 2008. Coming in just under the wire (I had no idea the short was playing until I saw Richard at the fest), it turned out to be one of the fest's biggest hits and won a special award, the first of what has become a long series of festival awards for THE HORRIBLY SLOW MURDERER WITH THE EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT WEAPON. The list of audience awards for this puppy is pretty non-stop (seven thus far), but the real exciting part is what happened once Richard finally uploaded it onto YouTube this past Halloween. Not only is THSMWTEIW one of the highest-rated shorts in YouTube's relatively short history, it's now approaching nearly two million hits, which is puts this at "Lazy Sunday" level in terms of internet popularity. And I pleased to say it deserves the success, not just because Richard is such a good guy, but also because he made a very entertaining short that takes an admittedly one-joke premise and sustains laughs for ten minutes straight. It's a pretty fast-moving piece and it shows Richard off to great effect (usually the point of most hsort films), so it pleases me to hear about its success. It's down below for those of you who haven't seen it yet.

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