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Vimeo Short Film Of The Week: ‘A Writer and Three Script Editors Walk Into a Bar’

Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s why every week we’ll take a look at some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Matthew Saville’s cracker-jack comedy A Writer and Three Script Editors Walk Into a Bar.

The Plot: See title. Don’t overthink it.

The Film: Hey, 2016 was a mother fucker right down to those last few days. But it’s finally over. With 2017 – in all of its glaring uncertainty – officially underway, I think we’ve all earned a good laugh. So here’s A Writer and Three Script Editors Walk Into a Bar.

Why Press Play?

Writer/Director Matthew Saville finds more laughs in the two and a half minutes of this film than most Hollywood comedies find in 90. He does so with a single joke … that you already know the punchline to. That’s just the point. Saville isn’t interested in that punchline as much as he is in the path there. The path he choses is as funny to watch as it is painful to listen to.

That’s got a lot to do with writing. Saville’s A Writer and Three Script Editors Walk Into a Bar is simplicity itself. One location. Four characters. And yes – to hammer this point home – one joke. What he spins from those minimal threads is a tiny miracle. The characters are believable and beautifully developed by the film’s cast. Every word and every joke is impeccably timed. The scenario is absurd but wholly believable. That scenario is specific to a certain set – if you’ve ever had dealings with an editor of any sort, you’ll be cringing throughout – but the way it plays out is universal.

Nobody likes to be edited. And interrupting a joke often kills the punchline. But Saville takes such pleasure in building jokes around those interruptions that they become the punchline. Even as they enhance it. Every perfectly timed pause and every quixotic question bolsters the final, pitch-perfect delivery. When A Writer and Three Script Editors Walk Into a Bar finally does get there, that punchline becomes something unexpected. Something far more humorous than the tired joke that spawned it. It becomes a genuinely funny moment … drenched in personal anguish. You’re as likely to shrink at the moment as you are to laugh at it. Odds are you’ll do both. That’s just the point.

Meet The Crew:   

Written, Produced & Directed by: Matthew Saville  Starring: Dave Lawson, Marco Chiappi, Mart Parkinson & Maude Davey  Director of Photography: Katie Milwright  Edited by: Geoff Hitchins

Happy New Year, folks! I hope A Writer and Three Script Editors Walk Into a Bar gets a good laugh or two out of you! It really is a clever little film. And Matthew Saville used the same approach for his feature debut a couple of years ago with the charming, understated comedy A Month Of Sundays. That film starred Anthony Lapaglia. It screened in competition at TIFF 2015. It’s well worth a look if you can track it down. But if you can’t, feel free to check out Saville’s work over at his Vimeo Page. While you’re there, be sure to check out a few of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – the Vimeo team have made available for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device – SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting and you may just stumble across the next great filmmaker.

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Patrick Phillips is a contributing writer for CutPrintFilm and geekinsider.com. When not critiquing the work of others, he spends his time drinking coffee, buying records, writing fiction and wondering why he never started a band. Follow him on Twitter at Patrick Phillips @savagedetectiv

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