“Gigs” the comedy short by director Frankie Jason Turner has won the Best Comedy Award this weekend at the 3rd Annual Sunrise 45 Film Festival. It has officially been released and is now available for viewing on Youtube. Well, here it is…enjoy and share!
Written and directed by Frankie Jason Turner, “Gigs” stars Frankie Jason Turner as Russell, Robert Magolan as Cool-Aid (Kenny), and Krissi Kinney as Ashes, with a cast of others in various episodes of what was to have been a web-series. “Gigs” was produced by Frankie Jason Turner, Robert Margolan, and Krissi Kinney; with cinematography by Adam Herbstreit
As this short opens (1996), young Russell (Dennis Marin) is excited. “Things are blowing up and record companies are trying to sign us (the band) and people are going absolutely nuts for the band.” Young Russell wants to make music forever. He never wants to become “one of those chubby, balding, forty year old dudes who are burnt out.” However, advance 23 years and reality has caught up with him. The excitement has faded and this is who he has become.
Operating a studio out of his basement, he is barely holding on. He leads a life “scraping by for cash.” How did life go by so fast? The only people who are coming around are those dreamers who are convinced they will become the next BIG thing. Russell is having problems even tolerating them, as his agent pushes him to “write the perfect Pop! song.”
This light-hearted musical comedy is a real winner. As for the characters, there’s Cool Aid (Kenny), the Eminem wannabe mumble rapper and Ashley, Cool-Aid’s sister, who shows up to pick him up after he passes out on the recording room floor. Russell and Ashley start dating. Cool Aid becomes Russell’s assistant when Ashley says she will stop having sex with him unless Russell hires him.
The music is as much a part of this short as are the characters which inhabit Russell’s world. The lyrics are clever and catchy and advance the narrative well. Even the throw-away numbers, “Banana,””Taco Tuesday,””HJ in Atlanta” by Culcher work as inane demonstrations of what these aspiring musicians think will chart. The conclusion really ties everything up with a bow and is worth waiting for. Written by Frankie Jason Turner, with “Pop Song” written with Madde Gibba, and “Feel the Music” written with Chris Virzi, this short rocks! It, as a whole, demonstrates that Turner is not only a competent and believable actor, but also is accomplished musician.
“Gigs” would make a great feature length movie if expanded, or would serve well as an introduction to a television show, or if optioned a streaming original on Netflix, etc. if “Gigs” would find a show runner. It’s obvious why this was a winner at Alpena’s Sunrise 45 Film Festival. This whole concept works. And to confirm this “Gigs” should be shopped around to world film festivals. It won’t be long before “Gigs” starts to collect its own coveted laurel wreaths.
The 3rd Annual Sunrise 45 Film Festival in Alpena wrapped up Sunday evening with awards at the Black Sheep Pub. As well as “Gigs” being the winner in Best Comedy, the other winners include.
– Best Documentary Film: Flying Fur by Alicia Wszelaki
– Best Friday Night Fright Film: Una Mujer Sin Precio (A Priceless Woman) by Juan F. Moctezuma II
– Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film: The Spirit Seam by Ashley Gerst
– Best Genre-Bender/Experimental Film: -Blank- by William Mosqueda
– Best Dramatic Film: DEAD by Andrew Clancy
– Best Student Film: Wired by Zeyu Ren
– Best Feature Film: Into the Knight by Kate Li
– Best Short Film: Retouch by Kaveh Mazaheri
Congratulations to all the filmmakers!