Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16

Graham Robertson has been a professional set dresser since 1996. He's the guy (or one of the guys, depending on the size of production) that arranges the props and furniture on the set, and makes sure everything's at their marks, for continuity's sake. He's done this for movies like Rush Hour 2, My Sister's Keeper, and Star Trek. Recently, he's been busy on the television front: Monk, The Closer, Hot in Cleveland, $#*! My Father Says... That's his Hollywood career for the last 15 years...

well, except for this one thing...

In 2000, he cut together a version of the Budweiser "Wassup?" commerical, using clip from the Superfriends cartoon series:

The video clip became a bonafide viral sensation, inspiring a glut of "Wassup?" clip parodies (and this is five years before YouTube made it easy for any 7th grader and grandmother to upload.) There was talk of the co-creators (Robertson worked with Philip Stark, screenwriter of "Dude, Where's My Car" and a producer on "That's 70's Show") turning the clip into a series for Cartoon Network, but Robertson's next move was creating what the Guiness Book of World Records recognizes as the first all-green screen feature film: Able Edwards.

Shot for $30,000, Edwards was filmed with no sets over a two-week period. While in post-production, he received a visitor in the editing suite: Steve Sodebergh. Sodebergh liked what he saw so much, he became an executive producer.
Able Edwards was released in 2004; it won the Robert Rodriguez award at the Hollywood MiniDV Festival, and then...
...nothing. His experience with Able Edwards informed his book, "Desktop Cinema: Feature Filmmaking on the Home Computer." Five years later, he's keeping busy arranging furniture on sitcoms.
This is the part of the story that fascinates me. Why no second movie? Did the film's lack of box office success dissuade him? There's no website, no sign of any current distribution; did things go sour behind the scenes? Did he, after creating an entire movie with no physical sets, being writer/producer/director/editor/one-man studio- did he find more fulfillment on movie sets? Did he tell the story he wanted to tell? Did he, in the story of Able Edwards, tell his own story and fortell his own fate? Or does he have something else in the basement, bubbling under? (and is "Land of Enchantment" that project?)

Does Graham Robertson have a second act?

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