|The following project has been shelved. It may or may not get a future release. Stay tuned.|
3-13 is a 2008 short film by Dozerfleet Productions. It is a spin-off of the draft concept for The Mutt Mackley Show, and is the fourth item related to the pitch in Dozerfleet history as well as the third in which Mackley himself makes an appearance.
Just as the predecessor Kings in the Corner was made for Film 118 class w/Jeff Hamlin in Spring 2003 at Lansing Community College; this sequel was also an assignment, made for TVPR 277 w/Clayton Rye in Summer 2008 at Ferris State University. It is the first Dozerfleet Studios program to be shot first on 16mm film and then converted to video later, as opposed to going straight to mini-DV tape.
Gambino the Penguin has escaped from jail! The citizens of the unspecified city are up in terror that this dense-feathered lowlife is at large once again. Knowing that Gambino has gotten (slightly) smarter since his last encounter with the law; Hooper and Smiley decide to set up a sting operation to catch him.
They initiate this by hanging out in an area where they know he often does business. They decide to both kill time and provide a diversion for him by playing a card game. The game that Smiley and Hooper decide to play is "3-13." As Smiley is clearly gaining an advantage over Hooper by keeping his negative score low, Gambino spies on them from a nearby alleyway.
Mutt Mackley, secretly a part of the sting operation, ambles into the alleyway and pretends to be suffering from a drunken hangover. A very-excited Gambino turns around to see a potential customer, and wastes no time trying to sell crack to Mackley. As Mackley pretends to not be able to make up his mind, Hooper and Smiley flee the premises. Gambino grows impatient, and demands that Mackley agree whether or not to buy the drugs.
Mackley pretends to agree to buy the drugs, but then Gambino is ambushed from behind by Hooper, who tackles him to the ground. During the plot twist at the end, Gambino reveals that the drugs had a street value of $313.00, ironically a number corresponding with the name of the card game.
When Mackley asks Hooper how he'll get Gambino to the station without the aid of a police car, he claims he has a '52 pickup. This ironically is the name of a practical joke involving cards, a fact which Mackley himself considers such a bad joke that he walks away from it in disgust. The credits roll.
In the planned video version, the end credits that roll include credit to the band New Soul Underground.
Card game results
Main article: Hooper and Smiley's 3-13 results
Hooper and Smiley play until the 9's round before moving in to bust Gambino. Their good records keeping allows them to resume their game later. The article link above is a round-by-round sequence of how Hooper and Smiley went out of the game and in what order. They play a variation where the jokers are used and are always wild cards that count for nothing; and can be used to negate other cards to make sets.
|Smiley Toucan||A stuffed toy toucan of unknown manufacturer|
|Mutt Mackley||An R. Dakin & Co. dog hand puppet|
|Detective Hooper||Cloud 9 Toys, Inc. brand basketball figure with arms, legs, and a face.|
|Gambino Penguin||Waddle of the Beanie Babies franchise|
Production of 3-13 was viewed ambitiously and cautiously, as this was the first-ever short film by Dozerfleet to being its life being shot on actual film. As stated earlier in this article, all prior short films made by Dozerfleet before this were direct-to-video productions.
The film used was 16mm Kodak 7266 Tri-X reversal film with an ISO of 200. This was inserted under subdued light conditions into a Bolex camera around 3:35 AM EDT on Friday, June 7th, 2008. The following afternoon, shooting on the piece commenced.
Studio lights were employed in addition to sunlight, and electrical tape from Wal-Mart was used to block off the lid to the camera to prevent any excess light spill. The characters were lined up on the floor of South Bond Rm. 332 at Ferris State near where the Dozerfleet founder usually kept the dirty clothes hamper and garbage can. The lighting kit box and the dresser served as the two building sides needed to create the alleyway.
Aside from the lack of anything to represent a road, the carpeting served as both a concrete road and concrete sidewalk. The card game happening "across the street" from Gambino was merely Hooper and Smiley being placed by the bed and the TV stand. After filming, the film reel was slipped into its box case in a dark closet and shipped off to be developed elsewhere.
The film took a long time to return developed. This is because Ferris State's TV program switched from UPS to Federal Express as its main mail carrier. The teacher, Clayton, was uncertain at first how to handle the problem. The film did arrive back, but not until the class was almost over. The movie made its deadline, but was nowhere near as complete as the script desired.
The final film was cut and spliced with added footage of a sunset from another reel not made by Dozerfleet. This reel would serve as the final film for showing in class.
Shelving and cancellation
After the results came back from the film shoot and very little of the 16mm film was usable, the usable parts were used for the class and the film was copied to video for editing later. However, it was decided that the program should be shelved and re-shot later on video. The original version was copied from 16mm Tri-X to mini-DV tape using a film projector and an HD video camera.
Finally, as of May of 2010, it was deemed not worth the while to remake this film. It has since been canceled indefinitely, but The Mutt Mackley Show may still be revived in the future anyway.
The reception of the final piece cannot be revealed until the remake is completed. However, the version that was shown in the film class where the conflict was removed was fairly warmly received; by the instructor in particular. The project itself earned a B for a grade, guaranteeing that the class grade would be at least that.
Given the low-tech nature of this film, there are very few special effects. The angles at which the characters are viewed, combined with their brief on-screen times and their dramatic close-ups, are designed to give the impressions of them being involved in a tense discourse. These indicate to the audience an intended intimate connection to the characters at the given moments that they are on the screen. The only true puppet, Mackley, is controlled mostly by hand motions. This is accomplished through an assistant while the Dozerfleet founder is the camera operator.
The lighting is intentionally done up to make the characters appear dramatic in their noir-esque roles. Several cutaways to quote cards are used, with a dry erase board serving as the source of the card effects. For the playing cards and the drugs appearing on the set, stop-motion animation is employed. The characters remain stationary in their positions while the accessory objects simply appear like magic in front of them. Gambino's dramatic pause at the prospect of Mackley as a customer was created using a hamper and a studio light aimed in just the right direction to each other to produce an extreme low-angle that allowed the viewer to look up at Gambino.
Mackley was moved along while walking by a string and some dental floss. In the scenes where his mouth moves, however, his lower body is deliberately off-camera so that a puppeteer can operate. The same puppeteer simply threw Hooper at Gambino towards the end, with an edit being done to the final cut so that the impact immediately jumps to Gambino's reaction without the necessary reveal that Hooper doesn't have the strength to hold on.
Since there's no color in 3-13, the police car light effect used in "Somewhere I Belong" and Kings in the Corner doesn't work in this movie. Instead, a joke is made about how Hooper owns a "'52 pickup" (referencing the practical joke.)
Gambino's coke bag is actually a piece of plastic wrap with powdered sugar inside of it.
- Gambino gets increasingly more intelligent in his criminal career with each successive escape from jail. But early on, he's not very smart. He refers to the drugs he tries to sell to Mackley as "smack," a common street name for heroin. However, it is very clear that the bag at the bottom of his feet is a coke bag.
The official music chosen for this film's soundtrack is the song "Greasy Feet," off the similarly-named album by the jazz band Kings in the Corner.. One of the members of this band, Travis Carlton, is a relative of the very Larry Carlton whose song "Fingerprints" features on the soundtrack for
The idea to use the song is derived from a need to keep a thematic consistency in the world of Mutt Mackley-based cinema. The mock crime drama nature of these shorts owes itself to jazz music with no lyrics and plenty of bass playing. Therefore, it seemed natural to find another Carlton who could pull off almost as much a successful and appropriate tune as the last one.