Austin Comedy Short Film Festival
Fall 2017 Official Selection
Skipped Directed by Faisal Hashmi
The Micro Short Comedy Film, Skipped, is an official selection of the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017.
- Film Title: "Skipped"
- Director/Writer/Producer/Editor: Faisal Hashmi
- Runtime: Four (4) Minutes and Twenty Five (25) seconds
- Category: Micro Short Comedy Film
- Tagline: "A man working at the office late at night stumbles upon a time-travel power that can boost his productivity. But a power so life-changing is nothing to sneeze at.
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- Review: "Skipped" takes the concept of work productivity to darker depths. As one a mans new found power of speeding up time, has a grave consequence. Fans of The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits will be pleasantly surprised w this twisted take on work ethic in the workplace. This is the first film from the United Arab Emirates that has ever been accepted to the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival. "Skipped" was a huge hit at the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017. Several attendees suggested that this event featured one of the broadest selections of international films compared to other film festivals in the United States.
"Skipped" The Story Behind the Story. Interview with Faisal Hashmi
- Why did you think that your film was a good fit for the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival? "From the outset, I tried to make a short film that not only is comedic, but also goes in morbid direction. The audience may not expect a film to end like this. I looked at the website for Austin Comedy Short Film Festival. I had a feeling that it was a festival which embraced films that were off the wall and quirky so I felt "Skipped" would be a great fit for the audience of it."
- What inspired you and your team to make this film and how did you come up with the title? "The idea came to me as I wanted to make a sci-fi comedy that's set in the office. I started brainstorming different ideas. One thing that I wanted to play with is the very idea of a sneeze. It's something no one can really control, but what if along with your heart skipping a beat each time you sneezed, our main character saw time itself skip a beat for whatever he was holding? The idea of equating selective time travel with sneezing felt completely original to me and opened up a world of ideas which got me going. 'Skipped' as a title was a natural extension of both time skipping ahead and the heart skipping a beat."
- What made the actors interested in being a part of your film? "Our lead actor was excited to play the part in the film after reading the script and my initial meeting with him as he connected with the idea and the physical nature of the performance. Our older supporting actor was attracted a moral lesson that he saw in the script and signed on."
- How were you able to get the locations for your film? "The hardest part of making this film was getting a location, which took me about seven months of asking various offices to let us shoot for one day. As you'd expect, most of them refused to let a random film crew shoot in a corporate office and that stalled my project to such an extent that my best friend who was originally going to play the lead actually moved out of the country. Eventually, I was able to find a perfect location for the office thanks to a random Facebook advertisement so I decided to send the company my script and even offered to shoot something for them for free if they let me shoot my movie there. Luckily, they were great sports and were excited to help out an indie filmmaker and agreed to let us shoot there. It's a location that I think truly elevates the look of the film."
- Can you talk about your sources of funding and favors that you received to complete this film?
The film was entirely funded by me, as is the case with every short film I've made. As for favors, there were quite a few Chief among them was Canon who was gracious enough to let me borrow their unreleased Canon C200 and an array of cinema prime lenses to shoot the film. It's the first short film to be shot on that camera in the region, actually. Others helped provide some makeup accessories and my talented cast and crew were generous enough with their time to volunteer on the film."
- Has creating this short film helped the careers of the people involved in any way? "It's too early to tell, but I truly hope that a bigger audience really notices how talented the cast and crew of the film were and more opportunities open up for them. So far, people seem to really enjoy different aspects of the film and that's very heartening to see."
- What were some of the challenges that you encountered while making this film? "It was definitely a challenging shoot because we were working with a very old actor and communicating with him was a challenge. But outside of that, shots took much longer than expected because even though it's a four-minute short film, there are many camera setup changes that add up in time and we ended up running a few hours late. This created a problem as the sun came up so we had to adjust our camera angles to make it still feel like it's late in the night. But we managed to get everything done nevertheless."
- In what city and state was this film shot on location? If outside the US, what city and country? If multiple places, please list them. "This film was shot entirely in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It's a region where the film industry is still in its infancy, but I've been trying to make entertaining genre short films here for the last nine years and will continue to do so."
- Can you tell us about a time when something really funny happened on set, that didn't get caught on camera? "Thankfully, I had a wonderful behind the scenes videographer on scene this time to capture anything on set. So I have footage of everything from hijinks with the life-size fake skeleton on set, our props breaking and having to adjust around it, and silly dances that my lead actor decided to improvise."
- Can you list any awards, nominations or official selections for this film? "The film was screened at the launch event of the Canon C200 in Dubai, as well as official selections at Conway Film Festival in Arkansas and Feel The Reel Film Festival in Romania so far."