A Hat Made of Mexico

What are these, you may ask? Well, allow me to explain.

Ten years ago, yes TEN YEARS AGO, my dear friends and I made a silent comedy film at high school called ApoXoqA which was very silly, and very bad.

We had a number of limitations in terms of our equipment. We used a low quality digital camera that could only film in webcam mode, ie. tethered to a PC by USB. It was kind of terrible, but we had fun making it and it’s actually kind of funny to look back on now. It was lost on an old hard drive for years but recently recovered and here it is:

We enjoyed making it so much that in summer 2004 after graduating high school, Murray and I began work on a sketch-based feature-length sequel we called A Hat Made of Mexico, using a slightly better digital camera I borrowed from my mum that could film on location (a big revelation for us). We wrote a few ideas for sketches and location shoots, but decided to improvise because we were too lazy and unprofessional to write and then learn lines from a script. The Rooster Cogburn character originates from this period, as does a series of short vignettes such as The Townley Cornfield Gay Tree-Climbing Experience. I also documented some escapades such as a bowling trip to Clydebank.

The footage shot with this camera was terrible and is probably lost to time. We also didn’t do very much filming for almost a year after, until I splashed out on a then-decent miniDV video camera and production restarted.

From mid 2005 through to 2007, we worked away on various ill-conceived fragments of  scripts and improv-based bits. Eventually we had 5 hours or so of footage ostensibly for A Hat Made of Mexico. However, by this point we had realised that although what we had film had been funny to us at the time, it was largely unwatchable by any standard. We tended to laugh through the material, and didn’t really do enough takes to get things right. We’re not actors or natural improvisers (though Murray was the best improviser among us by a very long way).

However, from the ashes of the two strongest ideas came Murray’s show Rooster Cogburn: Official Wildlife Expert (which itself only ran three episodes) and PMT Jazzattack! (which is a solid body of unwatchable nonsense in and of itself).

Until now, nobody has really seen any of the abandoned film, and there is a lot of it. Time has soothed the embarrassment this material causes me, so I thought it might be fun to quickly edit together little bits of it because they might just be enjoyable.

More on the way soon.

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