Short of the Week

The Duel at Blood Creek

When a you choose a popular dueling spot to settle your quarrel, others might intrude.

A duel is defined as a pair of individuals who meet to settle a quarrel with combat. What if the location is crashed by two people, then two more people? Leo Burton has set up a playful scenario that unfolds with the comedic timing of the infamous “Who’s on first?” sketch.

History permeates on the banks of Blood Creek. Centuries of blood and honor run through the soil. Lords and gentlemen come from far and wide to duel with their enemies. This spot is sacred ground for all men who have cause to settle an argument.

The stage is set with Lord Aylesbury and his trusted servant Benton. He is preparing to fight his sworn enemy, Hawthorn, to the death. Aylesbury is monologuing about his past experiences in war when a man approaches. This man declares himself to be Judge Edgar Proust arriving to fight his sworn enemy, Townsend. Aylesbury is appalled by his claim. He arrived first! As the two of them quarrel a fourth man appears. Then a fifth, sixth, so on until ten characters are present. The story spins out of control as each person professes their right to a duel. Each voice escalates with booming prestige. Eventually, combat explodes. All characters draw weapons on their enemies and each other. The fighting eventually secedes when an unexpected eleventh character enters the set.

Absurd situations can only take an idea so far. This film is supported by lyrical dialogue and witty acting that rise above its premise. Each character delivers a performance that allows the audience to connect with them, even for a brief moment. There is a nice balance of action and reaction shots that punctuate the comedy. Even though the structure is somewhat chiche, the audience will ignore that fact when trying to cure their side-splitting laughter.

~
Genevieve is an adjunct instructor at New York University. Her belief is that shorts are the foundation for long form storytelling.
  • Piet Sonck

    a little predictable, but beautifully shot & elegantly directed …

  • Sukay25

    Beautiful scenery, very funny.

  • Ev13

    Hilarious
     

  • Yayasama5

    Loved it! Amusing and funny…some fine looking men too. Private property! Haha!

  • Roberta Brown E

    Excellent film and v v funny ! Loved Benton x

  • Joel

     My name is Joel Stephens and I have a TV production company, Morcaman Productions, Inc. (morcaman.com)

    I am seeking indie short films from a variety of sources – directly from
    film makers, film festivals, and any combination of the two for my TV
    show.

    The show is called Sprockets and Splices (sprocketsandsplices.com).

    The purpose is to provide a forum for indie film makers to have their
    short films 2 – 20 minutes, seen by a national audience instead of those
    that may see them at a film fest or YouTube or Vimeo.

    We cobble together 1 or 2, perhaps even 3 film shorts with a beautiful
    host (Splice Girl) that provides the opener, bumps and wrap.

    Music is written and performed by Grammy nominated saxophonist David Carr, Jr.

    The short snippet that you see on the site shows about 9 minutes of a 30
    minute show, but provides all the elements to show you and others how
    we present the shows.

    We offer no compensation to the film makers, the Splice Girls or even to
    David – but if selected, they are incorporated into the show – normally
    with little or no editing. The only editing that we normally do is for
    content – language or nudity.

    We do not seek an exclusive distribution – and the rights to your projects remain completely with you.

    If you are interested in having any of your short films incorporated
    into the show, please let me know we require a screener – in DVD form in
    almost any format except EVO

  • Sindhu Reddy

    Loved it! Great acting, and yes maybe a cute scenario but well shot and produced.

  • Champion_samurai

    That was fun, I had no idea where it was going. Excellent script and actors!

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    What a fun idea that works great as a short. Period pieces are ripe for parody. This could be a series.

  • Romanbruni

    lovely extra-ordinary short about english culture.
    i’ll call it a marvellous if not fabulous funny filmmaking.
    this creative party is sure to become next english film idol !

  • Guest

    Very funny! Quick Q – I’d like to show this to some younger kids, as a demonstration of shorts. However, some of the slangs and lingo used…not sure if it’s good. Does Proust say F*** catcher to Benton, or am i just hearing things?? I don’t want to show it unless it’s clean-ish. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Good stuff! Quite funny, and very well shot and scripted.  All that and a great location too!

  • Momtech81

    Fob catcher. An insulting remark. A fob is the part if a chain that holds a pocket watch in the pocket. To be a fob catcher is to demean a person as even less than a servant, on par with a lap dog.

  • Guest

    Okay, thanks so much!!!

  • Julian

    solid idea, pretty amusing overall. got a little drawn out towards the end, and the piece suffered overall from being riddled with audio problems

  • MBC

    Bored

  • Sam

    great idea, that has got a very nice touch of acting directing and the main thing the script.

  • Leo

    Actually, it is fart-catcher! Slang for a man-servant.  ;)

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    Thanks Leo! Good to have official word from the director.

  • Jim

    This has all the makings of a great plot, hilarious, tragic and momentous. It could even be parodied into the present age.

  • NYC Standup

    Good idea – but pretty limp execution. This site needs some better comedy curators.

  • http://www.facebook.com/livinginmagic Michael Mackintosh

    Golden. Loved it

  • fnordest

    You’re worried about fart catcher when the other guy says, “He fucked my wife!” ??

  • Ethanaus

    Great idea/acting and beautiful composition…the shots tended to break the 180 far too often and ultimately took away from the beauty of this piece. I was visually confused every so often as to where characters were and the direction they were looking/speaking.

  • Barak Shavit

    so funny. i love it!

  • Flipfloppirate

    What type of camera was this amazing piece shot with?