On this final afternoon of living the high life, a Man and a Woman struggle silently to clear the air in a house that’s completely underwater.
PRODUCTION DATES: JULY 19-August 24, 2013
RUNNING TIME: 10:40
HARDWARE USED: CANON C300, CANON 5D, & GOPRO HERO3
SUBTITLES: ENGLISH, SPANISH, & ITALIAN
SHOT ENTIRELY ON LAND IN LOS ANGELES & MALIBU, CALIFORNIA, AND UNDERWATER IN BARBADOS & PUERTO RICO.
FORMATS AVAILABLE: DVD, HD FILE (all others upon request)
DIRECTOR‘S NOTE: “The Martini Effect” is a fly-on-the-wall’s view of a couple that has lived without limits. After years of extravagance and bad habits, they lose their house. On this final afternoon enjoying their backyard pool before the bank takes possession of their place, they silently struggle with what the future holds for their marriage…Are they enough for each other when all the trappings of the high life are stripped away?
While writing the piece, I saw the Barbados diving footage of my co-star, Emanuele Secci. I was struck by all the symmetry, visual and linguistic, of having such dependence on a tank of air while swimming with a sea turtle; of gleefully exploring a shipwreck juxtaposed with losing one’s house above ground, as in being “underwater” on one's mortgage.
Seeing Emanuele chasing the sea turtle was particularly moving because it seemed like the turtle represented a being born on land that was equally comfortable adrift. It carries its house on its back…Its shell! The animal’s freedom, effortless movement and lack of responsibilities would make it something of a deity to our human couple. (In fact, the Woman wears a jade turtle on a chain around her neck, like some humans wear a cross or a Star of David.)
It also struck me how silent it is underwater, except for the sounds of our struggle for life-sustaining breath. It is also very difficult to communicate with other humans while in the ocean’s depths. These observations influenced my decision to have no dialogue between the couple. Their inability to communicate, except through escapism and base pursuits of pleasure, is what has probably “sunk” them.
My office window looks out on a residential sidewalk with a lot of foot traffic. As I worked on drafts of the piece, I kept noticing how many people walk around oblivious to everything from urban sounds to nature’s bird song because they have iPod or iPhone buds in their ears. I decided to layer that behavior onto the couple as well. Not only are they not speaking, they aren’t listening…except to an interior monologue which is presented not as a truly honest self-analysis, but as escapist entertainment in the form of random outtakes from an audio book called…”The Martini Effect”.
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