"Do You Copy?" is the official title (decided after much bitter debate) of the film made during the Somewhat Rapid Movie Project
. I will leave the discussion of the Project's methods and process to its own node, and here describe only the resulting product, the actual movie.
The title of the film refers obtusely to radio communication jargon, and the prominent place of the photocopier in the film, as well as alluding to the contentious modern debate on intellectual property that so many of us are familiar with.
(Other possible titles discussed were: Hello Copy, Double-Sided Transparency, Copy Makers, The Copy Makers, and "Agro and the Copy Whores of Trorb".)
The film has 2 parallel stories in 2 different "worlds", the "reality" world, and a science fiction sort of shared "fantasy" world (which may be an actual parallel universe, though the film does not make this clear). The reality story centers around a small copy shop called CopyMaker. In the fantasy world the story takes place on several different planets, and onboard an interstellar spacecraft shaped like Hello Kitty.
In these settings we find 5 main characters, 4 of whom have parallel characters in the fantasy world:
- Jason (played by Mykle Hansen), a mentally unstable employee at Copy Maker with strange theories about a mysterious device known as The TRORB. In the fantasy world Jason is Helmut the Hitman, a heartless galactic assassin who once dated a feline.
- Peter (played by Matthew Harris), another Copy Maker "Sales Associate" who is quite nerdy and dabbles in a variety of esoteric knowledge like chinese philosophy and ufo conspiracy theory. In the fantasy world, he is Helmut's henchman, hired via Online Hench Services.
- Stuart (played by Kevin Turner), the manager of Copy Maker. Stuart is a rather quiet but passive aggressive fellow. In the fantasy realm he is Blot the Effacer, a powerful creature who leads a band of warriors known as The Blotterati.
- Brian (played by Phil Sano), a soulless yuppie fuck who is a customer at Copy Maker. His fantasy self is Agro, an ethically questionable godlike superbeing.
- Penelope, or Penny (played by Anne Adams), a copy machine repair person contracted by Copy Maker to fix the TRORB copy machine. Penny is the only major character who has no fantasy counterpart, though her efforts to fix the TRORB are what "transports" or "switches" the characters between the "real" and the "fantasy" worlds.
(if 3 of these characters, Agro, Helmut, and the Henchman, seem familiar to you, then you must have seen "Rotating Food: The 48 Hour Movie
." Congratulations! These 3 characters were judged to be some of the most redeeming qualities of the 48 Hour Movie, and so were re-used in this better, longer, cooler film, though it is definitely NOT a sequel.)
There are a variety of minor characters as well, mostly Copy Maker employees, including myself as an out-of-touch engineering grad student, joyquality as a Chinese student, unless as a shady fellow who claims ALL of the items in the Copy Maker lost and found box, conform as a nerdy zine guy, and many many more.
The basic story goes like this: In the real world, a typical day is happening at Copy Maker. Various customers come in and out, including Brian, who has been trying, evidently for weeks, to get an order filled. One copy machine, brand-name "TRORB", keeps ruining his print job. Penny is called in to fix the machine. Stuart, Jason, and Peter keep stalling Brian and trying to get him to come back later. Finally he snaps and threatens them.
Meanwhile, in the fantasy world, Agro hires Helmut the Hitman and his faithful Henchman to find Blot the Effacer and get back some important "transportation crystals" from him. They fly off on the chase, but eventually have some ethical dillemas about whether Blot deserves to be killed and whether Agro is really the villain. Eventually they team up with Blot and there is a climactic final hong kong flying people movie style battle in the end.
All along the way there are various mysterious and humorous parallels between these 2 storylines, which finally merge at the end of the film.
All in all, a gripping tale of workplace angst, love, murder, power, morality, and just plain zany apeshit.
Coming soon to a theater near you.