Set amidst a Del Playa party, The Condition concerns an Isla Vista rumor and the effect it has on potential love interests. The film is shot in black-and-white and dubbed in Italian, which adds an interesting twist.
Why dub the film in Italian?
GM: We were worried about the hassle of keeping everyone quiet during party scene takes and we figured we’d have to dub in the dialogue to have clean sound. Our associate producer and editor Edoardo Vojvoda (who was an Italian exchange student at the time) suggested it might be interesting if we dub the film in Italian. It offered a unique solution, so we ran with it.
RC: Being a Fellini fan and overall Italian film admirer I thought it was a great idea. We all liked the idea creatively because it could add a unique element to our short and practically because we wouldn’t have to worry about matching dubbed dialogue to picture.
Is this at all based on circumstances you have witnessed personally?
RC: Yes and no. Although I’ve never actually witnessed anyone being mistaken for having “a condition,” I do think rumors could spread about people in an area as small and congested as Isla Vista. Brendan and Kelly’s storyline though was actually inspired by two friends of mine who were dating at the time. Despite the obvious affection they felt for one another, they both knew that after graduation they had to go their separate ways — back to her hometown of Virginia and he to join the Marines and become an officer. It was bittersweet seeing them enjoy their last few nights out in I.V as a couple, or as “an item” as Brendan puts it.
This is set in Isla Vista, right? As a former resident from many years ago, I was happy to hear the Marley House reference.
RC:Right?! I for one loved that beautiful Bob Marley mural and was really saddened to hear that it had been painted over. It’s a shame.
How was it shooting? Was that a “real” party?
GM: Shooting was a blast, but it was not a real party. We would have loved to have shot during an actual I.V. Party, but we wanted to make sure that we had a crowd who would work with us and an environment we could manage. The people at the party are all good friends of ours (cast and crew) who were just willing to come hang out. We actually used the same 20 or so people the entire time, rotating them from room to room to make it seem like an actual party.
Was it hard to get young actors to do somewhat intimate scenes?
RC: Not at all. Brett and Marianne were actually dating at the time, so they were pretty comfortable with each other. Kelly Wood, who plays Kelly, is a great person with an awesome personality plus she was an art major so she was willing to do what was necessary to make this film look legit. Matt Dumont, who plays Brendan, was more than willing to play along.
Why shoot in black and white?
RC: I absolutely love black and white films. I think black and white adds a certain elegance to films and a flair of beauty that’s lost in color. I loved the idea of giving that to Isla Vista.
This is essentially a story of potential love lost over a rumor. Has that ever happened to you?
RC: I hope not! Not that I’m aware of at least.
The Condition screens as part of the Santa Barbara Shorts on Thu., Jan. 31, 4:30 p.m,, at the Lobero Theatre and Sat., Feb. 2, 7 p.m., at the Museum of Art.