I was watching TV when I saw an ad for the new Cadillac CTS that went from zero to sixty in under 5-seconds. At the end of the commercial, was the announcement of the Cadillac Under Five Film Competition in coordination with the movie Get Shorty in theaters around that time. Rules: Make a film that has a runtime of 5-seconds or under. Easy, right? The really tough part was, the deadline for the competition was the following week. So I had to work fast.

Online, were samples of early entries and they were amazing. I had my little pro-super camera and no real crew. This was before I had gotten my studio, and I wasn’t a competent filmmaker yet. I had the instinct to use my son Excel as the lead and only actor. Then came the idea of “flight.” The boy will try and build a flying machine… then fail, only to recognize true flight is in the imagination, and quite possibly sparked from reading. The final shot would be with his winged-contraption behind him, legs folded symbolic of flight

I hadn’t quite figured out the failure part. I was lucky though. We were filming on a rather windy day and the wind just so happened to blow Excel over making him fall. I had the camera rolling… and went with it. It worked. Two of the judges were John Travolta and F. Gary Gray. While I didn’t win first place, the contest organizers said they all voted for my film but John and Gary liked the one that actually won.

The second place prize was a trip to Los Angeles for several days, staying at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood. We also received some spending cash, food everyday and the use of a Cadillac Escalade. It was such a motivator to stay in the game.

Written by:

Comments are closed.