Shorty & Morty - An extraordinary homeless couple surviving the cruel and Disneyfied streets of Hollywood. A unique love story. The short has played in 5 film festivals in Los Angeles and 13 more in Melbourne, AU along with 4 podcast interviews on Darren Staley's comedy show entitled: Dylan Brody's Couch. A reboot is coming soon - congrats, gents!
Shorty & Morty came from a story I wrote about a legless, homeless woman aka "Celine" who used various accents to protect herself. Celine doesn't know how she lost her legs or where she came from but she feels complete after meeting Morty. She performed dance moves twirling with her colorfully socked stumps on the sidewalks in front of Hollywood's crazies who would toss coins at her as they jeered and leered - from tourists to Krazytown elites. The locals just took it in stride.
This love project has two shorts, 8 in-character interviews and was a popular blog online with 24 episodes you can read under blogs. Their unique world is fleshed out with additional colorful and very real characters. You might see yourself or a family member in one of the pieces or how life really is on any economic level.
For Celine it was love at first sight when she saw a drunken Morty screaming at a group of stuntmen working on a film set around the docks of LA. He demanded a job letting them all know he was as big a man as any of them and better at performing stunts. One irritated muscular stuntman tossed Morty into the water in response.
Celine sobered him up and he built her new legs so that she could see the world through eyes at what might've been her right height. True love. Eva-Marie Fredric's Shorty & Morty
With a wonderful cast lead by a hope-to-die-for co-star, Dana Michael Woods and amazing artists like puppeteer Scott Land's marionettes (TEAM AMERICA: World Police), Special Effects Brain Penikas (Guardians of the Galaxy), Composer Steve Huber and more - made this world as unique as it was original. Penikas taught the then budding production designer/art director, Dylan Bocanegra to build a leg out of a crutch that I could walk on. The leg stayed in the picture!
In Memory of the wonderful Barber Ali - who played the Bollywood Butcher. He came up with the line of charcoaling Morty's nutsacks. You are missed Barber.
sHorty went on Let's Make A Deal - which unfortuantely aired as a new president was being sworn in - so that footage is lost but enjoy some of the photos and below are "The Interviews". Illustrations by Dylan Bocanegra who production designed and played Peter.
The "Interviews" came about as a way of breaking new realities (which sHorty & Morty is very much in tune with). An obese Hollywood Census Social Worker grills various characters (including part of the crew) to find out more about our dynamic duo. Celine was never chosen to be a contestant but everyone around her was. Me thinks the host sniffed something amiss.
Kate takes the hotseat. You will hear the social worker eating and drinking the entire time throughout the interviews. The wonderful actress, Catherine Carlen did a fantastic job with as Kate. A character who would thank you and laugh if you chopped her arm off! She's that good natured.
Then there's the vulnerable Peter and his girlfriend "Babes" a blow-up doll. Dylan Bocanegra played him with the necessary innocence and ignorance needed as the street kid who looks up to Jared, head of the puppet addicts. That's his hero.
Jared makes his appearance and isn't happy about it. Ralph Guzzo created a Jared beyond my wildest dreams and is one of my favorite characters. He's the ultimate bully, rock 'n roll has-been and delightfully dim but never dull!
Improvisational teacher, author and member of the longest ongoing improv group, Off the Wall, Andy Goldberg was a very memorable Zippy.
The social worker even goes after the crew, thinking they're part of the homeless problem created by Jared and his puppet addicts as he continues to try to find sHorty & Morty. Josh Jahlil was nice enough to sit as the real "camera guy".
The amazing composer, Steven Huber who wrote our theme song takes a seat. Steven has an amazing resume and this was his first film composition but he has gone to do more!
Razor is a homeless character in the second short. Phil Idrissi played him with aplomb.
At long last... Shorty & Morty can no longer dodge their interview if they want meal or metro passes. They begrudgingly answer questions. Shorty couldn't have had a better co-star than Dana Michael Woods - he's brilliant as "the little guy". What an exceptional actor to have as my on-screen romantic partner.
After Shorty & Morty came out puppets rather quickly became an "in" sighting on many popular shows. This duo could spin off of almost any hit show and would make for a darkly comedic "original" one of their own.
If you're enjoying these characters and their world - hop over to their blog page.