ABOUT THIS SHORT FILM
Directed written and produced by Nikki Glasgow
Cinematography by Elliott McLaughin
Starring NIkki Glasgow (Duelist 1), Elliott McLaughlin (Duelist 2) and Amy Hodgen (Tumbleweed Pusher)
Music from “The Shootist” by Bill Elm and Woddy Jackson
Equipment: Nikon D5000 with tripod and camera stabilizer (steady cam)
Set within the confines of a blank university room, “The Duelists” is based upon how students in Higher Education seem to have to compete for places in a degree and how this evolves into the fact that this competitiveness sometimes seems as if it turns into an all out battle for a place. It was inspired by the works of David Zucker (The Naked Gun series and Airplane!) and also Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World and Shaun of the Dead)
The two students are shown to be having a stand-off for some unknown reason, this is to show that although they use their “creativity” with the sense of firing paint at each other from “paintbrush guns”, this competitiveness can be universal for a position for any course or job and so can be understood by a greater number of people.
Closeup shots of crazy eyes, twitching trigger fingers and long perspective shots where a tumbleweed made entirely of paper enter and interrupt the shot all add to the sense of anxiety and tenseness between the two duelists. Comedic value is added when closeup shots of a zipper being pulled up and an ass being scratched.
The post rendered animation of paint splatter on the wall behind the duelists mixed with the live footage of the shootout itself were done using small squares of green paper and then subsequently roto-brushed out as one of the duelists was wearing a green shirt and so keying the footage would not have been possible.
The fight, lasting only a few seconds, can be seen as spoof-like because of the way in which a “western shootout” is represented by essentially two students firing deadly paint at each other and one even being killed by a “powered-up” paintbrush shot, killing the other student leaving the other victorious to take his place on the degree course.
In post-production the film was colour graded with a slight orange/yellow tint with the contrast increased. This gave the film a much grittier feel whilst keeping it light hearted and retaining the high quality of the original film.