This time of year I untangle the Christmas lights and reflect on Christmases past. Two years ago in a snowy December, I got swept away with the rush and energy of the most intense, dramatic, mind blowing project. My amazing friend, Barry Varga, aka Mr. Dry Wit, wanted to make a funny movie about three guys in wheelchairs robbing a bank. You heard that right. Barry has ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease, and was confined to a wheelchair himself. He wanted to shine some light on a grim situation, raise funds towards the fight against this disease – but mostly he wanted to give people a laugh. Barry asked my son, Levi, to co-write the script with him and my other son, Kyle, to direct the movie. Some very generous and kind friends helped my husband cover the costs of our speedy production. Kyle and his Vancouver crew only had a small window in-between classes to head to Calgary and do the four day crazy shoot. I remember that getting off the plane one of Kyle’s wise friend’s said, Kyle we should never work more than a twelve hour day – and we all said, that would be insane – who would do that? But guess what? To cram it all in, we pulled a fourteen hour stint. It makes my spine tingle thinking about all the family and friends, and friends of friends, and kids of neighbors, and relatives of Barry’s and mine, that showed up everyday – following us across the city -from the university to the high school, to a slushy street scene – taking part in everything from feeding the folks, applying fake tatoos, driving electric wheel chairs without a licence, babysitting the little toddler of an actor, or waiting (and waiting and waiting) to be a court room extra only to be left on the cutting room floor. After that exhilarating Christmas shoot they took the footage back to Vancouver and created Disabled and Dangerous. Our movie is only eight and a half minutes long, but a funny eight and a half minutes.
We screened it in Calgary in June 2012 to a packed house and then sent it to film festivals – making it into three in New York City, and (drum roll) winning the audience choice award at the Iron Mule Comedy Festival in October. It’s been a wild ride and now Barry and the guys want to share it far and wide with the assitance of some amazing dedicated women at the ALS Society of Alberta. I am absolutlely thrilled to let you know that Disabled and Dangerous will launch on YouTube on Dec. 19th, two years from the day we wrapped up the shoot. It’s time to share Barry’s funny story idea. The more views, the more people we make happy. The official trailer is now available at http://youtu.be/nm8wGGEpg-Y or on the facebook page www.facebook.com/dangerousshortfilmgroup! It has 19,000 views and counting on Youtube – and that is just the trailer. Check it out but please share the movie when it debuts on YouTube on December 19 and help make this “the heartfelt heist heard round the world.” Remember this is just an ordinary stick-up.