a new comedy short
About the Movie
Randy Mack was raised by a family of butchers and meat salesmen, going back seven generations, through six countries on three continents and two
planets. The business motto, loosely translated from something vulgar, is “You Can't Beat Our Meat.” Multiple accusations of false advertising was one of the reasons the family was constantly on the move. Another reason was they enjoyed sightseeing.
After a childhood in New Haven, CT, Mack loses a bet and attends Clark University. Frustrated by the lack of academic programs in Applied Butchering and Meat Technologies, he turns away from classes and towards the student magazine (motto: “All the Shit that Fits, We Print”). Despite the apathy that greets Mack's rousing, meat-oriented editorials, the time proves fruitful as Mack meets Ordynans, who is still “finding himself,” and ironically won't be introduced to himself for another seven years.
Soon Mack turns a ragtag band of misfits— himself, Ordynans, and an enigmatic drifter known only as Not Steve (and sometimes Bill)— into a musical force to take the campus by storm. Unfortunately, they are trumped by a snow storm that takes the campus by force. Trapped in a dorm, the band (dubbed “Burning Annie”) moves their debut show to a study lounge, where they wow a crowd of sofas. Like many great bands, their moment in the spotlight (or, more literally, reading lamp) was short-lived, and they would only make it through three songs before breaking up.
Embittered by the end of the project he considered his creative apex, Randy pursues a number of subjects, mostly women. He sets out for Los Angeles, and after some confusion involving abbreviations, arrives in Louisiana. Randy returns to music, forming a new band, Randy, that tours open mic nights all over Bourbon Street. Meanwhile, his love of the printed word— and the fact that he owns a van— leads to a side career distributing newspapers.
In 2004, Randy accidentally produces his first feature film when he leaves a camera running in his bathroom for 16 straight hours. Variety describes it as “Warhol meets Disney (in the men's room at the Minneapolis airport).” Entertainment Weekly gives the footage a B-, praising the film for giving “new meaning to 'intestinal fortitude'” but criticizing the musical numbers for being “tuneless, almost improvised babbling.” Nevertheless, “Burning Annie” becomes a festival hit and is released on DVD by Warner Bros and Lightyear Entertainment.
Mack continues to play music as a solo act, and enjoys an on-and-off relationship with his band, Randy, of which he is the only member. A reunion is planned for next summer.
Zack Ordynans enjoyed growing up in West Nyack, N.Y. Some found the suburb to be
remarkably dull, but Ordynans thought the town suited his personality. At a
young age, he cultivated an affinity for instant coffee and talk radio. When he
turned 18, he was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend Clark University.
(“I had a coupon.”) At this age, he also began a lifelong habit of stealing
jokes from his previous projects.
At a university activities fair, Zack accidentally signs up for the student magazine while attempting to join a political organization, Young Undecideds. When Ordynans and Mack meet, they engage in the first of many attempted debates, in which Mack fails to convince Ordynans to demonstrate an opinion about anything. Mack also fails to convince Ordynans to join a band he's trying to put together. They do briefly jam in the basement of a dorm building, but Ordynans quickly gets bored and sneaks out during an extended guitar solo.
After graduation, Ordynans moves to New York City to enjoy a life of quiet contemplation. Friends question his decision to move to an apartment two blocks from Grand Central Station, but Ordynans felt the decision was financially prudent and statistically grounded, until he realized his rent amount was paid monthly and not annually.
During a visit to see Randy, Zack is integral to the success of the film “Burning Annie”when he suggests storing Mack's camera in the bathroom to reduce clutter in the living room. For that contribution, Mack eventually agrees to give Ordynans a screenwriting credit. “It would have looked weird if we didn't list anyone,” said Mack, who also gave his pet hamster, Van, a directing credit for accidentally turning on the camera. Thus is born Armak Productions.
Since then, Ordynans has written and directed several controversial short films that were banned in Czechoslavakia, Rhodesia and the Soviet Union. This was quite an achievement considering that none of those countries were in existence at the time. The shorts were not widely distributed in the U.S. either, which Ordynans blames on unstable political conditions in Constantinople.
Despite those modest successes, Ordynans recently decided to put his high-paying film career aside to pursue a lifelong passion: insurance sales. Currently an Associate Agent, Zack hopes to avoid the distractions inherent in his day job as a filmmaker, and someday obtain the coveted title of Agent.
*- Facts may not be literally factual.