Two young and broke guys concoct an online contest scheme to get sexy females to submit their selfie for $15 a pop. They start by offering a $1,000 cash prize but as things go wrong and expenses balloon they ultimately inflate the prize to $1 million in order to attract more contestants.
Ron Jackson and Giorgio Daveen worked together on 5 Hour Friends, and have teamed up again to make the comedy $elfie Shootout. The concept came about from Giorgio who then contacted Ron to write the script as they share.
Giorgio, “I wanted to direct a film with another partner about 2.5 years ago. I knew Ron is a great writer so I reached out to him if he could write a script as bad ass as Point Break meets Spring Breakers… Ron came up with “Dueling Selfies” I read the script and loved it right away and understood the direction i wanted to take the film. The other partner did not get the concept and thought it was bad and degrading to women, so that partnership came to an end. Ron also thought the concept was great and since my other partner backed out Ron decided to self-fund this amazing project.”
Ron, “The genesis of the script is just as Giorgio said. He partnered with another producer and asked me to write a script along the lines of “Spring Breakers”. Since he had worked so hard as DP on “5 Hour Friends”, my first movie, I felt obligated to do something to help him. Kind of returning a favor I suppose. I’m really not a fan of the Spring Breakers type film and went in a very different direction. I hit on the “selfie” idea that is at the core of the film quickly and in fact wrote the first draft quickly; just one week. Still I probably went through another 7 or 8 drafts over nearly a year.I’m proud of the story line – at one level it is just bone head humor and goofiness. At the other end of the spectrum it is tough minded and very traditional satire.”
“Degrading to women?” not exactly and Ron explains why, “It’s an insult to everyone – to stupidity, to how government works, to our obsession with ourselves. It’s pretty easy to see Selfie Shootout as a kind of “Dumb and Dumber” romp but it’s not that at all. It’s really a biting satire about selfie vanity, about political corruption, about Internet theft which is called borrowing, how our economy functions and more. The film is very funny to be sure but it’s also deadly serious at the same time. It is also a love story. The story opens with the lead character’s (Bone) father telling him to get a girlfriend and he replies that he is. In many ways the story is a search for love.”
Ron and Giorgio worked side by side codirecting the film and made sure every line and scene was perfected. How was directing the film for both of them and did they share the same vision?
Ron, “Giorgio is an immensely talented Director of Photography with a keen eye to color, movement, angle. He’ll have a great career in time. He’s also very good with work with the crew. That was largely his domain. I, on the other hand, was only concerned with a faithful representation of the script and the inside acting. The story is on one side just unadulterated silliness and on the other scathing satire. To that end I usually briefed the actors each morning on the meaning/importance of the scenes we were shooting. That is not to say that I didn’t get into Giorgio’s province or Giorgio into mine but we each had different fundamental responsibilities which fitted our own talents. I’d say 90% of the time it was very easy. The 10% of disagreement was usually about technicalities or time. I saw Giorgio as the responsible person there and usually deferred to his opinion.”
Giorgio, “It was great directing together… we have similar sense of humor and both really enjoy great acting. Ryan and Michael (the leads) did a fantastic job!” Giorgio proceeds with the overall production, “Making a film is not just a “director” it’s sad it boils down to that. There are tons of important people that make a film happen, executive producers, producers, writers, director of photography, camera operators, camera assistant’s, AD’s, Production Design, Wardrobe, Most freaking important SOUND PERSON, Gaffer, Key Grip, grips, electric’s, PA’s even the person who is doing catering and oh, Actors, you need amazing actors to make a good film! and not to mention there is the entire process of post production and then promotion to get the film out. And you are only as strong as your team. Over the years working in this industry I was blessed to meet great people that I was able to bring to the team and involve with this project. Without a great team behind you or in front of you, your project will fail.”
$elfie Shootout Review
We’re introduced to Chub (Ryan Bollman) who can’t get a girlfriend and is constantly on the internet “using” the pictures. His father (Dan Hewitt Owens) is fed up with Chub’s actions which propels Chub into trying to figure out a way to get a girlfriend, but he doesn’t want just any girlfriend, he wants one of the babes that posts selfies. His hilarious and best friend Bone (Michael Barra) goes along with Chub’s ideas. Bone adds his touch of idiocy and will do whatever it takes to meet the beautiful girls, even if it entails drastic consequences.
Barra and Bollman were naturals for their roles as they complimented each other’s actions in the film resulting in hilarious moments. The two work so well together in the film that you’d think they are close friends in real life as Ron Jackson also says, “The two leads, Ryan Bollman and Michael Barra were every bit as good as Seth Rogen and James Franco. They were perfect for the roles. They had not met each until the night before filming; they became fast friends. They played the roles as naturally funny as I could have ever hoped. I know them both as people; I can also easily see them as the silly people they played in the film too.”
Chub and Bone work as cashiers at a liquor store and one night they encounter two beautiful customers. The girls use their flirtatious ways on the guys to avoid trouble after they steal booze, but later stand the guys up. That close encounter motivates Chub and Bone to go meet more women so they conjure up the selfie contest, because they know they’ll never meet hot girls on their own. Not only does Chub want to get a girlfriend, he also wants out of his father’s house, so he needs to meet a girl and make money.
Fearing their contest concept will be “jacked” they seek help from Chub’s dad’s twin brother Congressman Moorehead. After they’re shared some political insights on how to get governmental help, they don’t realize their future actions are opening a can of worms. The guys go to FBI Agent Zoey Miller (Musetta Vander) for help with their “monopoly”. As Agent Zoey takes on their case, she not only is an excellent FBI agent, she ultimately has her own plan regarding the Congressman and contest.
What starts up as an innocent scheme continuously gets them in trouble throughout the film. Due to legal and financial issues, the two must continuously ramp up the contest in attempt to fix the disasters they created. Chub is the brains behind the contest and he appears to be coming up with solutions to all their problems, but in reality, he’s just creating more. Bone makes sure to get his ideas included with Bone’s which adds to the movie’s comedy. Their success gains the attention of sponsorship, but unfortunately with the guy’s lack of intelligence, things don’t pan out as they hoped for, but that doesn’t stop them from throwing some epic parties!
The film provides plenty of laughs, eye candy, and outrageous moments. As the conflict grows throughout to a major dilemma, the big question is how will the guys get out of their dire situation and not ruin everyone’s lives?
$elfie Shootout is coming this January and here’s something to take advantage of, as a special offer to B Movie Nation readers, you can pre-order $elfie Shootout from iTunes. Go to http://apple.co/20XWHJb
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But wait, that’s not all, Ron has some good news to share, “I’ve started a follow up script – “Selfie Shootout Reloads” which takes many of the same characters to the next level – more goofiness, more satire, much more fun. I had huge fun finding these characters and I’d like to see where they go next…. “