Who exactly is Jordan? Well, nestled in Hobart’s northern suburbs I am a former Claremont College student (long live public education), and of course one class I took in these fondly remembered days as a relief from legal studies and pre-tertiary maths was media/film studies.
In 2009 I was 18 and in my final year, and for my major film I decided to forget cinematic qualities and directing competencies and make a shoddy love-letter to Blue Velvet, The Big Lebowski and other movies I thrived on.
The Plot would confuse, poor acting astonish and mid-movie photo sequence divide opinion (I don’t like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but I quite liked that one scene…), but when The Plumber aired at North Hobart’s State Cinema (Australia’s oldest working cinema), receiving best film accolades among other shorts featured and I was awarded highest marks in the subject, I learned to fully embrace these deficiencies.
Below is this short film in all its unqualified glory, followed by the original plot synopsis. Thankfully, I don’t appear in it (I can assure you that if I did it would be far worse), but below you can also view “Redemption,” a short made at the same time by my good friend and co Dot Hod Center founder Max Pollard in which I make a brief cameo… which I’ll leave up to you to spot. His film is far better than mine; I can accept that.
So enjoy, remembering to keep your expectations low…
Note: in want of a needless action scene, the ending of the below synopsis was changed in the film itself… so I advise watching it first.
Jordan Griffiths, 2009
A mystery/thriller in the vein of David Lynch,
The film will open with a snippet of a scene from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, the camera will then zoom out and we will see that someone is watching it on DVD. the audio from the movie will continue to play as we see a young man sitting on the couch and texting, he is sending and receiving messages from his girlfriend. He then gets a message from an unknown number which reads: Where? Being a bit bored he replies to the message saying: McDonalds, he then continues to watch the movie. After this he gets another message saying: What time? He smiles, and now having a bit of fun replies saying: 12:00am. A small amount of time passes and then he receives another message saying: You better be there, 1 second late and you’ll never see her again. Bring the cash, no cops. Shocked and surprised the man walks to the phone and procrastinates before going to dial 000, as he is dialing he stops and notices the movie, and decides to hang up the phone and let curiosity get the better of him. He grabs some binoculars, a camera and some other things and the leaves the house, as he goes to get into his car we notice something printed on the side: FIXED PLUMBING – 7 KARDILLA COURT BERRIDALE – PH 0400232551, he then drives off; the time is 11.45pm.
The main character then arrives at the McDonalds car park at 12:05am and parks down the street, being careful not to be seen he gets out his binoculars and camera and does some personal investigating.
The story then remains linear but swaps between the plumber and a group of guys waiting by a car in the car park. There are four guys, and all seem anxious and angry. Dialogue is passed between them for a time, with one person in particular repeating: “Where is he? he was meant to be here five minutes ago.” After a while the person who seems to be in charge targets one of the other three and questions whether he sent the text or not, the person maintains that he did, but after some arguing they look in his mobile phone for the messages. It is now that they realize that they sent the texts to the plumber. After a time of panic the leader of the four men then notices a camera flash from down the road and walks closer to investigate. The plumber has been discovered.
As the leader of the group gets closer to his car the plumber sees him pull a knife, he accelerates and quickly begins to drive off. The leader sees the writing on the side of his car, including his address. The four men then quickly gather and attempt to chase the plumber but loose him. As the plumber is driving home he gets a call from the four men, saying that they know who he is and they tell him not to contact the police or he’s dead.
The plumber arrives home and quickly begins securing all the doors and windows. Blue Velvet is still playing on the television. After a short amount of time the four men arrive at his house and begin taunting him, the plumber is extremely frightened and begins searching for weapons; he finds a baseball bat. When the taunting becomes more intense, the plumber writes a text message saying: “leave me alone! I know nothing I swear, I won’t tell anyone!” and sends it. Still in a high state of panic, he receives a text message from his girlfriend saying: “what? I’m coming over.” Realizing that he accidentally sent the message to his girlfriend and not the intruders, he quickly tries to recontact her but sees that he is out of credit. He runs to get the home phone but as he approaches it the door bursts open and the four men walk in. The plumber picks up his baseball bat and drops the phone: his look of panic and defeat turns to anger as he sizes up the men.
Fade to black.
(copyright Jordan Griffiths, 2009)