By: Patrick Smith
Viral video earns broadcast student an unexpected trip to Atlanta
Timothy LaLoom’s first year of university didn’t go as he’d hoped. Isolated, alone and with no friends but his own video blog to keep him company, he’d had enough. He tried to commit suicide. And, when that failed, he posted the failed attempt to his video blog.
The end result?
A viral video, sudden unexpected fame and a desire to keep his newfound viewers entertained.
It’s a testament to Algonquin television broadcasting student Dean Tardioli that this story sounds more like a plausible and fortunate twist of fate than the plot for an independent film.
“A lot of people think from the title alone that it’s a documentary,” Tardioli said. “They think that for some reason, a narrative film wouldn’t blatantly come out and say, ‘this is a movie about suicide.’”
TimTime Productions, which is comprised of Tardioli and the film’s co-writers Marcus Sullivan and Adrian Murray, decided to take a light-hearted approach to this subject in their first feature film, The Suicide Kid.
“Without giving anything away, it’s not a dark movie,” said Sullivan, who also directed The Suicide Kid. “It doesn’t deal specifically with suicide. It’s more of a red herring than anything, but we do get people who, when we tell them the title, they get freaked out and think it’s going to be one type of movie.”
The film has been leaving its mark on the festival circuit, too. After appearing at the Macon Film Festival in Georgia on Feb. 15, the film was chosen for the Atlanta Film Festival. The Suicide Kid will be airing on March 16, and Tardioli was blown away by the news.
“It was great hearing that we got into Macon, but it was a smaller festival,” said Tardioli. “The day we found out we were in Atlanta, which has hosted movies like Cabin in the Woods and Winter’s Bone, it was big news. Those are the kinds of moments where you realize, we’re an actual movie now.”
“We did something that people are going to sit through and pay to watch.“
The film was shot exclusively in typical video blog format, with shaky handheld cameras and extended stretches of protagonist Timothy LaLoom, played by Tardioli, speaking directly to the camera.
“A big difficulty was trying to decide how much we wanted to have of Dean (Tardioli) talking specifically to the camera, alone in his room, video-blog style,” Sullivan said, “and how much we wanted to have out on the streets.
“If we had him in too many videos just talking to the camera in his room, it was too boring.”
A side-effect of the unorthodox filmography is that the shakiness would be amplified on a theatrical screen. The crew poked fun at this fact in the film’s trailer, with a character portrayed by Sullivan saying that the footage “would make people fucking dizzy.”
“By us commenting on it,” Sullivan said, “we can get away with it a little.”
Although the film isn’t yet available for mass consumption, Sullivan said he hopes to put a free download link online once the film is done its festival circuit. Despite all the love for the film in Georgia, Tardioli and Sullivan haven’t forgotten their local roots.
“We hope to show it in Ottawa in the summer in some capacity,” said Tardioli.