"The Wrong Brother" is a short comedy film made by Chris Bowman while a film student at Brigham Young University. It is a period piece, set near the turn of the century. It tells the fictional story of Hector Wright, the less famous brother of Orville and Wilber Wright, the inventors of the airplane.
"The Wrong Brother" can currently be viewed online in QuickTime format.
"The Wrong Brother" is a short film written and directed by BYU film student Chris Bowman. The film's producers are Bowman, along with Ryan Little (director of the feature film "Out of Step" and the award-winning short film "The Last Good War"; director of photography for "The Singles Ward") and Carter Durham. These are some talented young filmmakers.
"The Wrong Brother" looks fantastic: it appears professional throughout. It is set in Dayton, Ohio circa 1903. Inserts of actual footage of the Wright Brothers' demonstrating their flying machine and Ivan Crosland's solemn narration increase the air of mockumentary-like realism. The costuming and sets all look authentic, which make the intentional anachronisms (particularly with regards to dialogue) all the more comical. (At one point one of the successful Wright brothers addresses an attractive woman among a crowd of admirers: he pantomimes dialing an old-style telephone and mouths the words "call me.")
Much of the comic relief in the film comes from Orville and Wilbur (Chris Kendrick and Joel Wallin), who occasionally exhibit some decent brotherliness, but usually mock their little brother mercilessly. They are particularly bemused by Hector's intentions to invent something himself. "He wouldn't know an invention if it was right in front of him, wearing a sign that says 'invention,'" says one. "And bit him," finishes the other. This is followed by the two brothers using their hands to mimic mouths, making biting and growling sounds.
It may sound slightly mean, but it's all in fun, and the film has a great heart. Bryan Summers plays the part of Hector as, well, a bit of a loser, but a very sympathetic one. Hector is redeemed by his optimism and determination to emerge from the shadow of his older brothers. Hector eventually announces his own invention before the excited townspeople: a portable drinking fountain, consisting of at least 50 pound of equipment carried on one's back and dragged by a harness attached to one's ankle. The invention is intended to deliver people from thirst.
Of courrse, the whole thing is patently absurd. What is even more funny is the way the hecklers in the crowd are eventually drowned out by the sentiment that what really matters is whether or not it works. Alas, Hector isn't even entirely successful on that front. The hose from the back-mounted drinking fountain produces, at first, a beautifully photographed trickle of water, only to turn into a disastrous torrent that knocks hats off onlookers and leaves Hector drenched.
Seemingly washed up, Hector drives home with his not-so-successful invention. But on his way home he passes a burning school building. Children are trapped inside, and nobody is around to help them. Does Hector save the day? Does his invention turn out to be useful after all? Well, I won't give away the ending, except to say the film ends on an upbeat, but hilarious note.
Watching "The Wrong Brother," it is easy to see why it won first place (as well as an audience choice award) in last year's International Young LDS Film Festival (2001). The solid filmmaking, top notch comic acting, and thoroughly enjoyable story combine to make a commendable film. I normally have no interest in writing "reviews" of short films, but my thrill at seeing this compelled me to do so.
"The Wrong Brother" can be puchased on video (in LDS video stores, or from www.candlelightmedia.com), or (if you've got the bandwidth) downloaded for free from: http://yfilms.byu.edu/finalcut/drinkingfountain.mov
Original Music Composed
Scott L. Reinwand
Post Production Sound
|1st AD||Clint Carpenter|
|2nd AD||Garrett Batty|
|2nd 2nd||Sunny Darly|
|1st AC||Katie Bogner|
|2nd AC||Gary Wilson
|Locations Manager||Allan Staker|
|Script Supervisor||Kelly Fisher|
|Best Boy||Manju Varghese|
|Key Grip||Kris Stout
|Costume/Make-up Assistant||Mamarine Clark|
|Set Decorator||Alex Ray|
|Prop Master||Kenneth Ray|
|Foley Artist||Ryan Arvay|
|Temporary Scoring||Garrett Batty
|Sound Effects Technician||Bob Sibley|
|Special Effects Fire||Jason Faller|
|Graphic Design||Adam Palmer
|Graphic Consultant||Bryan Lefler|
|Production Sound Mixers||Maria Perez
|Extras Casting||Christy Gleave|
|Key PA||Ryan Honaker|
|Craft Service||Mariana Bowman
|Faculty Advisor||Stan Ferguson|
|Post Production Manager||Curt Price|
|MTS Student Account (?)||Amy Langlois|
|MTS Security||Bud Gilman|
|Film Processing||Dave Nauta|
|Film Transfer||Gene Bradford|
|Grizzled Man||Mark Bennett|
|Telegram Clerk||Graham Northrup|
|Young Ladies||Emmelyn Thayer
|Audience Members||Kenneth Ray
|Trapped Kids||Kaylee Larsen
|Trapped Boy||McCade Larsen|
|School Children||Danny Gleave
Final Cut Grant Committee
LDS Motion Picture Studio
Mark Christopher Productions
Doug Cooley, Shawna and Danielle
Leatherby's Family Creamery
Pastor Lee Whitworth
Payson Bible Church
The Hollywood Edge
Payson Fire Department
BYU Grounds Crew
Debi Rawlings and the Provo Public Works Department
Mark and Gayle Bowman
The Gleave Family
Dr. Thomas Durham
Jay Jensen, Clarissa, Kitsa, Dacy, Kristy, and Carrie
Michael Gleave, Jacob Lauret, and Whitney Halford
All of the patient extras at our various locations
© 2000 Three Coin Productions
All Rights Reserved
Hector has always felt that his brothers were above him -- two thousand feet above him. His older brothers, Orville and Wilbur, have invented a miraculous, world-changing flying machine, while Hector's greatest featis getting a part in the school play. One day Hector decides to create his own invention, desperate to prove to his brothers (and himself) that genius runs in the family.
This warm-hearted comedy will bring a smile to anyone who has ever felt overshadowed. Come join Hector as he tries to find his own place in the sun!
© Copyright 2001 Candlelight Media Inc.