PRANK (2006) 18 min. Raleigh, NC

A Film by Nick Karner

IMDB SYNOPSIS:  A young boy becomes determined to exact revenge after a rude businessman shuns him at a job interview. Driven by his hate, the boy commits horrifying acts of violence, but soon he will realize that we all pay a price for our sins.

History and Trivia:

This was my ultimate experimental film.  For Kamikaze, I’d wanted to make a movie where I did everything visually I’d ever wanted to do in a film. For this film, I wanted to see if I could tell a legitimate story with no other cast member. This meant a lot of POV shots, static shots where I set up the tripod and walked into the scene, talking on the phone to people you’ll never see, and rigging my car so I could act while driving. I played both the boy and the businessman, being careful to never show my face during the opening scene.  I had no lighting equipment, so everything was done with regular house lights or street lights.  For a scene in which I was trashing the businessman’s house, I bought plates at the Goodwill and used my parent’s house while they were away.  I smashed the plates on the ground and overturned their furniture. I also bought a few stuffed animals so I could put a knife in them and tear them apart, spreading the stuffing all over the place.  In the film, I put a cat in a gas grill. For this one to work, I bought a large fuzzy slipper, doused it in lighter fluid, and lit it up. This was also the first film in which I decided to go fully nude.  I’d always been willing if I were asked to do so in a movie, but for the scene where I fall in the shower, I didn’t think it was realistic that I’d be somehow covered up, so I felt like it was a necessary element. I had to put disclaimers and make blurred versions when it screened for certain festivals.

   After I finished editing, I thought it needed some humor before the really horrible stuff started happening, so I shot some quickie bits at my parent’s restaurant with my Mom and her wait staff. I’m calling people for money, and I even got the Chinese waiter who worked there to tell me off in Chinese. I subtitled it and added, “Stupid American” to it.  When I screened the film at NCSU’s Pinwheel Film Festival, I got to introduce the film.  I got a big laugh when I concluded the intro with, “And for any cat lovers in the audience…I’d just like to say…sorry.”