Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013

Coffee or Tea

Something funny at Milwaukee Short Film Festival

By David Luhrssen
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Sexual identity can be a serious question but Milwaukee filmmakers Dan Harmon and Lucien Jung were in a light mood when they made Coffee or Tea. “So many filmmakers are so serious. We decided to counter that,” Harmon says. “So why not do something that’s just fun—and fun to watch.”

Coffee or Tea was accepted into the Wildwood Film Festival and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival, It will be screened locally for the first time later this month at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.

Harmon and Jung had worked together previously, knocking out something for the Milwaukee iteration of the 48-Hour Film Festival. The idea of a zany party girl eager to set her “sexually confused ex-boyfriend” up with what she hopes will be the gay guy of his dreams germinated in a comedy sketch presented by Jung to Harmon and co-writer Thomas Sennholz. “As we sat around a table shouting out lines of dialogue, my job was to keep us on track and make sure the story and logic and structure. It was cool watching our characters come to life during the audition process,” Jung says.

A call went out to friends in the theater community and the result was Allie Beckmann, Brennan Johnston and Bobby Reitman in the three roles. “They were willing to take risks and just have fun with it while still being pros,” Jung continues. “We had an impossibly tight shooting schedule and those three always knew their lines.”

Much of the action occurs in the brightly painted interior of Hamburger Mary’s in Bayview. “They have all this kitsch on the walls—it was a ready-made set,” Harmon says. “We had a lot of fun with this one—you can tell.”

Coffee or Tea screens Oct. 26 at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival during Session 5, 5:15-7:15 p.m.

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