The University of West Georgia’s department of Mass Communications presented the screening of Limo Ride, a documentary comedy, at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center on Nov. 14. Award-winning directors, Marcus Rosentrater and Gideon Kennedy were present in the audience during the screening. Their film has won several film festival awards, including Best Alabama Film at the 2014 Sidewalk Film Festival. Followed by the 84-minute film screening, the directors participated in a lengthy Q&A with audience members, which included students and faculty of UWG.
This film highlights the art of storytelling and narration, told by ten friends who where left stranded on New Years Eve in the middle of nowhere in Alabama ten years ago. Limo Ride is based on true events, as recanted by the ten southern friends involved in a night full of alcohol, drugs, misfortunes and unforgettable experiences on the ride of their lives.
The characters in the film are actors and not the original ten friends. The film has somewhat of a silent film feel, but instead of captions, narrators tell the story based upon each scene. This film had audience members laughing at certain scenes. Limo Ride is the epitome of a comedic documentary.
Unlike other documentaries, Limo Ride was produced into a feature length film with actors and a plot. Kennedy, from Mobile, Ala., was familiar with the infamous New Year’s Eve tale about ten friends and their ultimate drinking story. While working at a bar, he had heard several different versions about this story. After being approached by Noell, one of the characters in the movie, Kennedy began visualizing a storyboard for the film. He approached Rosentrater with the idea of a “storytelling documentary” and the process commenced.
The directors began interviewing the ten friends involved in separate sessions. The interviewing process itself took about a year to complete. They had approximately ten hours of voice recordings, with the tedious job of minimizing it to a solid 90-minutes.
“We wanted to explore the area between documentary and fiction by storytelling,” said Kennedy.
After completion of the interviews, the directors began writing the visual script and then storyboarded it and narrated it into an animatic.
“It was an interesting process because the narration actually dictated the action on the set,” said Rosentrater.
The entire filmmaking process itself took about five years. This was their first time as filmmakers creating a feature length movie.
Their next screening of this film will be in San Francisco, Calif. at the San Francisco Indie Fest and then it will be playing again in France in January 2015. Kennedy and Rosentrater are looking to expand the playing of their film in more areas in 2015. They are also looking forward to a DVD of Limo Ride sometime in the next year. Their next big project is currently in the works and is based on a cookbook.