Since making Two Harbors, Vculek has already finished his follow-up, The Quietest Sound, which stars Johnson as a young mother being interrogated by police about the disappearance of her daughter. The 75-minute feature was shot in one continuous take on the second try, and ends with a genuinely shocking twist. Vculek isn't one to sing the tragic opera of the creative process: He wrote his latest film quickly, he says, and got it shot for less than $400.
Asked to describe the training and background that could have allowed for such frugal filmmaking, Vculek politely shakes his head. What he has is simple but effective: a digital-video camera and a talent for seeing unusual ideas through to completion. When he's not at the office or on the film set (lighting can be bought at Home Depot for about 10 bucks, he explains), Vculek puts together stage shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. At the 2003 Fringe, he presented Shtick and Its Relation to the Unconscious, in which Sigmund Freud (played by Ooms) tries to resurrect the career of a floundering Catskills comedian. Vculek dug into Yiddish musical theater for the show, drawing on his own experience as a Klezmer musician.
For this year's Fringe, Vculek will stage The Princeton Seventh, a two-act comedy that will reunite Cole, Johnson, Ooms, and Hoptman. "It takes place in a hotel bar in Toledo," says Vculek. "People there are waiting for a tribute to a recently deceased poet. That's about all the action there is."
Two Harbors screens at 9:00 p.m. Thursday, April 14 at Lagoon Cinema.