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Carnegie Screenwriters' short film about ketchup long on irony

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The scene opens on a couple holding hands over an expensive, elegant dinner. The gorgeous French woman takes her twice-baked Belgian crepe. Two small cups sit in front of her: one of ketchup, and one of mayonnaise. Her date watches her intently. She reaches for the mayo, and his face falls.

The short film, produced by the Carnegie Screenwriters, won in the audience favorite category at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Film Kitchen annual theme contest. This year's theme was ketchup.

“I can't say I've ever directed a film about ketchup before,” said director Jim Helfrich, a Carnegie Screenwriters member. “But it was a lot of fun.”

The screenplay for the four-minute film was the brainchild of Eoin Carney, an Irish-born playwright and web designer who recently joined the Carnegie Screenwriters.

“I saw an advertisement and thought, ‘I must enter this contest,'” Carney said. “I wrote the script and then realized, ‘This isn't the end of it.'”

Having to travel to Alaska for a film festival, Carney left his script in the hands of the Carnegie Screenwriters.

“I wasn't expecting much, but they made it a movie,” he said.

While the film was a few minutes long, the process took much longer. Helfrich said the script was finished on a Saturday, and the screenwriters were filming by Monday.

The eight hours of filming took place over two days, with many of the scenes being shot at Carnegie's 3rd Street Gallery and the rest at Suzy's Deli.

“You'd spend two hours shooting for a scene that's going to be on screen for 20 seconds,” Helfrich said.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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