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    On the verge of retiring, a quiet dentist finds a new purpose in old age when his nephew is left comatose by a violent mugging. Joe takes to the … Read More
    On the verge of retiring, a quiet dentist finds a new purpose in old age when his nephew is left comatose by a violent mugging. Joe takes to the streets to show the city's riffraff a new light; the muzzle flash of a Mauser pistol. But after his nephew wakes, Joe has to decide whether to leave his violent past behind him or use it to help others. Read Less
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My name is Mike P. Nelson and this is my film The Retirement of Joe Corduroy. Here you can watch the short film, the trailers, and a featurette, and also discover the films identity, design, and print material.
 
 
On the verge of retiring,  a quiet dentist finds a new purpose in old age when his nephew is left comatose by a violent mugging. Joe takes to the streets to show the city's riffraff a new light; the muzzle flash of a Mauser pistol. But after his nephew wakes, Joe has to decide whether to leave his violent past behind him or use it to help others.
Watch the short film
Over the past three years I have been working commercially as a director in Minneapolis Minnesota while also trying to further my personal work as a narrative filmmaker. For years I had wanted to shoot an homage to one of my favorite films, Death Wish, but never really had the resources, money or solid idea to go with. Then in early 2010 the itch needed to be scratched.
Watch the trailer
I had been sitting on an idea about an old man and an old gun, avenging the wrongs done to him by killing low brow criminals. The character was kind of the "middle finger" to the huge superhero movie movement that had been plugging up cinemas with no end in site. This film was about a man set on destroying the types of bad people who had taken his nephew away from him. And this was a man who believed in what he did. Not necessarily an easy character to stomach, but one I wanted and audience to relate to and like. A sociopath you could really root for. It was also very important to make a real movie and not just another grindhouse kitsch-film with noticeable "intentional" low production values. I wanted to make a film that blended vintage and modern storytelling, style and characters that would feel at home back in the 70's and 80's, but that would be accepted as  modern cinema.
Watch the teaser
 I knew what I needed to do to make the film. I had a script that I had work-shopped with my trusted peers. But I had no money. And I needed money to do this. Since I had graduated from college I had not made a serious personal film. It had been 5 years. Sure I had picked up a camera and plinked around a little, making no budget shorts on the fly, but "Corduroy" was different. It was going to be like nothing I had ever attempted. Practical action sequences using squibs, blank ammunition, real guns, pyro, vast lighting set ups, and the image all had to be stellar. It had to look like 35mm film even if it wasn't. And digital effects had to be minimal to non existent. Kickstarter was just picking up some momentum, but I wasn't so sure about its yields. My fiancee was applying for a grant for a personal project she was working on and she encouraged me to do the same. All I could think about was that no State Arts Board was going to give a filmmaker money to make a violent revenge throwback film. I was tempted to make the film sound more political or puff it up with social commentary, but in the end I didn't. I sold it for what it was. An old man takes revenge on all criminals after his nephew is taken from him in a random act of brutal violence. Six months later I got the money. Six thousand dollars. I could finally make this film. But here I was again, asking myself a similar question; why had the Minnesota State Arts Board seen in my idea? When I was finally able to speak with one of the grant panelist, he made it very clear; "We were a little taken back by the violence and the dark nature of the film, but we liked your honesty and your vision." This simple advice has influenced all my artistic decisions since. It may sound cliche, but damn it's made made decisions in my personal and commercial work easier.
Watch the Featurette
I took about six months to soak in my idea and pre-produce the hell out of it. The film took ten days to shoot in the freezing cold Minnesota winter and thanks to the owner of the company I work for, I was able to shoot on the RED. I was blessed to work with two producers (Kris Palmer and Joe Dressel) who always "could" when I "couldn't" and two DP's (Troy McCall and Nick Junkersfeld) that understood my visual craziness and the retro-modern world I was creating. Rich Reeder (Joe Corduroy) the most kind man you could ever meet brought such a  gentle aggression to the character often fooling us that going out and killing bad guys can be ok. But he also was able to showcase the frustrations of growing old and dealing with loss, through his grandfather-like cadence and facial expressions reflecting experience and loneliness.
 
Taking almost a year to massage the film in post and drag it through critiques, I was ready to release it. After a couple festival wins and too many festival rejections, I posted the film online where it has since found a growing audience. I have to thank Todd Brown at Twitchfilm.com for buzzing about the film and posting the trailer and eventually the final piece.
 
Lobby Trading Cards
 
 
Poster Designs
 
 
Film Stills
 
 
Production Stills
Shot on the Red One.
 
10 shooting days in Minnesota.
 
Funding support by The Minnesota State Arts Board - Artist Initiative Grant
 
 
Credits:
 
Edited, Written and Directed by Mike P Nelson
 
Directors of Photography: Troy McCall and Nick Junkersfeld
 
Produced by Kris Palmer, Joe Dressel and Mike P. Nelson
 
Casting: Mike P. Nelson, Chris Cummings, Matthew Feeney
 
Gaffer: Doug Gander
 
Key Grip: Jonny Stuckmayer
 
Electric: Dave Palm
 
Assistant Camera: Chris Hadland and Peter Ostebo
 
Weapons/Armorer: Joe Torgerson and Mike Nelson Sr.
 
Art Direction: Katie Maren, Nancy Nelson, and Chris Hedeen
 
PA's: Dave Rannow and Michael Cox
 
Pyrotechnics: Mira LaCous and Robert Rowe
 
Make up/Prosthetics: Aaron Pikala
 
Production Sound: Tom Colvin
 
Post Sound and Mix: Nick Leisenheimer and Nick Mihalevich
 
Storyboard Artist: Chris Beck
 
 
Main Cast:
 
Richard Reeder as Joe Corduroy
 
Roger Wayne as Spencer
 
James Craven as Winston