On a rainy day in the Fall of 2012, I was sitting on a bench with my partner at a Mall in Bellevue, Washington. We were taking a break from several hours of trying to pick him a pair of eyeglasses frames. In a moment that probably reflected poor judgment on my part, we started talking about how we rated for each other in terms of hotness on a scale from 1 to 10. I gave him a 10 and he gave me a 7.
Needless to say, I was disappointed in my score. Then it occurred to me that 10 was actually a pretty small number and when it comes to my desirability, I would prefer to rate higher than a 10: perhaps a 100, a 1000 or better yet, an infinity.
Thus started the one-year process of creating a short film to explore the nature of hotness. I teamed up with Director Christine McHugh to write it and with actor Eric Mulholland and film maker Riley Morton to story-board it. Christine flew out to Seattle to direct 3 days of filming with a cast of professional and volunteer actors. Our locations included a “man-scaping” salon, a 1920’s public school classroom, a gay bar, a private home, a church sanctuary, and Harvey-the-Otter’s imaginary world. The final product, a 9-minute film emerged from more than 15 hours of footage.
The film is a comedy that follows one man’s journey into the realm of Hotness: from teenage obsession to adult wisdom. Plot twists, lovers and even an animated inner marine-mammal, Harvey the Otter, reveal intimate secrets that hold the key to the hotness riddle. Ultimately, we see a love life move from struggle to Hotness itself.
We were gratified to screen at the following film festivals:
2013 Festival de Cannes Court Métrage
2013 New York City International Film Festival
2013 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
2013 Starz Denver Film Festival
2013 Ojai Film Festival
2013 Santa Fe Film Festival
2014 Chicago Queer Bits Film Festival
We were very honored to be awarded:
Best Comedy In Short Film at the 2013 New York City International Film Festival
To commemorate each film festival selection, our incredible animator Joe Garber created an image of Harvey the Otter at each locale.
Harvey the Otter
Directed by Christine McHugh
Written by Richard Snyder
Produced by Richard Snyder
Executive Producer Richard Snyder
Director of Photography Riley Morton
Editor Riley Morton
Animation Joe Garber
Sound Matthew Sheldon
Costumes Amy Mauldin
“On the Nature of Hotness” is a short film comedy that answers the age-old questions: What is hotness? How can I be hot?