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213. The 2024 remake of "For a Few Shrimps More"



Subject:

This Western parody is one of our very first underwater videos with which we won several awards. At that time, we were still novice filmmakers, and we only just participated for the first time in a marine film festival. Lacking experience, our productions were short.


We wanted to participate in a video competition back in 2013, and after some searching around in the Tulamben area of Bali’s northern coastline, we found ourselves a nice little bush of hydroids in the middle of a desert sandy area at a depth of 25m/82ft or so. The little shrub-like cnidarian was a magnet for wildlife, and so nature created the right opportunity for us to start filming.


Once the editing of all the gathered shots started, I realised that I had more than enough footage to make two short films, one a little documentary we named “Hydropolis” about the little hydroid and its inhabitants, and the other a parody of the good old '60s and '70s Westerns. We named it “For a Few Shrimps More,” referring to the 1965 Western “For a Few Dollars More.”


Besides the hydroid and all the small life forms it attracted, there were also a pair of Robust Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus cyanopterus) wandering less than a meter/3ft or so away from our main subject. The beautiful couple of Robust Ghost Pipefish were super cooperative, as if they were cast for their roles. The ghost pipefish did not really fit into our storyline of the hydroids and their inhabitants. But the extra footage was put to good use, and so with a little fantasy, I created this Western parody.


“For a Few Shrimps More” tells a short story that unfolded in a small frontier town, which I named “Ghost Town,” an imaginary village in the middle of the “Benthic Desert.” A wanted gunslinger and “shrimp killer” named Billy Roughsnout (a male Robust Ghost Pipefish) enters the village to do more shrimp killing. The villagers, played by different other small fish species, are very scared and go into hiding. The sheriff, Sam Robust (actually a female Robust Ghost Pipefish), confronts the bandit, and after capturing him, he locks him up in the village’s jail. Afterward, the entire town is relieved, and everyone comes out of their hideaways.


Technique:


Once all the footage was recorded and the idea of a Western parody was stuck in my mind, I went on the hunt for some extra shots that could be used to create this short underwater video. I needed landscape scenes reminiscent of the far-west: the typical buttes, mesas, canyons, and towers of rock. Tumbleweeds rolling by and an iconic sunset had to be present too.


The tumbleweed shot and the sunset were created on one and the same dive. Little plucks of algae were rolled into a little ball and tossed just out of sight from the camera; the current did the rest. The sunset was created with a plastic plate that we bought in a little roadside hardware shop on our way to Tulamben. The orange plate was planted into the substrate, a dive light was laid behind it, and my buddy/partner did the necessary fin-kicking to steer up the sand and create the dust that represented the dusty desert atmosphere and camouflaged the structure of the plate.


This film is a remake of the 2013 original. Having a much better computer and more performant editing program, I thought it was time to give the little short a makeover, adding more effects, better stabilisation, a sepia look reminiscent of the good old Western movies. The beautiful accompanying music composed by Eric Bettens is so good that it did not have to undergo any changes at all. It was great fun making this parody, and more than 10 years after it was shown for the first time, it was again great fun to create the makeover. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did creating it.


The original 2013 video can be seen here www.youtube.com/watch?v=goClnOH06Pc


Awards:

  • 1st Prize "Creative" October 2013 Australasia Shootout Festival Byron Bay – Australia

  • Silver "Editing" December 2014 1st International Underwater Film and Photography Festival Banja Luka - Bosnia Herzegovina

  • Silver "Director" December 2014 1st International Underwater Film and Photography Festival Banja Luka - Bosnia Herzegovina


Filming location:

This short underwater Western parody has been filmed in Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩


More about this topic:

To find out more about the ghost pipefish please visit our vlog post 94 or click the following link https://www.beyondscuba.com/post/robust-ghost-pipefish-solenostomus-cyanopterus


Join us on a journey of discovery and entertainment as we explore fascinating marine wildlife topics and explore the many exciting underwater adventures on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page!


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