Yesterday, a Los Angeles filmmaker by the name of Nirvan Mullick posted a short film on his vimeo page and the traffic went haywire. If you look up Mullick on imdb, the last real filmwork documented for him on the site, came nearly a decade ago. The most recognizable -perhaps, only recognizable- project on the list is the 2003 Crispin Glover rodent-centric horror film, Willard, in which Mullick was an uncredited animation director for the opening title sequence. His credits also show that he collected a handful of awards at independent film festivals for his animated short The Box Man (2002), which likely landed him the Willard gig, in the first place. Otherwise, imdb only features a fairly slim 3-film-deep resume for the director/producer/animator/writer. It’s not all that Nirvan‘s been involved with -he’s actually working on at least one other highly ambitious project that I know of- but with this new short being the only video posted and no other real activity on his vimeo account at all, it is still remarkable to consider that this new 11-minute movie has already claimed over 350,000 views in such a short period of time. The only real factors that can truly be credited for such immediate success is the content, the quality, the subject, and the genuineness of the piece, as well as the internet’s ability to spread little independent projects like this out to people who, otherwise, wouldn’t have ever been able to see them 10 years ago.
“Caine’s Arcade” is a mini-documentary that focuses on a 9yr old boy named Caine Monroy who is living in East L.A. During the Summer months, he would accompany his father, George to work at his family owned auto parts store. Due to the current digitization of the world and societal trends, most of the business that his father does through the shop has now become generated through online sales. While George was online, flipping manifold gaskets and whatnot on ebay, Caine found ways to occupy himself alone. Having an affinity for the type of arcades that you would find at a carnival or a Chuck E. Cheez, with games like the ring toss and skeeball, etc., the 9yr old decided to make his own version. By utilizing the empty auto parts boxes that his dad had lying around and a hefty amount of packing tape, he assembled one makeshift machine and/or game at a time. He even made his own claw machine. Being incredibly determined and resourceful, Caine found a way to dispense tickets to winners and created a rack of prizes that they could be traded in for. Every weekend he’d accompany his dad to work and set up the arcade, waiting for any customers to come through and play. Not even one person ever did. It didn’t help that, with the majority of the shop’s business existing in the cyber world, there was very little foot traffic. That never deterred the young entrepreneur or affect his resolve. Every weekend he’d show up again and again, set up his shop, and wait, hopeful that someone would see the same value in his creations that he did.
When Nirvan Mullick came into the auto parts store at random to pick up a new door handle for his 1996 Toyota Corolla, he actually became the very first customer. Impressed by the ingenuity and character of Caine, as well as the amazing cardboard world that he had created to share with others, Mullick was compelled to make the following short doc about him. In the process, he was even able to bring him quite a few more customers. I won’t spoil the details about how he did it or exactly what went down. The movie’s only 11 minutes long and it’s better if you just watch the story unfold for yourself.
Help Caine’s Scholarship Fund:
Directed by Nirvan
The song playing around the 6 minute mark is “Pa Pa Power” by Dead Man’s Bones, a group that features Ryan Goslin (yep that Ryan Goslin) and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children’s choir. You may even notice that Nirvan is wearing a Dead Man’s Bones shirt when the crowd surprises Caine. It’s a fitting track for a couple of reasons; they are a Los Angeles-based project involving children and the video for “Pa Pa Power” is actually a pretty great mini-film in it’s own right. Our past coverage of that project, including the “Pa Pa Power” video, can be found through THIS LINK.
As of right now, donations to Caine’s scholarship fund have already broken $20,000! Word is that the site has been having some issues handling all of the traffic and that it has crashed a few times. If you’re interested in donating to Caine’s scholarship fund, you can do so directly via paypal by using the following email:
THE 1 SECOND FILM
Like any good filmmaker, Mullick made sure that the focus was on the real subject of his documentary, Caine and his amazing cardboard arcade. With a trust fund set up for his college tuition now, I’m sure that he’d also encourage you to donate any money that you do towards any of his projects, by instead paying into said fund for his young star. That being said, Nirvan actually has another incredibly intriguing project in the works, which is also a non-profit and any donations are completely tax-deductable. It’s definitely something that I feel that we should let you know about, as well.
The idea behind The 1 Second Film project is to create an imax film that is comprised of 12 giant painting being animated together over the span of… you guessed it, one-second. Yes, the film is technically really only 1 second in length. It is being funded by thousands of producers, whose names will roll in the credits after the film. To get your own name on the producer credits, you can pay as little as $1. The amount of money donated determines how high up your name will appear on the credits. Such names as Kiefer Sutherland, John C. Reilly, Spike Jonze, Kevin Bacon, and Stephen Colbert have all donated. While the film may be only 1 second in length, the rolling credits will be a great deal longer. Depending on the amount of contributors, it is estimated that the credits may actually be a full hour in length. So as to keep the viewers attention, a documentary of the making and financing of the film will be created and will play as the credits roll alongside it. Not only will all donations be tax-deductable, but any proceeds from the film will also be donated to charity.
Here’s a little introduction to the project.
If you’re interesting in donating and/or finding out more about the project, please visit http://the1secondfilm.com.
As of 7pm on Wednesday, April 11th(only 3 days in), Caine‘s college fund has already reached $100-thousand dollars and the documentary has been viewed over 1.3 million times!
Please also be aware that people are trying to cash in by selling bootleg Caine’s Arcade shirts that do nothing to benefit the child who created it. If you really want to purchase some sort of related merchandise, please, follow the site and/or twitter account updates