Jasper (Jenny Strubin, SAG) is a female Chicago bike messenger in a race not only against the clock, but in battle with the hostile city, its raging drivers, its surly security guards, and her tough dispatcher. Busting her ass to make ends meet, Jasper finds herself pulling scams that she feels increasingly uncomfortable with. Frustrated, brazen, and ballsy - but also funny, intelligent and vulnerable - Jasper begs us to root for her even when her actions are less than admirable.
Faster! was shot in HD on location in Chicago with the participation and support of the bike messenger community.
Director of Photography Tony Santiago used three HD cameras- the Panasonic HPX500, the Panasonic HVX200 and the Flip camera. This strategy was developed so that the interior scenes could have shallow depth of field and a good quality lens with the HPX500. The Flip camera was put on courier consultant and stunt rider Rene Cudal’s body to capture the riding footage seen from Jasper’s point of view. Then the HVX200 was used to bridge between these two extremes, and was used for the exteriors, including shots of Jasper riding on her bike in traffic.
Color correction by Matt Harger was used replicate the old bleach bypass look used with film, to leach color from the exteriors while smoothing the differences between the different types of footage.
The shoot took place over 9 days, with several of those days devoted to cycling footage and cycling POV footage capture.
As a short film, Faster! is meant to stand alone, but it was developed around the main character from an original feature film script by Marie Ullrich that was a finalist for the Sundance Filmmakers Labs.
Director Marie Ullrich is currently seeking funding and production partners for the feature film about the same main character, Jasper, and her courier buddies.
Faster! made its world premiere at the 54th British Film Institute’s London Film Festival in October,
2010 and its US premiere at the 46th Chicago International Film Festival, also in October 2010, where it also played in the Educational Screenings for Chicago Public High School students. It has won two Weisman Awards, a Production Fund Award, and was a Princess Grace Award nominee.