Her First Black Guy (2015): Christopher T. Wood Strikes Again

Poster for Her First Black Guy

In his second short, and second time up to bat as writer, producer and acting in his own creation, Christopher T. Wood strikes once again but not out, hitting another homer with his spot on comedic story telling and performance.  Previously Wood starring in the short, award winning, film Time to Kill (2014).

His first foray into the short film arena had Wood as hitman with too much time on his hands, a look at what might really happen in those killer for hire scenarios.  This time, it is accountant Kevin, that Christopher portrays.  A single man who wearies of blind dates who all fall in love with his perfect skin coloring.

Kevin wants a woman who has done something with her life, has a meaningful job and travelled outside the Los Angeles city limits. Most importantly, he does not want to be “Her First Black Guy.” Directed by Sam Auster (The Return of Joe Rich) and set in what looks to be Los Angeles’ Formosa Cafe, or a reasonable facsimile, this short film is as funny as Wood’s first offering but for different reasons.

This is a tour-de-force on the actor’s part in reacting to the ever increasing build up going on around him. The same can be said of Caroline Fogarty (Waitress, As High as the Sky) as the blind date Claire.  This performer kills it with an incredible delivery that is funny, awkward, and compelling, she gives Wood plenty of input for his mounting confusion to feed off of.

Her First Black Guy is a definite case of a “be careful what you wish for” cautionary tale.  The punchline, that his character is actually  not as “lofty” as his requirements for a date, works brilliantly. Claire’s reaction to his less than impressive resume is ironic to say the least. Clearly both people are looking for something different, although Kevin is unsure of just how to react.

The gag is a variation on the old comedy routine where  someone keeps getting increasingly bad news,  but in this instance, the “bad news” is only bad because this blind date of Kevin’s  is akin to “Superwoman.”  Kevin is stunned by each reveal of the woman who took  the bus to Formosa for their date.

Equally funny is the fact that this blind date is not the only one bowled over by his “perfect skin tone.” Each person she knows in the club remarks upon this asset, much to Kevin’s discomfort and chagrin.  All the cast deliver in this comic look at blind dates and the real (or unreal) expectations and fears of the participants.

The cast also includes: Chris WilliamsJames BlackJohn Eric Bentley and Matt Riedy who gets the closing gag at the end of the film.  Cinematographer Kris Denton delivers in terms of framing and lighting on a set consisting of a darkened bar area which would defeat many. The film looks crisp and tight thanks to this veteran’s efforts.

Her First Black Guy opens the Austin Film Festival, October 29, at 7 p.m. and will premiere at the Rollins theatre.  For more information and a chance to sign up for the event follow the link here

This is another cracking short film from Christopher who proves that his humor in Time to Kill was not a one off. Keep an eye out for this festival film and be prepared to laugh as Wood strikes again.  A 5 out of 5 stars for comic delivery and exquisite timing.

Time to Kill: Equals Time to Laugh (review) UPDATE (2017)

Screen Shot 2019-06-10 at 11.22.03 PMUPDATE: This rib-tickling, and brilliant, short film is now on offer via @omeleto.com and can be seen there. Mr. Christopher T. Wood has assured me that they just got reposted so if comedy is your thing, go and check this one out. It made me laugh…a lot.

Co-written by Christopher T. Wood, who also stars as the hitman in the film, and directed by Justin Rettke Time to Kill equals time to laugh as it looks at what really transpires when that “killer for hire” waits for the target to arrive. Set in what looks to be an apartment, the assassin lets himself in and sits, waiting for Shekky (Deacon Ledges) to return home and be “hit.”

After watching two new comedies on offer, one from ABC Family and the other from HULU, it is clear that they could take lessons from Wood on writing, along with his co-writers, Scott Frank and Justin Rettke, and on how to perform in a comedy. Wood is hysterically funny as the hitman who is called, while he waits impatiently, by his mother, “I do so have friends,” and a few other people (including what sounds like a prospective girlfriend).

The juxtaposition of the professional killer doing all the things anyone else would do while waiting makes this work beautifully. Doing Tai Chi, straightening pictures, fixing a door; with a sexual lubricant called “Glide,” along with a number of other “things people do when bored.”

Time to Kill proves that hitmen are: lonely, have trouble making friends, have mother’s who worry, and are unhappy with their job. The editing in this short film is spot on, there is a sight gag towards the end of the film that works brilliantly, and Wood just kills it as the “normal” assassin.

Produced by Cindy Hong, Time to Kill has won two awards on the film festival circuit; winning the Abbot Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2014 and the Award for Achievement in International Filmmaking at the 2014 SoCal Independent Film Festival. It was also nominated for the SoCal IFF Award in the Best Cinematography category. DP Michael Marius Pessah does an excellent job framing this comedic masterpiece which goes a long way to helping the whole process come together to sell the gag.

From the moment the impeccably dressed hitman enters, against a backdrop of suspenseful music, the viewer knows this is going to be good. As Wood’s character scans the room, taking in its rubbish filled appearance and the articles scattered across the floor and bed, the music stutters and slows, losing that professional killer feel.

Using his silencer, that he just put on his gun, to move two wrappers from a chair, the hitman settles in to wait for his victim to arrive. As the clock moves forward the hitman’s time is taken up with a series of mundane and funny moments.

At a runtime of 10 minutes the only disappointing thing about Time to Kill is that by the time the film ends, one really wants to see more of this character. A great, rib tickling experience that proves great comedy is not dead, or doomed to be badly done by people who do not understand it. Christopher T. Wood and co have come up with a winner here and hopefully they will not take too long to make another foray into the world of cinematic comedy.

5 out of 5 stars for an epic comedic win.