Web series have increasingly become the new calling card for undiscovered filmmakers who’ve long been hoping to break into the highly competitive film and TV industry. However, short films have always proved to be beneficial to the growth and development of writers, directors and actors alike.
In the case of the new short DANDEKAR MAKES A SANDWICH, both worlds come together in unique fashion as it combines the creative talents of two women who’ve enjoyed considerable success through a popular online sitcom – Leena Pendharkar and Jane Kelly Kosek, creators of the web series comedy OVERLY ATTACHED ANDY.
The film has successfully raised just over $7,000 through the popular crowd funding site IndieGoGo. The official pitch video for that campaign can also be viewed at the end of this article.
In addition, both Pendharkar and Kosek will shop it to various film festivals around the country and through online platforms like Short Of The Week sometime this Fall. DANDEKAR MAKES A SANDWICH will be a prequel to the full length film DAYS WITH DANDEKAR, one that Pendharkar and Kosek hope to produce sometime next year.
DANDEKAR MAKES A SANDWICH portrays the story of R.K. Dandekar (played by Brian George, best known for his hilarious performance as the vengeful Pakistani restaurant owner Babu Bhatt on SEINFELD), a retired senior citizen who makes a daily trek to the local grocery store in order to find whatever ingredients he can to make the perfect sandwich.
As he peruses all the free samples offered throughout the store, he befriends a woman who works at the meat department (Dyana Ortelli, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM). From there, what starts as an innocent meeting behind the deli counter turns into what could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Although the film has not yet begun shooting, Pendharkar and Kosek feel that bringing DANDEKAR MAKES A SANDWICH to the screen will certainly be a worthwhile experience for all involved. When compared to making a web series, though, the task of creating a quality short film on such a limited budget is not an easy one – especially, in this case, when it involves shooting amid the hectic atmosphere of a grocery store.
“With a series, I found that making sure there is unity in the episodes and ideas takes some work. With a short film, because we want to do something festival friendly, we are looking at being original, unique and doing something with real cinematic quality,” Pendharkar says.
Of course, the most important part of creating a great short film/web series is always present: “Still, you are trying to get the best performances, make people laugh/cry and be visually interesting,” she adds.
For anyone who’s ever tried to make a web series, the task of filming multiple episodes within an extremely short time frame can be extremely intimidating. When it comes to shorts, though, Kosek and Pendharkar feel that they can be a useful training ground for aspiring web series creators.
“Short films are a great way of learning how to make a complete cinematic piece in a condensed timeframe. This can help a filmmaker learn how to make each of their webisodes stand alone even though they are part of a series,” Kosek adds. “Expressing yourself in many forms of media is incredibly fulfilling and being able to adapt your stories into various markets will make you versatile.”
No matter what visual medium a filmmaker chooses, the challenge is still the same: “I think the challenge is always to tell the best story possible whether it’s in a series or a singular movie,” Pendharkar says.
Making the short film itself has done the same for both creators. “I like web series because so far, we have done things that are very low budget and made this happen for very little. It’s been great, and I think that making a more involved short is just an extension of that,” Pendharkar says.
Kosek echoes her sentiments. “It’s also helpful and enjoyable to spend time with a single story and really develop it as much as you can. With every story we tell, we learn something that helps us grow and become better storytellers.”
No matter how successful DANDEKAR MAKES A SANDWICH becomes, both Pendharkar and Kosek are already profiting from the advantages of their successful partnership and of the many opportunities for exposure that the web provides for filmmakers. In fact, they hope that their experience on the short film will continue to help them grow as they embark on future web series projects.
“Our collaboration continues to be fun and amazing! I think our goal is to keep on pushing boundaries and tell good stories. Both of us have made feature films, and this short is really a precursor film for a feature. We love that raising money via social media is now a bit more doable. It’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker,” Pendharkar says.
Adds Kosek: “We’re having a great time engaging with our audience and and developing our voice together. We’re excited to take what we learn from doing this short and a feature based on it and circle back to developing a new series for the Web.”
To contribute to the film’s IndieGoGo campaign, visit:
Kosek and Pendharkar’s IndieGoGo pitch video can be viewed below: