Wednesday, May 11, 2016

There are 2 "Purgatory Comics" Easter Eggs in "Halina" - and they Conflict with Each Other

The short film Halina has two direct references to my feature length film Purgatory Comics (available now through various distribution means). The first "Easter egg" is quite obvious, while the second is something only eagle-eyed viewers would spot. But the hilarity is in the fact that both references directly contradict each other.

First, we see Mischa alone in her apartment watching TV and eating cereal for dinner (we've all been there):

In this shot, we can clearly hear the dialogue from Purgatory Comics coming from the television screen off camera. We can hear both Angela (as Cola) and Tim (as Evan) having their debate about the state of the comic book industry. So here, within the universe of Halina, Purgatory Comics is a movie. Simple enough.

Except that in the very next shot, we see Mischa surfing her social media pages on a desktop computer. This is where she spots that all of her friends (and her ex) are hanging out without her (as we the audience already knew by this point).

Let's take a closer look at that computer screen. You'll notice that it's a completely made-up web site called You'll also catch first and last names (mixed around) of friends and family of mine - names I also used in Purgatory Comics as comic writers (either spoken or seen on fake comic art). But when you look at the upper left corner, things get interesting.

Click to enlarge:
According to her profile page, it's Mel Berner's birthday! Mel Berner is the name of the third lead in Purgatory Comics... so he not only exists in the universe of Halina, but he's also friends with Mischa.

How could a character both exist as fiction and reality in the same universe? There's no profound answer here. Basically we shot the scene first, and that was supposed to be the lone Easter egg. But way later, in post-production, I needed audio to insert into the TV and cereal scene (and audio I owned the rights to). I went with Purgatory Comics and threw caution to the wind.

However I do like to think of all my projects as being in a "shared multiverse" - that is to say, two of my movies might not be in the same world, but they're only a couple of dimensions apart from each other. In the world of Halina, maybe Mel Berner is a successful lawyer instead of a comic book clerk... but he's there. I really hope I get to make more projects and keep playing with the shared multiverse idea.

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