Craig Kuehne didn't win Mozilla's Firefox contest, but as one of the four short-listed submissions, he came awfully close. Even better: As one of the finalists, his work was screened at the Vail Film Festival last spring.
In the spot, "Double-click Relief" (firefoxflicks.com), Kuehne plays a despondent office worker with a virus. He's cheered up by a co-worker who tells him that Mozilla's browser can better protect him from viruses. "One out of 10 ITs prefer Firefox," says the friend. "What about the other nine?" asks Kuehne. "They can't be trusted" is the answer.
"I generally don't like the low-hanging fruit of parody for my short films," says Kuehne, a Burbank, Calif.-based freelance visual effects artist who works on TV shows including Nip/Tuck. "I started writing down the strengths of Firefox and the first thing I saw was that it prevents viruses, so I thought a parody of cold-remedy commercials would work really well."
To ensure the right vibe, he contacted a friend who worked in a government office in Camarillo, Calif. Kuehne was given two hours on a Sunday to shoot gratis in the dull cubicle environment. Because he received a mini-DV tape as a gift for Christmas, Kuehne explains, his only expense was the cost of a blank CD with Firefox on it, which is seen in the spot.
The goal of filmmaking, he believes, is to "move and entertain people. I strongly believe that humor is a great way to ingrain something in memory."