The Story Behind ‘Hatchet Man’ – a Film Inspired, Written and Produced by Ad Folk

By Matt Van Hoven Comment

Earlier this week we introduced you to the NetflixFindYourVoice film-making contest and one of the top ten finalists, which happens to be based on a story we broke late last year. Oh, it was that sex tape video thing. We spoke with writer/producer Cami Delavigne who revealed that the entire project is rooted in the ad world, most specifically BBDO; if it wins, it will be a slap in the face to the competition who are mostly of independent film backgrounds.

Delavigne and boyfriend/director Ivan Herzeler along with BBH senior producer Julian Katz and ShortBus exex. producer Alexis Fish are the behind-the-scenes crew of this one-off story. It’s thematically linked to a full length feature they’ll get to produce if they win.

Here’s how the contest works: 2,000 entrants submitted scripts hoping to win $350,000 in camera gear and cash as well as a secured spot in the LA Film Festival. For Delavigne and crew, they entered a script for “Church”, a story about a pastor who plots to murder someone and then…as if we’d spoil it. Months later, the Netflix crew have narrowed the field to 10, of which Hatchet Man is one (currently in 8th place, tho).

See, each of the filmmakers had the option to a) create a trailer for the script they entered; b) shoot a scene from their script or; c) create a short film thematically linked to the plot of the feature script. For Delavigne’s team, the obvious choice was to find a story that resembled the script. Cue the sex story, refine the idea and bam, a 3-minute masterpiece called Hatchet Man is born.

And we’re sure glad they did, because now that Atmosphere sex tape story is forever memorialized in film.

Clearly, Hatchet Man takes the tale a bit further. Our main character, played by Matt Boren (of How I met Your Mother fame: imdb) is a guy who has never done anything wrong. When he finally does by filming the aforementioned office sex, he’s liberated by the act despite losing his job as a result.

Undoubtedly, many of you can see the benefit of losing your agency job. Who wants to live that hell anymore? The other leading role is played by Billy Warlock formerly of Baywatch, Damages, The Young and the Restless; imdb. Warlock’s character makes the same note Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan did &#151 the sex was l.a.m.e. And the story changes from one of illicit sex to wow, is this the kind of inspiration we can expect from Atmosphere?

Speaking of BBDO, Delavigne and bf Herzeler are both regular freelance video editors for the agency. Specifically, they work in The Kitchen, working on any number of projects. Hopefully BBDO is laughing at the mishap by now and can appreciate the value of the now legendary story.

Notes Delavigne, “If you can’t draw from real life…”

So as of right now the film is in 8th place. We’d be remiss to outright ask you to vote for it. But here’s a couple reasons why you might want to:

1) It’s rooted in advertising, an art that’s long played 2nd fiddle to film.

2) It’s a true story.

3) 3 of the 4 principals are your colleagues.

4) It’s the only short of the whole lot. The rest are trailers.

5) We said so.

Whatever you choose, we hope you’ll at least give it a watch. We posted the film after the jump. Head on over to NetflixFindYourVoice to vote.