“Morning Copy” “” short by Martha’s Vineyard Productions

Leslie J. Stark, left, and Don Lyons have a not-so-neighborly confrontation. — Photo courtesy of M.V. Productions

“Morning Copy” is a 10-minute short film about two aged men living across the road from each other in Oak Bluffs, with a shared passion to be the first to read the news. There is no spoken dialog but the film has a wonderful soundtrack.

The film stars two local veteran actors, Don Lyons, who is cast against type as a decidedly curmudgeonly old man (he is in fact not decidedly curmudgeonly), and Leslie J. Stark, who plays a decidedly distinguished gentleman, and a recent inhabitant of the neighborhood. Their facial expressions push the storyline as they spar with their eyes, their attitudes clearly defining their territory and intent. They engage in a not-so-friendly early morning battle to be the first to have their morning copy. A change of condition leads to a rather saccharine finale.

There was a time when the young yearned to be writers of novels and poetry, painters, baseball stars, and movie stars. Many now wish to be movie-makers.

The film’s producer is Martha’s Vineyard Productions. It is an Island-based video production studio that first opened its shutter in January of 2010. Brothers Dan and Greg Martino, 20-somethings, have opened the business “To provide a professional and creative production facility on the Vineyard,” according to Dan.

“Morning Copy” showcases their filming and editing skills. It was filmed in three days using what appears to be natural lighting. The sets are a Campground house in Oak Bluffs, and the press room of the Vineyard Gazette.

The film is tastefully edited and mixed with a wonderful soundtrack. The sound effects made me feel that I was there holding the camera. The beautifully expressive musical score is made up of original compositions composed, performed, and mixed by friends of the Martinos in Dallas.

“It was great working with Don and Leslie. Being the stars that they are we learned a lot from them,” Dan said. “They really embodied the roles and ran with them.”

The brothers are Houston natives. Dan studied filmmaking as well as other graphic arts at The Art Institute of Houston. Greg studied finance at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. Dan pointed out that you need both skill sets to make movies.

Dan first arrived on the Island three years ago as an employee of Plum TV and fell in love with the Island. His brother came to visit and agreed that this might be a pretty good place to set up shop.

They specialize in wedding videos, corporate retreats, virtual real-estate walkthroughs, fundraiser videos, event snapshots, etc. Dan points out that they are also aspiring screenwriters, and have written a number of feature length screenplays. They are also currently working to create programs on the Island that will give students a chance to become active in the filmmaking community. They hope to eventually transition into feature length movies.

The film is available to watch on their website: MarthasVineyardProductions.com; at http://player.vimeo.com/video/21452976; or look up their page on Facebook.