My name is Martin Lastrapes and, through no fault of my own, I am Greg’s youngest brother. Greg is currently hard at work wrapping up his forthcoming short film, Misplaced, and fearing his rabid readership—which, I believe has reached a solid baker’s dozen at this point—would become even more apathetic than they already are, he asked me to pinch hit for him. Those of you who are fans of Greg (and, let’s face it, how couldn’t you be with his endless reel of commercial jingles that “almost” went final) know that he has made some pretty terrific short films over the last ten years or so. I say “terrific,” because I have appeared in nearly all of them. Of course, were it up to Greg, you wouldn’t know that.
He likes to refer to me as his Clint Howard, who, as you may know, is the brother of Academy-Award winning director, Ron Howard. Clint appears in all of his brother’s films as something of a novelty. I, on the other hand, appear in Greg’s films in the capacity of thankless pedestal.
Greg has been shamelessly exploiting my talents since 2001, when he ventured into his first truly ambitious endeavor, Razamazoo, a pilot for an adult kid's show that he co-wrote with Eric Donald and Lee Barron.
Look at me: dressed in a blue gorilla outfit, caked in makeup, an ungodly supply of chemicals in my hair. Greg’s true stroke of genius was in the script for the above scene, as it was about three lines long. I believe it read something like this: “Dress Martin as a blue gorilla. Give him no dialogue. Let’s just see him try to be brilliant now!”
Soon thereafter, in 2002, we made It Starts With Feet.
Because we wrote the script together, I gave myself a well-deserved meaty role, playing a man with a vaguely-British accent and inferior vision. Greg, of course, did his best to throw a wet blanket over my performance, claiming he didn’t have adequate equipment before conveniently burying this film in his “vault.”
Then there was The Anson Brophy Show in 2004. I was playing the title role of Anson Brophy, but, it turns out, the joke was on me. Greg only intended this film to be a supplemental piece used for the promotion of his musical sitcom, Two Balls & a Chain. Well, it turned out the joke was on him, as The Anson Brophy Show was as close as Two Balls & a Chain ever came to being realized—and I really love Glee.
If you’re wondering where my antagonism towards Greg stems from, well it began in 2006, the same year he filmed Why is Zak Schaffer Making the Great American Rock Album? For years I’d been telling Greg about my idea to film a faux-documentary where I’d star as a talented musician named Zak Schaffer who was finishing up his debut album, only to be riddled with anxiety at the prospect of finally sending his music off into the world. All the while, as he discouraged me from pursuing this project myself, Greg was out searching for an actual musician named Zak Schaffer who really was finishing his first album. And, boy oh boy, it certainly was convenient that this was the first film in five years that I didn’t make an appearance in
Of course, Greg tried to make amends by throwing me a bone in 2007’s Paulette Breaks Up, "letting" me reprise my role as Anson Brophy. But, as I should’ve suspected, the joke was on me yet again, as I simply appeared in the background on a television. Yet another example of Greg trying to mute my overwhelming talent.
And then there was the silent period. Where did Greg go? What was he doing? Well, unlike John Lennon's lost weekend, he wasn't having sexual relations with May Pang. And, unlike Jesus's lost years between Christmas and Easter, he wasn't off learning how to be a carpenter for 30 years. No, I'll tell you exactly where Greg was: He was out trying to prove he could successfully make a film without me!
Well, I think his track record speaks for itself, as four years later he finally did complete a new film, which he calls Misplaced. And—guess what?!—I’m in it.
Am I the star? Oh, goodness no. I’ll give you three guesses who stars in Misplaced, so long as all three guesses start with “G.” Even if I loved the film—which I do—I would never give Greg the pleasure of knowing it. I would, however, be happy to point out to him that the film succeeds primarily on the efforts of a tireless, selfless and exceedingly talented crew of collaborators.
Soon you'll have a chance to see Misplaced yourself, as it will be eventually coming to a film festival near you. And when you do see it, don't be surprised to find that Greg has, once again, tried to bury me with a minimum of screen time and dialogue. But don’t worry, I’ll do my usual job of carrying Greg through yet another film, letting him collect all the accolades, so long as all thirteen of his readers know precisely where the credit belongs.