Heather Fink looks at Hoboken, New Jersey and parts of Long Island as the “suburbs of New York City,” essentially. “Brothers from another mother,” as she puts it. There are plenty of folks who would agree with this viewpoint, I’m sure. Talking to Fink, it becomes apparent that she genuinely loves New York, loves the East End of Long Island and is incredibly excited to be shooting her first feature-length effort, http 404, which is about a group of people who band together to save the internet at Camp Hero’s somewhat-mythological radar tower. Everyone’s heard the rumors of Nazi-forged UFOs after the close of World War II, theories on the Montauk Monster and, probably my favorite of all; interdimensional travel technology. With all that wackiness in mind, it seems only appropriate for Camp Hero to be the setting for a comedic science fiction adventure.
Fink was inspired to write the film on a birthday trip to the East End with friends, and upon seeing the radar tower, Fink knew she had to write a film about it. “Oh my God, it would be so awesome if there was a movie where someone had to hack that radar tower to save the world! Then, I took that idea, coupled it with a concept I already believe in, which is that the internet is artificial intelligence. Basically, it goes along with the idea that errors are a machine’s way of messing with you. It’s like an error is a way that a machine or a piece of technology can assert their personalities to the user. That’s really the foundation of the story, the idea that an error is the only way a machine can interact with us, as humans.”
“Comedy, in terms of modern stuff right now, I’d have to say Judd Apatow is where I’m at, though I’m interpreting that through my own voice. I think his stuff is groundbreaking and really set a modern tone for comedy in that it’s real and about relatable things and characters,” Fink said, discussing her comedic influences.
“In 1996 when I was in high school, I saw some of the guys from The State and they showed videos they made, I basically was going to see their show a lot until it ended. Seeing the alternative comedy world and seeing these videos that were so funny and so low budget. I wanted to be a part of that,” said Fink.
While talking about the comedy world, I wanted to talk about how women in particular don’t seem to get the respect that they deserve. “It’s rough. It’s the same thing with the film world, too. Maybe the women get in as producers, but they’re rarely directors,” Fink said. “When men think of women, they want the woman who’s going to laugh at them, but not for it to be the other way around. That’s a broad generalization, I know, but in my experience, that seems to be the case. There’s a lot of backscratching among the guys. I never know if another comedian is genuinely interested in hanging out with me or trying to sleep with me and I have to navigate that, you know?”
These days, Fink doesn’t have much time to perform her standup material. “There comes a point where you need to be writing new material as a standup comedian, and I just don’t have the time. My life now is dedicated to being a full-time filmmaker, so I’m on-set a lot, surrounded by actors, film crews. Whenever I have free time, I’m revising scripts and working on handling pre-production.”
Fink is going to be turning to crowdsourcing as a way to finance the film. In recent years, sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become the norm when it comes to young artists looking to finance their endeavors.
Fink and company plan to head out to Montauk next week to shoot a video to raise money for http 404. “We’re going to go and shoot the radar tower, grab some footage nearby, put together a video and launch the crowdfunding campaign while I also continue to look for private investors. Lots of meetings lately, it’s been crazy, but fun.”