FAIR PLAY 2007 teaser
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Edward McHenry (UK)
$ 1,000,000 AMBITION, 2006

film still

“I shot “$1,000,000 AMBITION” last spring. I had been incubating the idea for some time, the origins of it I can’t remember but I heard the song “Push it to the limit” in De Palmers “Scarface” and loved the sequence when the lead character is making so much money, the bank can't take any more. It is a fantastic theme tune that sums up an image of a consumer obsessed 1980’s capitalist America. I am big reader of the American Novelist Bret Easton Ellis and rate “American Psycho” in Particular is one of finest works in counterparty literature. It was through this that I came up with the idea of the film.
I was wondering how much cocaine would equal exactly One Million US Dollars and how long a line of cocaine would be if it were stretched out to be consumed through the nose. I calculated roughly, through very lose estimations on street values in America, that it would reach about 160 Meters, I only had enough room to shoot 45 Meters, so in actual fact the equivalent amount of cocaine consumed in the film equals about $37,000 Dollars. However this fits in almost precisely with the time on the music, which is about 3 minutes.
The idea was to shoot the whole thing in one take, the black material was Perspex that had to be dusted down with an anti static cloth as the surface was making the washing up powder (our cocaine) jump all over the place. I had to construct a track that would run exactly the same distance along the Perspex and washing powder to enable the frame to stay in exactly the same spot. A skateboard was used as a dolly; the wheels ran over the central monorail and took the weight of the vacuum and camera. Everything had to be calculated exactly, any mistake during a take would mean we would have to re-set the whole rig, washing power, vacuum, blood and lights. In all it took two days to set up, we got three takes out of it; the last take was the one we used. After some recalculations and a lot of trial and error, it worked perfectly.”
[Edward McHenry]



Graduated Ruskin School of Drawing in 2006.

Selected Exhibitions

2006 100 Degree Show, Ruskin Degree Show
2006 The Heat is Rising
2006 Creep
2006 Blink Gasworks Gallery London
2006 Digital City
2005 Montana Butch
2004 Moroccan Dream
2003 Modern Art Bomb Modern Art Oxford


“Jackboots on Whitehall” Writer and Director 2007, “Swipe Films” 90 mins
“After Party,” Abbotts Films Short 18 mins 2006
“$1,000,000 Ambition”. Short 2006
“Man Hunt” Short 2006
“A Baptism of Fire III” Abbotts Films Short 23 mins 2005
“A Baptism of Fire II” Abbotts Films Short 11 mins 2004
“A Baptism of Fire” Abbotts Films Short 10 mins 2003

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