January 1, 2016
What is the Lipiński?
To Hank and Chang Lee, it’s $7 million. To George, it’s 300 years of divine music. To the Butler, it’s the very mark of prestige itself.
To pretty much everyone else, it’s a violin.
A really, really, expensive violin.
For one night only, the insufferably wealthy George Willoughby has the Lipiński Stradivarius on lease from the St. Louis Art Museum.
It’s the night of sloppy pedants and crab beignets. The night of a mysterious turtle disappearance and a suspicious Mongolian violin prodigy.
It’s the night of the Lipiński.
Director: Nate Townsend
Screenplay: Oliver Reed, Nate Townsend
Producer: John Hayden
Actors: Jack Kehler, John Hayden
If you’d like to know about the history of the Lipiński Violin, we recommend reading this scholarly article. If you'd like a quick read, here's some talking points:
- Stradivarius violins, violins made by an Italian named Stradivari, are hundreds of years old. They are the Rolls Royces of violins, in sound, prestige, and price tag.
- Lipiński was the name of a dude before it was given to the violin. Stradivarius violins are usually named after one of its past owners. Each Stradivarius has lived through many owners.
- The Polish man it was named after? Karol Lipiński. The man's name was Karol.
- The Lipiński is valued around $7 million.
- It was made in Cremona, Italy in 1715.
- It went missing in 2014
At 10:20 p.m. on January 27, 2014, a violin was stolen from a parking lot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
That violin was The Lipiński, a three-hundred-year-old Stradivarius with around a $7 million estimated worth.
For eight years, the thief carefully and meticulously planned the theft. Eight days after the theft, he was caught.
Our short film takes this larger-than-life true story and throws it into the larger-than-life world of cinema. Such an event forces upon us the occasional absurdity of life, and our response was to jump in feet first and enjoy its inherent humor.
We do not trivialize what happened that January night in the parking lot. We do not understand the crime to be inculpable.
But that doesn’t mean it isn't also really funny.