For New Year’s Eve for the Year 2000, I went with two friends to Lake Tahoe to ring in the new Millennium. It was a fun three days as I got to hang out with two old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. One of them, Doug, had lived in Spain a few years back (so did I), so we had a lot to talk about. He was in the Navy and lived in a small town in Southern Spain near the coast. I lived in Barcelona. He was telling me stories about being in the Navy so I asked him what the hell they did out on a ship for months at a time. His answer: “We make a lot of sock babies.” I had never heard that term before but instantly knew what he was talking about and had a good, long laugh. That term stuck with me for years and I always wanted to incorporate it into a script. I would usually write it in somewhere as a line of dialogue but it would get cut because it didn’t work in that context. But the idea stuck with me.
Then we started shooting sketches this past year and I thought the Sock Babies idea would work as a short 2-3 minute comedy sketch. I wrote the script and Matin (the other half of Zeke Mahogany) got it to Mark Christopher Lawrence, who plays “Big Mike” in the TV show “Chuck.” Mark had shot with us one other time for our sketch “Uncle Matin’s Sword Trick.” Mark and Matin do stand-up a lot together in San Diego and have a good friendship. Mark read the script and really liked it, saying it was one of the funniest things he’s read in a while. That made me feel really good and he said he’d do it. Mark and the kid, Naim Omari, brought a ton of great energy to the set and we had a lot of fun shooting. We shot the whole thing in my apartment and other than Naim almost stabbing Mark in the hand, everything went really well.
My editor, David Conner, did a great job cutting it all together and finding very cinematic music that was perfect. He did all the voices of the Sock Babies at his apartment. I can’t imagine what his neighbors were thinking. Ha. His commitment to the post-production process is amazing and our sketches are definitely better with him involved.
Hopefully Sock Babies does well, I’d like to shoot a sequel where Mark visits his son at his new job – at a sporting goods store – in the SOCK DEPARTMENT.
By Travis Kurtz