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Film / 17 Seconds

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A 2010 short film written and directed by former Studio C actress Mallory Everton for a media arts class at Brigham Young University. At the time, Everton was a member of Divine Comedy, BYU's comedy troupe that Studio C cast members perform in before moving on to the television show. Everton adapted 17 Seconds from an unspecified screenplay written by Charlotte Aldridge.

The film's plot revolves around an assassin named Jack (Matt Meese, who would go on to create Studio C) who is assigned to kill a female assassin named Dafne (Whitney Call, also a former Studio C cast member). However, Jack is smitten with Dafne, and can't bring himself to kill her. His failure on his first attempt leads to the accidental death of an innocent person (Kabe Sorenson, who is not a Studio C cast member). Both of these revelations greatly annoy Jack's superior, John (Jason Gray, who, you guessed it, used to be on Studio C).


The film can be watched on Divine Comedy's YouTube channel here (though, in the description, it is noted that the film has no affiliation with DC, just that everyone involved was a member of the troupe). There is also a nearly three-minute video of bloopers from just one scene here.

This film provides examples of:

  • Argument of Contradictions: Jack and John have one in the elevator the day after Jack inadvertently kills Stewart:
    John: You killed a civilian yesterday.
    Jack: Oh, shut up. You kill civilians all the time!
    John: [using his right hand to shove Jack's right shoulder] No, I don't.
    Jack: [using his left hand to give a quick tap to John's right shoulder] Yes, you do.
    John: [giving a hard, two-handed shove to Jack's chest] No, I don't!
    [Jack then uses his left hand to give John's right cheek an open-handed slap; the two then pull their handguns on each other, each pointing it at the other's face; the elevator stops, forcing the two to put their guns away as a crying Dafne, who is mourning Stewart's death, enters]
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  • Bilingual Bonus: After killing Jack in the elevator, Dafne, speaking in French, relays the news of his death to her superior, and asks for her next assignment; she speaks into the watch on her left hand.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Jack is too attracted to Dafne to take her out. He's even convinced that she isn't a killer. This ends up getting him killed by Dafne.
  • Dope Slap: John gives Jack one in the elevator after Jack sighs over Dafne touching his right shoulder. The pop from the smack is pretty loud. After the slap, John tells Jack to "snap out of it."
  • Murder by Mistake: After failing to use the chloroform-laced handkerchief on Dafne, Jack has it ripped out of his hands by a man named Stewart Large, who is looking for something to sneeze into. After using it to wipe his nose, Stewart drops dead in the elevator, forcing Jack to run off. The next day, Jack and John come across a makeshift memorial for Stewart set up on the third floor. They quickly close the elevator doors back up out of embarrassment.
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  • Source Music: Each time Jack encounters Dafne in the elevator, a different love song is playing. During the first meeting, it's The Flamingos' version of "I Only Have Eyes for You", Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" for their second meeting, and for their fateful third meeting, it's the original version of "Hooked on a Feeling" by B.J. Thomas.
  • Title Card: Three simple ones, labeled "Day One", "Day Two", and "Day Three", respectively, that are shown throughout the short.
  • Title Drop: At the beginning, John tells Jack that he and Dafne will be alone on the elevator together for 17 seconds (the time it takes for the elevator car to get from the first floor to the third).