|2006, 13 mins. (USC)
Director/Writer: Joshua Kameyer
Producers: Matthew Witt, Henry Lowenfels
Director of Photography: Daniel Pfisterer
Production Designer: Peggy Wang
Composer: Andrew Kaiser
Cast: Jaime Aymerich, Keiko Agena, Johnny Ray Nelson.
|The classic Hollywood romantic comedies understood that love offered no guarantees, but something much better: the promise of a great adventure. That same spirit is present in Joshua Kameyer's charming Chances Are, in which a mathematics whiz, compulsively totting up the chances on everything, uses his skills to locate the girl of his dreams after a chance encounter with her in a bar. In other words, the movie is about using certainty as a means to abandoning it and living with chance.
Born in Woodland, California, storytelling was part of Kameyer's life from early on. He grew up in a 19th-century Victorian house he claims was haunted and which was also on the same block as "a grand old movie palace called The State Theater, from the town's glory days as a magnet for pheasant hunters."
Movies shot with buddies on a video camera belonging to a friend's dad led eventually to USC's MFA film-production program, and then to short films. Eventually, Kameyer dropped out of school to produce an indie feature and start a small production company specializing in regional TV commercials. He re-enrolled a few years later, wrote a thesis screenplay, and shortly after that came the Sloan grant allowing him to make Chances Are.
Kameyer says he's fascinated by science in general, and "tried to pack the film full of it in an entertaining way. How we all came to be may be the biggest mystery of all, but whether you're a guy or a girl, the opposite sex is a mystery that probably comes close. So when it comes to love, yeah, you have to take a chance, 'cause you just never know what will happen."
Two of Kameyer's favorite films are Billy Wilder's Some Like it Hot and Preston Sturges's The Lady Eve. Kameyer adores them because "they're about love, about the passionate struggle in pursuit of it—the uncertainty, and the reality that it can drive us insane and causes people to do crazy things to get it. Current romantic comedies are completely the honeymoon, and that's not very interesting to me. Where's all the struggle, sacrifice, and pain—the desperation, the uncertainty? 'The one' doesn't come along every day. So that's why I tell all my friends, who are scared to talk to girls or guys they want to meet, that they have to think of it as practice."
|History of Certainty, University of Virginia|
Probability Definition, Wikipedia
Interpretations of Probability, Stanford University
Chances Are on imdb.com