To Hank and Chang Lee, it’s a six-million-dollar opportunity. To George, it’s three hundred 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 Walnut has the Lipiński Stradivarius on lease from the St. Louis Art Museum. In celebration, he has opened his doors to an exclusive gathering of the social elite. However, unbeknownst to George, three nefarious guests with their eyes on the violin have been preparing for years, waiting for this opportunity.

It’s a night of imposters, sloppy pedants, and crab beignets. A night of a mysterious turtle disappearance and a suspicious Mongolian violin prodigy.

It’s the night of the Lipiński.


Last January, John brought Nate and Oliver a news story about a Stradivarius violin that had been stolen in Milwaukee. The thief had apparently stalked the violinist for nearly a decade, meticulously planning the theft.

Surprisingly, when push came to shove, the thief decided to just stun the violinist with a Taser he had purchased from his barber. Within eight days, he was in handcuffs.

As we delved deeper into the story, it quickly became apparent that the thief completely transcended the story of the actual theft. It was clearly his story to tell. So, we plucked him out of the news and threw him into our fiction, crafting our story around this fascinating character.

The Lipiński proved such a natural fit for our team. As young filmmakers, we sympathize with its themes of self-image, of desiring respect, and of the need for control. The tale’s inherent absurdity spoke to our sense of humor. The story is even set in our hometown of St. Louis, lampooning and celebrating the culture we come from.