By Joel Stein
November 24, 2014

Although we are completely happy with our home, my lovely wife Cassandra and I are moving to a new house a half-mile away in Los Angeles that’s even older and more expensive and falling apart faster. We’re doing this so we can fight over trivial things instead of actual marital problems. You can’t hurt someone much when you tell her she selects tiles just like her mother.

To sell our home, we had to hire a stager. Staging, which a few years ago was just for superrich people, has trickled down to mid-priced houses; there are 1,000 members of the Real Estate Staging Association, and Meredith Baer Home is a nationwide staging firm. So the superrich are now also producing short movies about their houses. For an average of $12,500, filmmaker Curt Hahn will show a house through a story, of, say, a dad’s surprise birthday party in which his uniformed son who is stationed overseas Skypes in before appearing from behind the screen to hug his dad. After watching it, I wanted to own that house and invade a foreign country.

So I got my talented friends Marvin Lemus and Igor Hiller at Moose Hill Productions to shoot my movie for free. Hahn suggested that they aim for the kind of buyer we were when we bought the house: childless, new to L.A. and with values I could live with. Because buyers could be from overseas, he said, we should eliminate as much dialogue as possible and include multiracial families. This made even more sense when I watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner on mute and appreciated all the exposed brick and natural light.

My friends, however, are comedy writers, so they made a movie about two detectives who admire the house while questioning a woman named Cassandra about her husband’s untimely death, life-insurance policy and cost of their new screening room. Enjoy.

Cassandra is played by Scout Durwood, Detective Tommy Sparks by Jonny Cruz and Detective Melanie Lafonge by Katie Orr. The film’s cinematographer is Moira Morel. Taylor Gill is the assistant camera operator. Marvin Lemus is the director/editor. And Igor Hiller is writer/producer.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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