Thursday, November 29, 2007

My First Movie Is Getting A Theatrical Release This Weekend And This Title Isn't Misleading At All

Okay, it kind of is.

A more correct title would be "The First Movie I Worked On" etc, etc.

Here's the trailer, which does a pretty good job of setting up the story (a rarity):

Here's the official movie site and the prod co site.

I'm about to go into a long post that's a little bit about the movie and a lot about my experiences with the people who worked on it, so before I do that I have a question:

Anybody interested in going to see it with me this weekend? I can't go Friday (sad), but do plan on going to a Saturday or Sunday showing.

Besides wanting to drum up business, I'd love to meet some of you (others, not so much...I kid...Or do I? Dum dum dum!).

Also, since Jul and several friends will be out of town, I'd love the company :)

You'll most likely get to meet the director and producer if you're with me, though it will probably be a brief chat since I'm sure they'll be swamped. (And even if you don't go with me, apparently they're going to be doing a Q&A after every screening this weekend, so there's always the chance of talking to them on your own, if you're into that sort of thing.)

On to the long post.

I think the movie's pretty darn good, but admittedly I'm biased. I've known Dan, the director, and Ravit, the producer, since late 2003 when they brought me on as an intern at what was then Markus/Katzir Productions. Now it's New Love Films, which you already know if you clicked on the prod co link above. It was my first real "industry" experience, and it was perfect for me at the time.

Because it was unpaid, they understood completely that I didn't have endless free time to devote, so at first my responsibilities were limited to simply reading and giving coverage.

As you might imagine, this was an eye-opening experience for someone who was new to the entertainment industry. Having majored in Creative Writing in college, I should have been more prepared, but the level of suck I went through reading those scripts still boggles my mind. I kid you not, 95 percent of what I read was simply atrocious. No sense of story, no feel for dialogue--hell, there were a lot of scripts where I literally could not tell what was going on because the writing was so confusing... And I'm a good reader, dammit! I've been writing since I was 5. I was on the staff of our university lit mag all 5 years (lay off me, I was a double major and frightened of the real world) and head editor for 2. I got skills, yo. (Which I now realize is a type of phrase Jane might want to consider adding to her list of clams.)

The worst part by far for me was having to wade through rampant misspellings and grammar mistakes. I completely understand that it's nearly impossible to have a 100 percent clean script, but there's a point where I almost can't read any more. There are certain things you should know as a writer before sending your work out to a professional company. Like the difference between the various "yours" and "theres." Or a sixth grade understanding of when to use periods, commas and other grammatical marks. And misspellings?? For god's sake, people, there's a thing called spellcheck. Normally I hate it because I think it encourages you not to learn how to spell, but if you already don't know how to spell... USE IT.

Still, for all my annoyance at the bad, it was worth it when I finally did come across those few good scripts. Nothing beats the feeling of discovering something great. Except maybe the feeling of getting that something great out there to the world, but that's something I can only guess at for now, since during my time there nothing quite made it through the grinder. Ah well.

After a few months passed, Dan and Ravit came to value my opinions pretty highly and had me take on more and more responsibilities. Over the next year or so, I did research; I corresponded with writers and directors and guided rewrites; I helped on pitch proposals, funding requests and the like; I interviewed potential new interns; and I sat in on editing sessions for Yiddish Theater. (And yes, after my rant, I'm now questioning the grammatical correctness of that last sentence.)

Basically, they liked me, they really liked me. And for moi, it was great experience seeing different facets of the development process.

Eventually I moved on to lazier pastures and stopped doing regular work for them, but I'm always happy to make myself available if they want my opinion on a script or need help with something. They're good people. And I truly believe that when they do make it, I'll make it. Or at least they'll do everything in their power to help me do so.

So go see the movie support a couple of the good ones in this town. Or haven't I convinced you yet?

No comments: