IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU:
This movie started as a simple funny scene I wrote for Charles Nelson Reilly’s acting class to perform with my peers. It worked. From there I did another scene and it too worked and I was inspired not only as a writer but an actor/director. Our Master Teacher’s class was my place to experiment alongside my very talented friends. From there I developed it into a one-act show that ran for a year in Los Angeles’s Tamarind theatre. We would switch up cast and it was the place to be on Friday Nights in Los Angeles. The show was so successful it inspired me to write it into a full-length movie. One night we had about 30 of our talented Burt Reynolds students sitting around in a big circle sipping on some beverages and having a table read. We could not stop laughing at the absurdity of this movie and our very talented cast. Kim Chase after the reading said “I’m going to make this movie” and sure enough she did. Big thanks to her and Robert Jacobs and the very talented cast and crew who simply pulled off a miracle. This movie was way too ambitious to make as an independent feature, but we did it anyway and shot it in 18 days. We had lions, a massive cast, tons of sets and I have never had so much fun in my life laughing and working with my dear friends. The movie thus far has never been released, but won the Best Comedy at the 2000 Beverly Hills Film Festival and to this day it still remains my favorite. The movie is loosely based on many things that happened to me while living in LA. As a kid I remembered watching Burt Reynolds act on the big screen and he made it look so much fun. That’s what I wanted to do – be a star and act. That is until I was blessed to work with Burt Reynolds and see how hard it was to be a star. The invasion of privacy, the stalkers, the crazy’s, the yes men, the shaky ground that Hollywood sits on top of, is all a reality that makes for some of my favorite kind of humor. On one day in IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU, we had 72 different camera set-ups, which nobody thought we could pull off but we did. The cast was so solid we were nailing the takes to expedite the process. Another day we shot 11 pages in one steady cam shot in a crammed jail cell with 5 people plus the operator and me. On another day a lion almost killed me and thank God I survived that but a majority of my day was shot and with an hour left I had to shoot 8 pages of dialogue. The cast was so talented and diverse we did it in one take with a huge steadicam move. I was pulled over by the police for shooting Joel Murray in a cab in Beverly Hills without a permit … just as I thought our production was going to be shut down the police had a car jacking right in front of us and we were saved. I needed a marathon scene for John D’Aquino to run in … where do you just find a marathon while you shoot. We did. It was a black and Hispanic run and they allowed John (the only white person to run) … funny! El Nino was big and they predicted rain and we needed a sunny day for our pool scene. We had no back up plan and despite the weather men across the board predicting rain the Lord blessed us with a beautiful day. Dom Deluise brilliantly played a character similar to my dad and nailed it. Robert Morse was my neighbor and was kind enough to do a fun scene for me. Peter Deluise was a total team player that did whatever he could to help us succeed, whether it was giving us better shot selections, tips, ideas, props and even sweeping the floor. I simply can’t express enough how wonderful the experience was and how grateful I am to the entire cast and crew. Not only was the experience of making that movie great, but whenever I pop it into the DVD it ALWAYS makes me laugh and that tells me it stands the test of time.