I don’t know how many people read that title and realize the magnitude of it. For those who have been following my Making of Do Not Disturb Blog, I started with an idea and decided I was sick of waiting on people to do things — I was going to make my own movie. Soon I’ll have the official announcement up on the site, on a press release and out to who ever will read it, but before the next ball starts rolling, I think you should know what it took to get here, because it’s been a fucking journey…
Directly after screening Do Not Disturb for friends and family, while everyone was patting me on the back for finishing the damn thing, one wise-drunk person said to me “well have you sold it? Is it being distributed?” to which I said, “no” and he said, “well then you’re only half-way done.” Immediately two thoughts came to mind, two thoughts which may seem similar but actually have two VERY different meanings. The first was “fuck you!” Simple enough I feel. The second came like a wave of soul-shattering panic over me, “oh fuck.”
Since June of 2010 I have been stuck in between those two thoughts, and it’s only now that I realize how important they both are.
After the screening, after the praise (be it real or just because they were saying it to my face) the reality sunk in. He was wrong, I wasn’t half of the way there, I was less than that. Problems in outputting, re-doing sound, re-doing music, contracts not holding up, another round of color (why not!), problems with screenings, problems with submitting to festivals… I see how people get stuck in post-production, but fuck you I wasn’t going to let my work die there, I was going to concur!
Oh fuck. There’s nothing like going to a screening of your film at a festival (after not being accepted to many and not being able to afford to enter the rest) and having 10 people show up, 4 of which you brought with you. Talk about a lesson in humility. There are the many “we loved it but…”, “we really think you’ve done something amazing, but…” Why is it that every “No” in the film industry starts with a “but”?
No. Sorry, no. Maybe later. We regret to. Sorry. No. No!
And just when the “oh fuck” seems to have gotten the best of you, there’s that “fuck you” side that comes back into play. Sometimes it comes from being accepted into a film festival, sometimes it’s from getting kind words from someone you admire, sometimes it’s seeing another indie make it, sometimes it’s when you’re sitting there, by yourself, when there’s no one left, no more fixes, no more help, nothing there except for you and a stack of one sheets (and in my case a friend willing to work insane hours). Fuck you, I’m doing this.
So you keep going, keep banging on and that’s when the old saying came true, one my father reminded me of but only hit home when it was real to me — “it only takes one yes.”
The fact is I had always assumed that the film would be too weird, too short (for a feature), too indie, too whatever to ever be distributed. If the festivals said no, who would say yes? But fuck you let’s try it anyway. And how do you do that? As opposed to what some people think, the route I chose was not calling any family members, I turned to IMDBpro. That’s where Gravitas came into the picture (along with a number of others that we won’t worry about now, snooze you lose).
I got a friendly e-mail from a man over at Gravitas saying that he was interested in the film and would like to see it. Oh fuck. “They want to screen the film? They’re interested?” I sent in the film expecting a 50/50 chance of never hearing back (seemed to be the odds). But then another e-mail. “Oh… they liked it! And want to have a meeting? First they have to go to their parent company WB?” Fuck yeah! But I was quickly reminded, “don’t get your hopes up.”
Then nothing. Silence. Something I had become used to. Then, yet another e-mail…
“Congrats, DO NOT DISTURB has been picked up by WB for VOD distribution in May 2011!”
Fuck YEAH! For about an hour I was elated, I could fly, nothing could stop me, I had done it, fuck you! Then the blood came back to my head and I read the rest of the e-mail and saw what was next. Oh Fuck… it’s still not over…
The rest of the story coming soon and until then….
The film was directed by Eric Balfour, Petro Papahadjopoulos, Laura Henry, Jon Mann-Krieger and Brandon Nicholas and stars Diva Zappa along with Eric Balfour (24, Six Feet Under ), Lindsay Pulsipher (True Blood), Maureen Flannigan (90210, 7th Heaven), Harris Goldberg (Numb, Deuce Bigalow), Jason Alan Smith (The Big Valley) and Troy Garity (Kerosene Cowboys)… oh and me.
Also, check out our website DNDthemovie.com for more information and updates on the film!
In case you’ve missed any of the the making of DND, here’s a little something to help you catch up…
- Making of Death Takes a Holiday Inn
- The Making of Intrinsic
- The Making of Prom
- The Making of Oceans Away!
- The Making of Duccios Madonna