I contacted Chris to see if Film Threat would be interested in a weekly column about the making of an independent film. Chris was kind (stupid) enough to say, “Yes.” Selfishly, I thought it would be nice way to get some awareness for “Doubting Riley” and unselfishly, I thought it might be interesting to read a column about independent filmmaking while it’s actually happening. So that’s what I hope this column does.
Unlike “Project Greenlight,” I don’t have the studio’s money. Which creates serious problems. But it also gives me incredible freedoms. I thought I’d talk in this first column about the script and how I went about trying to raise the money.
The idea for “Doubting Riley” probably comes from my deep affection for the male body. Is that wrong? The script is about a fun loving Irish Catholic guy who shocks his family by coming out. They think it’s just another prank he’s pulling so he needs to prove to them that he’s not playing a homosexual for giggles. He is gay.
The script is hopefully funny but does not shy away from the relationship between Bobby Riley and his boyfriend Andy. It’s also not afraid to show the frank views that Bobby’s brothers have toward homosexuality, so though the script is light, it does deal with the issues. Which is why, if you haven’t fallen asleep yet, you can see how difficult it was to sell a studio on a gay comedy that hopefully is broad enough for mass audiences but specific enough to cater to the real gay community.
So where do I get the money? Who do I know that has money? Ben Affleck? Matt Damon? Those guys have been incredibly good to me and I appreciate the opportunity they have given me, but I don’t have that kind of friendship with them. So I went to the most logical place. Family. And I pretty much said to them, I’m gonna have to borrow money from you to live on. Why not take that money and put it into a film and then maybe the film’s success can pay you back? “Great. So what do you need? A few grand?” A few grand? Um, how ‘bout 700 grand? S**t.
And the funny thing, just like a studio, family and friends want to know how you came up with that number and who’s gonna be in the movie so they can judge, unscientifically, if they’ve got a chance at recouping their money. So, unless Chris tells me this is boring, next week I’ll write about how we came up with a budget of $700 grand, who we wanted to cast and how that went, and all of the decisions that were made so we could be ready to shoot on August 19, 2003. Which is only a fricking week away…
CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK…
Financing troubles. Casting woes. The race to production – all familiar territory for Pete. Will he survive?
Visit FilmThreat.com each Wednesday for the next exciting entry (or depressing entry, depending on how you look at it) in PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY!
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