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By Pete Jones | September 19, 2003

Which leads me to the mood I’m in right now. This overwhelming burden to do justice to the hard work that all of these people put into “Doubting Riley.” We had a great time shooting Stolen Summer, but in the end, the weak box office and mixed reviews hurt and it almost sullies the experience. Which, getting philosophical here, sucks. Making a movie is the dream. The best way I’ve ever found to spend a day. That being said, I don’t know if it’s just the way I’m wired or if more people feel this way, but I can never really enjoy myself while shooting the movie because there is just so much that needs to be done. Any down time is spent thinking about what we just shot, what still needs to be shot, and how the hell is all of this stuff going to cut together. That’s what probably occupies my mind more than anything. And on “Doubting Riley,” there’s so much to worry about because the tone of this movie is incredibly tricky. It’s a comedy and we have funny stuff to deliver, but there’s some dramatic moments that are essential to the story. After the ripping I took from some people on the melodrama of Stolen Summer, I’m gunshy to deliver anything that might be considered an “after school special.” But the audience needs to feel how difficult it is to be a closeted gay man and the pain an individual bears when they are not allowed or choose to not reveal their real self. Nothing is more important to me with this movie than to have gay men who have experienced Bobby Riley’s life to tell me I got it right. We also break the fourth wall where the lead character talks directly into the camera. So at the wrap party tonight where everybody is going to be deservedly slapping themselves on the back, I’m gonna be shaking in the corner of the bathroom hoping nobody finds me so I don’t have to go sit in a dark room for 8 weeks watching all of my mistakes over and over again. Yeah, I know, I should stop whining and remember I got a chance to make a movie. But when you get that chance, you wanna make sure you don’t blow it.

One last observation before I take off to the wrap party. What a transient world making movies is. You become the best of friends with people for such a short, intense period of time. You share things with these people, creative, passionate, movie worshipping-people that have chosen a path less traveled, and then you leave. You open up and say things with these people that because of the situation you might have never told anyone else. You cry, you laugh. And mostly, you never see these people again. It’s very weird. But I guess it’s the nature of the business.

It’s going to take the editor four or five days to catch up so by next week, I might be able to report on how the editor’s cut looks. Hopefully, I won’t be as maudlin.

Production wraps and now Pete is in a race to edit the film and meet the Sundance submission deadline of October 3rd. Will he make it in time! Visit each Wednesday for the next exciting entry (or depressing entry, depending on how you look at it) in PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY!

Discuss Pete Jones’ “Doubting Riley Diary” in Film Threat’s brand new BACK TALK section! Click here>>>

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