Blog number 2: Hey I am a blogger. That really feels weird to say. Been wanting to blog again since my first blog about the wrap party, but don’t know the blog etiquette yet. Would it be weird to blog daily, or do I appear uncaring if I do it once a week? There hasn’t been any movie yet to teach me the protocol of blogging. Waiting for Meg Ryan to do “You’ve Got Blog,” or maybe not.
How “GIRLTRASH: All Night Long” came to be. When I started POWER UP one of the most important programs we had was the Filmmaking Grant Program. There, we would match directors and writers together and we produced their short film. These films were shot once a year and we made three (3) of them at the same time. This program put POWER UP on the map. A complete success. Each year the program produced a film that was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. POWER UP produced the most award winning short films seen by more people all over the world. This was the beginning.
In 2002 we had a little script written by a young women who won the opportunity to have her script made as well as the opportunity to be a director. Even though it was our mandate to mix up writers and directors, common sense and knowing a good thing when it’s standing right in front of me allowed me to give Angela Robinson her big opportunity. “D.E.B.S.,” the little movie that could, was born. So, I make it sound easy, but it didn’t happen with out a strong phone call from Jamie Babbit calling me “an idiot” if I didn’t read the script and fight for it. A POWER UP employee was overstepping their bounds and burying the script because she thought it would be to expensive to make. All things got straightened out and a read of the script “D.E.B.S” by me changed the course of history for Angela and POWER UP.
The folklore goes that this was one of those very rare occasions were everything lined up just right. Angela made a fresh, fun, funny film. We premiered the film at our annual fundraiser The Power Premiere, where the president of Showtime was being honored. That night Showtime’s President requested we go pitch them “D.E.B.S.” as a TV series, Ilene Chaiken asked me to introduce her to Angela (she had just filmed the pilot of her TV show “the l-word” and thought Angela would be a great addition to her writing staff), and producer/manager Larry Kennar chased Angela to the parking lot see if he could represent her. As they say, the rest is history.
We went to Sundance with the short, Screengems bought the rights to make the feature “D.E.B.S.” with Angela directing, Angela was hired on “the l word” and Hollywood History was made.
Angela, you could say, is the greatest success story directly linked to POWER UP
and of course we have been wanting to work with her again for a long time.
After the success of “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” and POWER UP’s foray into feature films was solidified, we began developing projects for our second feature. Many good writers and projects came our way and the development process was and is proceeding.
A few times over the past two years Angela has read and given thoughts and notes on some of our projects. Early 2009 when Lisa (my partner on and off the field) and I had raised enough money to produce POWER UP’s second feature we asked Angela if she had a project she wanted to do. Knowing Angela’s talent and the fact that she has two sequels for “D.E.B.S.,” I wasn’t at all surprised that she pitched us “GIRLTRASH” as a movie based on her successful webseies “GIRLTRASH.” Angela is full of ideas and what is so cool about that is she has tons of ideas for projects she’s done, or doing, or will do. She has many different versions and scenarios for how things could go with these character’s she creates and loves. I think her passion as a writer make you fall in love with these characters as well.
So how did a little gritty web-series made with small equipment and running around the city of LA hiding from the law become “GIRLTRASH: All Night Long” the rock musical comedy that we just wrapped? Come back next week.
Meanwhile we have 2 spots left in this weekends POWER UP workshop. The ultimate directing workshop with Angela Robinson in Los Angeles. Please check it out.Tags: Angela Robinson, Gaby Christian, GIRLTRASH, Ilene Chaiken, Kate French, lesbian, Lisa Rieffel, Mandy Musgrave, Michelle Lombardo, POWER UP, Showtime