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in Filmmaking
on Oct 11, 2007

An independent filmmaker in post on his new feature forwarded me this link to the satirical weekly The Onion and this story: “Independent Film Made by Dependent 27-Year-Old.” “Hit a little too close to home on this one,” he wrote in his email.

Here’s the lede:

Independent filmmaker Craig Rivers, still financially dependent on his parents at 27, announced Monday the completion of his feature-length debut, the locally produced, parentally financed Far Above The Jiffy Lube, The Stars Of Phoenix Shine.

Shot on a tight budget of $75,000 of Marv and Elaine Rivers’ money, the film chronicles the lives and loves of a diverse group of white, post-collegiate twentysomethings in an affluent Phoenix suburb, exploring such subjects as relationships, personal identity, and the pressures of living with one’s parents.

Some of the funnier (and more painful) bits occur later in the piece:

Though not yet snapped up by a distributor, the film has already drawn attention from the Scottsdale-area zine Motorfuzz and earned “entrant” honors at the Mesa County Film Festival. Yet it wasn’t easy for Rivers, who faced many daunting and unexpected challenges while filming Jiffy Lube.

There were times when shooting had to be held up for days because Kirsten Bachman, who plays the charmingly quirky coffee-shop counter girl Kate, couldn’t get off work. There were creative conflicts with the film’s financiers, who felt that its focus was not “job-oriented” enough. There were times when Rivers would max out one of his mother’s credit cards and have to ask for a different one. There were even times when the project was brought to a virtual standstill because Rivers’ parents refused to let him use their car.

But through all the hardships, Rivers persevered, determined to get his work out to the public.

“When I finally saw the finished print,” said Rivers, a gleam in his eye, “I knew that all my time and parents’ money had been worth it.”

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