After the Slamdace Awards Ceremony, I had requests from different production companies to read “Jug Face.” I was excited about one in particular.
Through a friend in L.A., my script landed in the lap of one of the producers of “Black Swan.” This producer was from the South, loved horror movies, and was incredibly nice. It seemed like a real possibility.
After a week, we spoke and I could tell by her voice that the conversation was not going to go well. She had issues with the incest, the fact that the people were scarier than the creature, and the general vibe. Basically, it wasn’t for her. Even so, I was thrilled that she had taken the time to read my script.
I got off the phone with her and thought to myself “What producer would be crazy enough to make Jug Face?”
And then it hit me.
About six months before, I saw a viral video taken after the screening of the movie “The Woman” at Sundance. The video showed a couple storming out of the Q&A after the movie. They were furious! They went on and on about how the movie was offensive trash and should be burned. I knew I needed to find these producers!
After a quick search, I found that Andrew van den Houten produced “The Woman” for his company Modernciné. I emailed him and within ten minutes we were speaking on the phone.
The conversation went well and he asked to have his coverage people take a look at the script. Andrew also wanted to know if anyone was attached to be the director and I said that I wanted to direct it. But he needed to see something that I had done for that to happen. Luckily, over the past three months, I had been planning to shoot a horror short in the coming weekend.
In the month after our first call, Andrew’s coverage people read the script and gave it a glowing review, Sean Bridgers (Deadwood, Sweet Home Alabama) read the script and fell in love with one of the characters, and Lucky McKee, the writer/ director of “The Woman,” wanted to come on board as an exec producer if Andrew went forward with the project. All of these things were good signs for the project, but Andrew still needed to see my short.
Once my horror short “Organ Grinder” was edited with the sound design and score complete, I sent Andrew a link to the movie one morning and waited. After an hour, he replied that he loved it! Whew! Now, he just had to figure out if he wanted to commit to the project.
Later that same night, Andrew called and offered me the terms for “Jug Face” to be made with myself as the director! It was an amazing moment for sure. I couldn’t believe it. I had spent almost eight years writing, and the hope of ever making it had grown dim.
It had been sixteen years since my first film class in college, and my dream was finally coming true.