POST PRODUCTION JOURNAL


Monday  November 4, 2002

FAT COP


A still clipped from the
second answer print.
Tim Orr's cinematography is mighty fine.



The first postcard

If you work for a distributor or some other big-shot company or if we think you're cool and might appreciate our booze-addled micro-marketing schemes, you have already received a postcard with the above graphic on the obverse.

So what is this "FAT COP?" It all started as a line in Mike Jones' screenplay. When Francis and Morning are riding around together for the first time, Morning observes that his new partner "looks fit."

                   MORNING
         You work out?

                   FRANCIS
         Yeah, some. Nothing too intense.

                   MORNING
         Good, 'cause I can't stand fat cops.

On a couple of other occasions Morning says "fat cop," referring with mischievous contempt to corpulent colleagues. These latter instances were all ad-libs by Bill Sage, who made "fat cop" a signature line for Officer Morning. It thus becomes one of the fine threads that weaves itself into the fabric of the film.

As is true with most independent films, it is difficult to sum up what EvenHand is about in a couple of sentences. And you can't try and promote this kind of film the way I pitch it at cocktail parties: "It's what a cop movie would be like if it were made by an indie filmmaker." Slightly tipsy people sometimes find that funny, but I assume that distributors won't.

This led me to search the film itself for snatches of dialogue that contained a kernel of truth about a character or mood. Mike's script was rich in absurd and poignant dialogue, the most biting of which is uttered by edgy Officer Morning. The resulting collection of phrases and statements have become sort of a shorthand for what the film is about. They don't really sum it up in any way, but each is a small piece of the puzzle, and together they begin to provide some focus on what this film is about.

Once I had the idea of using lines of dialogue as a marketing tool, it was a short step to "fat cop" as the first quote. It's concise, provocative, mean, intriguing and silly. Mix all those adjectives together, add a shot of whiskey, a pair of handcuffs and a gun, and you've got Officer Morning.


Postcard #2

The second postcard (above) includes a still from the film. As tempting as it was to print up a series of postcards with just big bold quotes on them, movies are a visual medium and you have to give more than just lines of dialogue to get folks to the theater. In the indie world, there's a significant danger that people won't believe that you actually shot any footage.

The third postcard won't be sent out until November 6th, so I won't reveal it here until it's in the hands of the intended recipients. If you want to receive all three of these special cards, leave a nice message about the EvenHand website on the Cypress Guest Book and then email us and we'll mail the full collector's set to you. Sort of like getting in on the ground floor of the Star Wars phenomenon and scoring a prototype of the Yoda doll. Sort of. Again, time will tell if I am a fookin' genius or a fookin' moron.


Donald whines about the 'possum; Francis listens

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Part two of today's journal entry -- in what I am hoping to establish as the "nice things people who are not related to me have said about my film" category -- is the blurb about EvenHand from the AFI Fest 2002 catalogue. In addition to being complementary, I think it's really well written. I might just see if Amy minds if we steal it as our synopsis.

"You wanna help people? You arrest them. That's what you do; you're a cop." Those are the words of wisdom Officer Ted Morning offers new partner Officer Rob Francis during his first week on the job in San Lovisa, Texas.

Equal parts cocky high school quarterback and rugged cowboy, Morning (Bill Sage) finds joy in the minutiae of small town cop life, flashing a lurid grin while he lights a prostitute's cigarette or manhandles a teenage dope dealer. Francis (Bill Dawes) is quickly dubbed "Saint Francis" by civilians who can't help but compare his mellow nature to Morning's rabid bullying. Although seemingly polar opposites, the two partners slowly adjust to each other's style in the midst of the unpredictable aggression that punctuates the slow atmosphere of country life.

Directed by Joseph Pierson, EVENHAND is a methodically paced and devastating film that follows Officers Francis and Morning around San Lovisa as they eat muffins, investigate automobile accidents and ultimately recognize that danger and boredom are hazardous bedfellows.
                                                                                                -Amy Nicholson

I especially like that last line.

We were thinking of offering cassettes of EvenHand to the press for press screenings at the AFI Fest, but I got freaked out by the idea of the press watching the film before the premiere and ruining the big moment by saying something uncomplimentary and publishing it in advance of the premiere. That would suck, but giving the press a chance to see the film ahead of time is a great way to generate buzz for your film in advance of it's big debut. There's certainly a risk, but have a little faith in your film for goodness sake. The press screeners will go out this afternoon.

- Joseph Pierson
 


EvenHand will premiere on November 14th at the

Tickets on sale now!

Visit our AFI FEST 2002 PAGE for details


To buy our original September 11th memorial T-shirt, CLICK HERE.
All profits go to charity.


next:  I GOT SEA MONKEYS


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