Monday November 4,
A still clipped from the
Tim Orr's cinematography is
The first postcard
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.
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
You work out?
Yeah, some. Nothing
Good, 'cause I can't
stand fat cops.
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.
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
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.
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.
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;
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
will premiere on November 14th at the
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