Monday, January 28, 2008

When Good News Feels Bad

I just got word that a film called HAMLET 2 was sold for $10M at Sundance. I believe it's the second largest Sundance purchase price of all time, following LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, which sold for $10.5M. Great News! The general story lines for HAMLET 2 and ODD BRODSKY seem similar. This validates the fact that there's a market for this right kind of movie right now, which is also good. And of course I'm sure our films are actually quite different.

So if this is all such good news, why do I feel bad? Because I pride myself on innovative ideas. I hate that this other film will have come out first, even though I know these things happen all the time. In fact, it happened with my first feature PURGATORY HOUSE. And that was a much worse situation because we shot our movie a year before the film THIRTEEN was shot, but because THIRTEEN was released before us, critics and audiences thought THIRTEEN gave us the idea for our movie. It was frustrating for many reasons. But at the end of the day, it helped our movie reach a wider audience. And I have a feeling that HAMLET 2's success can be a great thing for us too. Now I need to be a good business woman, and use this fully to our advantage.

The coincidences between ODD BRODSKY and HAMLET 2 do seem a bit uncanny though: Both films star aspiring actors who have no talent. (There's is a guy, ours is a gal). In their film the high school puts on a re-invented production of "Hamlet". (I believe this is the climax of the whole film). In ours, the third grade class puts on a production of Hamlet. (Thankfully it's just a VERY tiny part of our film, but how crazy is that?!) In their film Hamlet 2 is a musical, which incorporates time travel and Jesus. We also have a musical in our film (but ours is a very minor sub-plot) that's called "Hell is Here: The Musical", which stars God. (So they have Jesus, and we have God). Our film stars Rachel Dratch from SNL, and theirs features Amy Poehlar from SNL. AND I had Amy Poehlar in mind to play one of our roles (Zoey, the angry angel). It sounds like the tone of their film is more broadly over-the-top and sarcastic, where ours is a more quirky with earnest, likable characters. I know these movies will be entirely different, but the similarities are just too crazy not to mention.

I'm sure this is all REALLY good news, and this happens all the time. But right now I'm feeling as blue as that darn Sundance Logo.

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