This is the part where I ask you to give $10 to an independent film that I honestly believe is worthwhile, and that also happens to include my huge fat face for about 90 seconds.
The film is called “The Adults in the Room,” and it was made by my friend Andy Blubaugh. If you listened to the April 23 edition of “Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider,” you heard me and Andy talk about it.
It’s almost like two movies in one, a hybrid of a scripted film and a documentary. The scripted part is based on experiences Andy had as a teenager, when he dated a 30-year-old man named Peter. He hired actors to play his teenage self, Peter, his teachers, classmates, and so forth. But interspersed with that story are documentary scenes about the making of the very film that you are watching. In these scenes, Andy struggles with how to tell this very personal story, and reflects on whether he’s still, after all these years, somehow trying to impress Peter (who’s no longer in his life).
I’m in one of those scenes, talking to Andy about the problems he’s having with the production. I give him a pep talk full of wisdom and advice, as is my wont.
Now, you might be thinking the whole thing sounds rather salacious. I do not blame you! The description is provocative. So is the promotional photo that accompanies the film, a little bit. The film itself, however, is decidedly not salacious and not sensationalized. It has no sex or nudity. Andy’s point — which I think he pulls off pretty well — is to make us think about all this stuff. What makes 18 the magic age that a person is an adult? What really constitutes being an “adult,” anyway? When Andy was 16, he looked up to Peter as a grown-up. But Andy is now the same age that Peter was then, and being 30 doesn’t look so adult after all. Plus, Andy is now directing a film starring a 16-year-old actor, and he’s startled to realize how much influence he has over this kid simply by virtue of being an “adult” and a director. Lots of thought-provoking questions are raised. Certain elements of the based-on-a-true-story part might break your heart.
The movie is basically finished and has already screened, with no noticeable ill effects, at film festivals in Ashland, Sarasota, and Miami, with more dates to come. But another $6,000 is needed to finish-finish it: converting it to film, finalizing the sound mix, stuff like that. Then there are the expenses involved in submitting it to film festivals, promoting it, and so forth.
So they have a Kickstarter campaign going that ends this week. Kickstarter is an ingenious all-or-nothing fundraising system. Andy has set $6,000 as the goal, with May 15 as the deadline. If at least $6,000 in pledges has come in by that time, all the pledgers’ credit cards will be charged (it’s through Amazon; very safe and secure), and “The Adults in the Room” will get the money. But if they haven’t reached $6,000 by May 15, then nobody is charged, and the film gets nothing.
At the moment, they’ve got $4,630 in pledges. So there’s about $1,400 left to go, with less than four days remaining. The minimum pledge is $3. There are certain incentives for giving more — $25 will get you a DVD copy of the movie when it’s available, for example — but even $3 helps. I think $10 is a nice, round number, don’t you? If I had 140 readers, and if all 140 of them donated that much, the goal would be reached, and all the people responsible for the film would be very, very grateful.
Andy is a friend, and I’m in the movie for a couple minutes — but I wouldn’t be pimping it here if I didn’t honestly believe in its value. Trust me, I’ve been involved in stuff before that I’d have been embarrassed to promote, and hence didn’t. “The Adults in the Room” is worth a few bucks if you can spare it, and the money will go directly to a film project of great artistic, social, and emotional merit.
Also: My big fat face, on the silver screen, with sage words of advice coming out of it. You can’t put a price tag on that.
(Also: Yes, you can. Ten dollars.)
More about Andy and “The Adults in the Room,” from indieWIRE.
UPDATE: That was fast! Less than 24 hours after I posted this, the total had jumped from $4,630 to $6,375, well over the $6,000 goal! I don’t know how many of those last contributors came from here — other people involved in the film have been promoting it, too — but thank you to any who did. All money beyond the $6,000 mark still goes to the production, by the way, and will still be put to good use. (It’s not like they needed exactly $6,000 and not a penny more.) So you may still feel free to throw a couple bucks their way if you’re so inclined. But either way, the production will definitely be getting at least $6,000. Thank you for your support!