In this industry, I meet a lot of people who talk a lot of shit. “This industry" meaning the film industry. Most heard: “Love your idea, let’s get together and talk about it,” “Send me your script and I’ll pass it to the right people,” “I’d love to be a part of this, let’s do it,” but chances are they just want those free mimosas coming and have time to kill. That film you’re putting your soul into and trying to get off the ground ain’t happening unless you meet the right people or luck strikes.
As a a film critic / sort-of-film-producer, I've lived in Los Angeles and New York back-to-back and witnessed this on numerous occasions. Ideas get pitched daily — hell, probably hourly — but some folks don’t have the balls to pass, they just say “Let’s do it!” and then when things pick up and get more serious, forget to answer the phone every single time you call.
So it's exciting to learn that former Fort Worth filmmaker Andrew Disney (no relation to Walt unless I missed that on one our many conversations) made a movie called Balls Out. I know what you’re probably thinking and no it’s not a prison comedy starring has-beens Rob Schneider and Andy Dick. Disney actually managed to score a solid cast. It is a comedy of a smarter kind and stars Jake Lacy (the handsome lead opposite Jenny Slate in last year’s hit, Obvious Child), Nikki Reed (who co-wrote the semi-autobiographical Thirteen at 13-years-old, and managed to get Holly Hunter to co-star and snag an Oscar nomination), Kate McKinnon (co-starring in Paul Feig’s upcoming all-girl supernatural-fighting comedy Ghostbusters with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig), and a few other players.
Balls Out had its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in New York and was picked up by Orion Pictures, a small company that produced movies from small-time directors you may have heard of: Woody Allen, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme, Oliver Stone, Kevin Costner, and many others, and won Best Picture at the Academy Awards for movies like Platoon, Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, and Amadeus. I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of those little gems, too.
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Orion eventually folded but was resuscitated by MGM pictures (that one conglomerate with the lion that roars before a movie starts) to keep the company going.
Formally titled Intramural (a much better title that I guarantee Disney had no say on changing), Balls Out will release in select theaters and on VOD in on June 19, in just a few weeks.
For more information on Disney and what he’s up to, head to his production company, Red Productions, which is backed by one of Dallas’ prominent college.
Dreams do come true, you can’t just keep talking about them.