Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robert Bella on “Colin Fitz Lives!”

What was your filmmaking background before making Colin Fitz Lives!?

ROBERT: Prior to making Colin Fitz Lives! I had never made a feature film, a short film or even a home movie. I have never taken any film classes, but I love movies. I was then and am still now an avid filmgoer.

What attracted you to the script?

ROBERT: Tom Morrissey's writing made me laugh outloud - which is a great thing. It still makes me laugh today after all these years.

How did you fund the film?

ROBERT: I reached out to a handful of friends who had an interest in being involved with independent film. Ultimately, I wound up maxing out 20 credits cards to get the film to Sundance. So I guess you could say that Visa, Mastercard and American Express are investors too. :)

What was your Sundance experience like?

ROBERT: Sundance was an incredible whirlwind of emotions all bundled up in winter wear and wild days and nights. It was an exciting ride that I will never forget. I was and still am honored that the film was invited to be a part of it all.

You used your credit cards to finish the film -- would you recommend that approach to other filmmakers?

ROBERT: OPM - Other People's Money.

Why did it take so long -- is it 13 years? -- for the film to be released?

ROBERT: So many vendors worked for little or no pay to help keep the initial costs down. The idea was that when the film sold they would be paid back. But the sales offers were never enough to cover all of the film's deferments and debt. So I had to buy the film out of hock over the last 14 ears before I could put it back out in the marketplace.

What was the smartest thing you did during the making of the film? The dumbest?

ROBERT: The smartest thing I did was surround myself with very talented and creative people and then let them do their jobs. The dumbest thing was using my own money.

And, finally, what did you learn from making the film that you can take to other projects?

ROBERT: Perseverance. Humility. Courage under fire. Respect for the contributions of others. Faith.

Follow Colin Fitz Lives! on Twitter @CFLives and on Facebook.

Available via Cable On Demand at IFC Films.

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