I've wanted to be a filmmaker for as long as I can remember. Since I was a kid, entertaining has been my life long ambition. And, although the movies that drew me to Hollywood were the bigger action movies like Star Wars and Superman, the comedies were what drew me towards the creative process. I was intrigued by telling stories from my own colorful life, using humor as the most effective medium.
My two strongest creative influences would be Woody Allen and Neil Simon. Both drew on their experiences and created humorous films and stories that were slices of their real lives. And both are Jewish and from New York, so I simply related to their humor, and their method of story telling. And on a deeper level, I think my love of comedies helped me see the world and all of my life experiences, no matter how serious or traumatic, in a jovial light. Because of my obsession with comedy, I live life more tongue-in-cheek than most people. And I die to make people laugh…and it comes out in my filmmaking.
I know that there has been a vast multitude of films about first-time filmmakers. And although 8 and Stuntman are brilliant, they reflect filmmaking on a grand scale. The two most influential films for me were indie classics Living in Oblivion and My Life's in Turnaround. They, like Redirecting Eddie, reflect the plight of the indie film world. It was and is my hope that this film will be seen as the third in an indie filmmaker's "trilogy" of must-see movies about making independent movies.
When I set out to create this film, I was tapping into my real-life struggle at the time--albeit creating caricatures of people in my own life to make them more colorful and exaggerated for dramatic and comedic effect. For example, my dearly loved sister, who is the basis for the character of "Warren," is not a maniacal, overweight, 40-year-old man. Even the character of "Oliver," the comic relief, was also based on me. I split my personality and gave "Eddie" my artistic side and "Oliver" my silliness. Then I brought in amazing screenwriter Avery Williams. We would kick around my real-life struggles and create metaphors and light-hearted scenarios that would allow the story to unfold.
Filming was an unbelievable experience. Nothing in film school can ever prepare you for the big show. I was nervous, learning as I was going, and I was juggling so many hats. The truth is, as grueling as it got at times--always fighting deadlines and scrambling to make my days–I realized that I was doing what I truly loved. And, the fact that I was surviving it, and making it all happen, was amazing in itself. I also learned that filmmaking is a team effort. I couldn't have done it without the help and support of my hardworking and awesome cast and crew. They helped me deal with the fact that life was imitating art and art was imitating life in uncanny ways. We were having difficulty making a movie about the difficulty of making a movie; the irony spoke volumes.
The final product reaches way beyond my expectations, or even my belief, when we were shooting it. If you love the process of filmmaking, Redirecting Eddie will inspire you. It will prepare you. It will educate you. It will entertain you. And it will provoke you to follow your dreams. If I can do it, you can do it. So go out and make that movie that's inside of you. The key is to never to give up when you are following your heart!!