DIY FILMMAKERS: JULIAN STONE SAYS “FOLLOW THE BITCH”

[ THE MOVIE: ] “Follow the Bitch”
[ THE SCOOP: ] ^ A fresh, edgy comedy that pits the testosterone-soaked all male world of poker, beer, and cigars against the sharp insight of it’s first female participant. ^
[ SO, WHAT'S YOUR STORY? ] ^ I wrote for several years in the Hollywood studio system. After creating nothing but piles of paper, I decided it was time to make a feature film. I took the money from my studio jobs, sold my baseball card collection and made the film.
[ WHAT DOES THE TITLE MEAN? ] ^ “Follow the Bitch” refers to a type of poker that is played in the film. It’s a pretty common poker game, often played under other names such as “Follow the Queen” or “Follow Mary.”
[ WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A FILMMAKER? ] ^ “Star Wars” is the film that made me a filmmaker. I was thirteen when it first came out. The moment the Imperial Star Destroyer flew over the audience, I knew I wanted to make films.
[ WHAT WAS LEFT ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR? ] ^ There were three scenes in the script we never shot because we got behind schedule. Of the footage that was filmed, only a handful of lines were cut out of the final film. No complete scenes were omitted.
[ BUDGET, SCHEDULE, STATUS? ] ^ The film was shot for $120,000 dollars in just two weeks. Unlike a lot of independent films that tout their low budgets, I am talking about the final version that will open in Los Angeles on April 3. Not the one that no one sees before a major distributor steps in and spends a lot of money cleaning things up.
[ DID YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE ANYTHING BECAUSE OF THE BUDGET? ] ^ Not really, I shot the film in my own apartment, so I was able to get it pretty cheap. I couldn’t afford a name cast, so I put together a fantastic group of actors that I went to college with at the California Institute of the Arts.
[ WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE MAKING THE FILM? ] ^ Hard work and very little sleep, but incredibly exhilarating. I can’t wait to do it again. It all goes by in a flash, yet you go away with so many vivid memories.
[ WHAT'S THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE FILM? ] ^ We have been acquired by a small distributor out of New York called Gurney Releasing. We open April 3 in Los Angeles. After that, we intend to take it as far as it will go.
[ ANY ADVICE OR PEARLS OF BRILLIANT FILMMAKING WISDOM? ] ^ Whatever you do, don’t let anyone talk you out of making your film. There are lots of people who will try. Ignore them and go for it.
[ WAS IT WORTH IT? ] ^ Absolutely. Nothing compares to watching an audience laugh their heads off at something you’ve written.
[ WHAT NEXT? ] ^ I’ve finished a new script that I’d like to shoot this summer if we can raise the necessary funds. I’d love to work with as many of the same people as possible.
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Posted on March 30, 1998 in Interviews by
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