Spotlight: Screwball – The Ted Whitfield Story

  • 1. Introduce yourself and your film
    My name is Tommy Reid and I directed and produced Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story, a mockumentary/spoof on the backyard sport of Wiffle-ball where the Greatest Wiffle Ball player of all time attempts to break the home run record.

    2.  How did you become interested in filmmaking?
    I became interested in filmmmaking in my early teens. I would film my friends having dunk contests on a lowered basketball net and we would then all “rate the dunk”. This got me interested in making movies at a young age. I loved playing with cameras and capturing content.

    3.  Tell us about your inspiration and vision for the film.
    My vision and inspiration came from a variety of movies. I researched many of Christopher Guest’s films (Spinal Tap, Best In Show, Waiting For Gufman) and then I would watch The Natural, Nine Men Out, and Bull Durham over and over to see how the camera would move to capture to essence of the scene.  I wanted to make a hybrid of documentary and conventional filmmaking styles.

    4.  What were some of the biggest challenges in making and completing the film?
    The biggest challenge we faced was time. We shot this film in 11 1/2 days. Some days we had to average 9-11 pages per day and with a lot of action on the wiffle ball field. We had to be very creative in how we did our stunts (the dime scene) and how we moved the camera and the lens used to make sure we were getting enough coverage for the scene.

    5. If this is your 1st film, what will you take away from the experience that you can apply to the next?
    The first film I produced and directed was STRIKE (Anchor Bay). I had to prepare my shot list, and storyboards. What I took away is that, you will never get exactly what you want, you need to get what you know will make the scene work and keep moving on. You can edit forever, but at the end of the day you have to walk away and move on. I wanted everything to be perfect but it never will be. What I took away was: make yourself happy as the director and it will show in the edit bay.

    6.  What’s next?
    I have a big film coming out that I produced called KILL THE IRISHMAN which took me 13 years to make. I produced it with nothing but my passion and it will come out in theatres March 11, 2011 (Anchor Bay). The next film I’m directing and producing is an adaptation of the book THE BAD ROOM. Its a thriller/horror in the vein of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest meets Saw.

    7.  In the spirit of independent cinema and Gravitas Ventures, what is your favorite indie film?

    October 13th, 2010 | Joe Wilka |

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  • World Spinner 10.13.2010

    Spotlight: Screwball – The Ted Whitfield Story – Gravitas Ventures…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……