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Over the past few years, Zachary Quinto has established his acting rep by playing Sylar inHeroes, a couple of memorable roles on American Horror Story, and, of course, Spock in the last two Star Trek movies. So you could describe his transition into producing as, well, “logical.” Certainly it has gotten off to an encouraging start. Quinto produced director J.C. Chandor’s financial crisis movie Margin Call through the actor’s Before the Door company — the production outfit he runs with partners Corey Moosa and Neal Dodson — and exec produced Chandor’s Robert Redford-starring All Is Lost, which just screened at Cannes.
Through Behind the Door, Quinto has also produced the new film Breakup at a Wedding, a nuptials-themed comedy which is told through the lenses of the wedding videographers. Directed by Victor Quinaz and starring Quinaz’s brother Philip and Alison Fyhrie as the engaged couple this tale of a big-day-which-goes-horribly-awry is available on VOD from June 18.
Below, Quinto talks about Breakup at a Wedding and, below that, you can exclusively check out the movie’s new poster which was created by Tom Hodge (the designer responsible for the similarly eye-catching posters for The Innkeepers and Hobo With a Shotgun).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m guessing you’re kind of happy to be talking about something which doesn’t involve spaceships.
ZACHARY QUINTO: Well, I’ve been having a great time talking about all that stuff, too. No complaints! But it’s always good to promote other projects that I have going on. The great thing about this movie is that it really is a friends and family situation. We’ve known Victor and Anna (Martemucci, who cowrote the film with the Quinaz brothers) for years. And to be able to give them this opportunity and to bring all the other collaborators that they work with on a regular basis into the equation was really gratifying for us. One of our main tenets is providing opportnities for people that we’ve loved and have inspired us for a long time and Victor and Anna are certainly among them.
The wedding comedy is well-tilled ground. What attracted you to the project?
One of the other things that we’re really focused on at my production company is innovative storytelling, whether that means the story itself or the style in which the story is told. In this case, we felt like, yes, the wedding comedy has definitely been done and done very well by other people already. But what we felt was fascinating about this script was taking the found footage mode — that tends to be reserved for more horror, thriller, genre projects — and applying it to this more traditional romantic comedy.
We’re really excited to be working with Oscilloscope and obviously this poster that they’ve done up which is so incredible, to see all the faces of all of our friends in that kind of high art rendering, it’s really gratifying. It’s been all-round a really good experience and on the heels of everything else that I have going on.
This film is different in almost every imaginable way from Margin Call. Was it a similarly different experience in terms of producing it? Or were many of the challenges and problems the same?
It was very different to produce this, just simply based on the budget. I mean, Margin Call was about a $3.5M film and this is a half of a million dollar film. So we had less resources and less time. It was also different because it was our friends and literally their family—you know, Victor and Phil are brothers and Victor’s mom is in the movie and Anna’s mom is in the movie. It really was a friends and family affair. We had a lot of good times while making it but we basically holed ourselves up in a hotel out by JFK and just were there for pretty much two weeks banging away all hours and shooting multiple pages a day. It was definitely a briskexperience but luckily the style of the film allowed for that to happen. It was really fun, but definitely a brief encounter.
Did making this movie alter your own views on marriage at all?
[Laughs] Um…No. I think there’s a tremendous amount of heart in the film and I think the journey that Phil and Alison take in the movie is one that is very relatable in terms of people entering into that institution. But I would say my views on marriage are ambivalent at best anyway so I feel like it’s just sort of kept me in that same space.
What’s the one practical lesson you’ve learned as a producer?
Not to sit in meetings where they’re talking about actors and actors’ value. There are certainly things I’ve learned as a producer that no actor should ever know. And the way that we are talked about in financing meetings and casting meetings is one of them. So I recuse myself of those conversations with financiers until my business partners are able to handle that part of it and then I come in.
When you say the “value” of actors you mean their actual financial value to a project?
Yeah. You know, we all have a number attached to our name and that number is different domestically than it is internationally. It’s different in different territories and financiers really do break it down by those kind of metrics. It’s horrible because you’re talking about people and you’re talking about talented people and to hear them talked about in such a broad and impersonal way can be really disappointing.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, I feel like we’ve all got a number by our names one way or another.
Yeah, you’re right. I guess that’s true. It doesn’t make me feel any better. But thanks for trying!
April 24, 2013—Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Victor Quinaz’s debut feature, BREAKUP AT A WEDDING. A co-production of Zachary Quinto, Corey Moosa, and Neal Dodson’s Before The Door Pictures (MARGIN CALL, upcoming Cannes entry ALL IS LOST) and Anonymous Content (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, WINTER’S BONE), the film will be released on June 18th across all cable VOD and digital platforms, with select event screenings and a college tour leading up to the release
Seen through the lens of an ambitious wedding videographer (played by the director, Victor Quinaz), BREAKUP AT A WEDDING gives us the nuptials of Alison Jones (Alison Fyhrie) and Phil Havemeyer (Philip Quinaz, the director’s real-life younger brother) in all of its sprawling, messy, and often wildly inebriated glory. On the eve of their wedding, Alison gets cold feet and decides to break up with her fiancé Phil. But rather than face the embarrassment of calling off the ceremony, Alison suggests to Phil that they proceed with a sham wedding. Phil is more than game to try, secretly hoping that a surprise gift he has for Alison will ultimately change her mind.
BREAKUP AT A WEDDING was written and directed by Victor Quinaz. His then fiancé/now wife Anna Martemucci along with his brother Phillip Quinaz co- wrote the script and all three also appear in the cast of the ensemble feature. Quinaz and Martemucci said “We’re thrilled to be associated with a company we’ve long admired. Also honored that BREAKUP AT A WEDDING will have the distinction of being the Oscilloscope movie with the highest number of on-screen chocolate fountains.”
O-Scope’s David Laub and Dan Berger said, “BREAKUP AT A WEDDING perfectly captures the insanity surrounding most weddings and then amplifies it to the absurd and hysterical, yet somehow always manages to be both poignant and relatable. Victor and Anna are wonderfully talented and creative filmmakers and we’re delighted to be dipping into their chocolate fountain.”
Producer Zachary Quinto, further added, “Victor and Anna are innovative, articulate, and passionate about their ambitions, both creatively and professionally, and we are honored to bring their work to a larger audience”
BREAKUP AT A WEDDING is a PERIODS. film, directed by Victor Quinaz and written by Anna Martemucci, Victor Quinaz and Philip Quinaz. The film was a co-production with Scott Robinson’s Robinson Films, Inc. Quinaz and Martemucci are repped by United Talent Agency and Anonymous Content.
Following our release of RE:CREATION at the start of May, we released two more films (FOPS & EAST OF EDEN) leading up to the big Hollywood premiere of our newly edited feature film presentation of PERIODS. for the Hollyshort Film Festival at Grauman’s Chinese. A mountain of press and good wishes followed.
LA Times did a great feature on us and our favorite matador, Zachary Quinto. In the article Daniel Sol, one of the founders of the HollyShorts Festival, describes what we’re doing as “a really great case study of what modern indie filmmaking is all about today, utilizing the digital and social media tools to get high-quality content to the masses worldwide without having to spend an astronomical amount on overhead and marketing.”
It’s true we pay the crew and cast in pixie sticks and water.
The big night went swimmingly and the PERIODS. gang even learned a few things from the shorts that played beforehand like what Neil Labute thinks of homeless people (not good things) and how to kill a whorehouse full of hookers. Examiner.com thought “PERIODS. put an exclamation point on the night.”
We also dropped our latest short that same night, EAST OF EDEN, featuring everyone’s favorite twin, Penn Badgley.
The short was released exclusively on Movieline.com. “Sibling rivalry in pre-war Central California, the American dream, and… dick jokes? East of Eden is a staple tome known to every Lit major on earth, but the tale of two brothers caught up in family dramarama hasn’t been told quite like it is in Victor Quinaz’s new short film.” The short “breathes LOLs into Steinbeck’s heavy 20th century saga with a wink” and gives “Badgley a fantastic forum to flex his comic chops.”
The Huffington Post also reported, “The PERIODS. film collective has been specializing in quality, re-interpreted historical comedy films for a few years now, finding viral and critical success online, but recently some more high-profile names have joined their fold.”
After that it was off to the races as the film got picked up by Jezebel, Buzzfeed, Crushable (“Things get a little Mamet at one point when Caleb and his dad just keep calling each other “dick””), Vulture, Just Jared (“Directed by John Steinbeck” RIP), Videogum, front page of Funny Or Die, and of course our favorite user comments on the Internet, The Hairpin.
But the real cherry on top is that we have finally announced and shown the trailer to our first official feature film THE JONES/HAVEMEYER WEDDING coming in 2013. The film was produced by Anonymous Content (Eternal Sunshine, 50 First Dates) and ZQ’s Before The Door Pictures (Margin Call). We can’t tell you too much about it but we can tell you that it is really funny movie that is a completely new and fresh take on the standard issue wedding movie.
Summer ’12 might have been the summer of love for us, but fall is looking to be an all out lovefest as we wrap up of God series, G-CHATS, release our newest short LIL WOMEN featuring our favorite YouTube star Grace Helbig (Daily Grace, Attack the Show), and set our release date for THE JONES/HAVEMEYER WEDDING.
Keep following along, subscribe, and visit us on Facebook for more updates and new content. Get Your PERIODS. People!
The new PERIODS. starring Penn Badgley will premiere as part of our feature presentation that will open the 8th annual HollyShorts Film Festival that kicks off Aug. 9 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Other tidbits include that Grace Helbig of Attack The Show and Daily Grace on My Damn Channel will be featured in a short later in the fall and we will finally be announcing the title to our first feature film and premiering the trailer in front of our presentation.
Go over to the Hollywood Reporter for the full story.
On August 9th, 2012 PERIODS. Films will open the HollyShorts Film Festival with a feature presentation of our shorts at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (no, they do not serve egg rolls, racist). The evening will be hosted by Before The Door Picture’s own Zachary Quinto and the night will feature all kinds of surprise guests and special events.
“The ‘PERIODS.’ crew exemplifies what modern indie filmmaking is really all about – working together to create high quality content for global audiences while utilizing tangible digital tools and social media to promote and release the works to the masses,” said HollyShorts co-founders and co-directors Theo Dumont and Daniel Sol in a statement.
The PERIODS. feature presentation will chart the progress of man through time and space and culminate in a World Premiere of our latest short (the specifics of which we are keeping under serious wrap).
Like the hookers on Hollywood Blvd we are honored by the opportunity the HollyShorts Film Festival has given us.
Peep the full story at The Wrap and get your tickets now!
PS Rumor has it the trailer and title for the forthcoming PERIODS. feature film will be revealed. Okay, it’s not so much a rumor as it is us telling, yes, we’re doing that.
The front page of the Huffington Post and wedding section, Refinery 29, front page of Funny or Die, Spiltsider.com, and FailBlog.com; but it all started with this wonderful write up from one of our favorite blogs, The Hairpin.
“The historical improv comedy series (wait, keep reading!) that is PERIODS. is back with a new short film, “Viking Wives.” (“Being a viking is tough, being a viking wife is tougher.”) If you enjoy this, I’d also recommend “Pilgrims,” “Forefathers,” and “Edith Wharton’s Ethan Fromme.” They’re exactly like reading books; if you’re in high school, feel free to stay home today.”
Thank you, Edith, and thank you Internet. -Sincerely You’re a Dirty Ho
I got my introduction to PERIODS. from filmmaker Abe Greenwald who you may remember from his Screenshot. But this isn’t about him, this is about PERIODS. One of the most inventive, funny and truly charming web series I’ve seen. I credit the cast and crew and their spirit for making it as enjoyable to watch as it must be to create. Let’s find out from clever husband wife team Victor Quinaz and Anna Martemucci.
Describe PERIODS. in 140 characters or less
Anachronistic period pieces with costumes a show choir would die for. (We actually asked the internet and that’s what they told us).
PERIODS. is one of the most inventive ideas I’ve ever seen executed. How did you come up with it?
ANNA: We’ve been doing it about 2 years. After Victor mentioned pilgrims, the idea of people dressed up as pilgrims talking to each other like the vapid young Hollywood kids on reality shows (I was nursing an obsession with The Hills at the time) was too funny to us not to try to do something with it. And once we had Dasha on board for costumes, we knew it would look brilliantly pilgrim-y. The most fun thing though, was on the day, discovering that Phil and Alison had this crazy ability to recreate what felt like a real-life break up onscreen. That was mesmerizing to me.
VICTOR: A sweet filmmaker friend of ours offered us a house on a farm for a weekend and suggested we make a horror film. Not a huge fan of horror movies I half-joking retorted “how bout we make a period movie instead? About pilgrims. WTF?” It was later, when we started actually thinking of making a short together, that my wife and co-creator, Anna, came up with the idea of making the short incredibly anachronistic. We ended up shooting on a rainy Saturday in Prospect Park without much of even an outline and ended up having so much fun with everyone that we said ‘when can we do this again?’ And then we did it again and again. It’s a bit of an addiction for us, each idea trying to top the one before it. It wasn’t until the second film in the series (Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome) that we were able to use our friend’s farm upstate and it wasn’t until our third film (Before After) that NY Mag’s Vulture blog called us a comedy troop and deemed PERIODS. a web series.
How did you know that people would be into it? What gave you the confidence?
V: Confidence? I’m not even so sure people actually like them. We just keep making them. In all honesty, they work in a myriad of ways; we use them to develop our skills and confidence in all areas of filmmaking. They allow us to try things and not be so precious about every single choice. And they’ve enabled us to really find a collective comedy voice as unfunny as that sounds. Not to mention I get to put my little brother, Phil, in all sorts of unflattering getups. It really appeals to the big brother in me.
A: I am very confident in Victor’s ability to direct and Giovanni’s ability to shoot beautifully and edit, etcetera. Phil being what I consider to be a genius of an actor and improvisor was a not-so-surprising surprise. So there wasn’t confidence that people would like what we made, but there was a belief that we had an awesome team in place (also including Alison Fyhrie and Yamin Segal) and that this one small thing was funny in a way we hadn’t seen before; just meaning that we had never seen people dressed as Pilgrims talking in the way that people talk now. For me it was about wanting to see that one funny little thought brought to life. And then once we did it, it became a fun addiction to making more.
Ok funny guy and gal, but what do you do to put food on the table?
V: My day job was directing commercials which enabled us to make PERIODS. which led to making a feature film based on PERIODS. which is now my day job. Dogs and cats living together, total anarchy.
A: I’m a fit model. Which means I help clothing companies make their clothing fit better. With the aid of my body. I work by the hour, so luckily I often have time to write and buy hair accessories and/or wigs and/or conquistador helmets that don’t arrive in time for short films.
You have very cool jobs. I’m jealous. I imagine lots of people are. How do you get people to keep coming back when they walk around bemoaning the fact that you have way cooler jobs than they do?
V: This is the one thing that boggles my mind and keeps me up the nights we drop a new short.
A: Victor’s great on this end. He’s a passionate Internet promoter. Also, having everyone who is involved with making the series be genuinely excited about it and want to promote it online helps a lot. Having a friend who has a giant, rabid following of fans on twitter (cough-cough-Quinto) really helps.
V: I can’t even really say there is a strategy or specific thing we do. Our hit counts aren’t even as high as like a Vblogger that “life-casts” and puts on make-up every day in front of a YouTube audience of middle age men (you might want to ask her). In truth, we lucked out with the first short, YouTube picked it up and had it in a premiere slot on their Film and Animation page which led to other outlets like EW’s Pop Watch and Huff Post and Videogum posting it. Then we culled those contacts and basically just send around an email when a new short is out and pray that someone connects with it and posts it up. It doesn’t hurt to have Zachary Quinto (who we created the Before After videos around) tweeting it and showing it to his friends. We ended up forming a partnership with him and his company, and now have that infrastructure to help out. I think analytics wise we see the biggest push on our end coming from Facebook and then twitter. But the real deals are done outside of our control. It all comes down to being fortunate enough that someone likes and then posts our videos. That’s why I end every email now offering money and candy to anyone who will post our stuff. *(editorial note: that’s true)
You’re making it sound too easy, tell me something that’s difficult about putting PERIODS. together.
V: These shorts are designed to be crafted around what we have (and to not spend money). We have a park, a pond, a willow tree, and oregano; BAM! we now have FOREFATHERS. So nothing is too difficult concerning production because we do it all as a team within our means.
A: We are so lucky to have this incredible group that kind of blossomed up around us after we did the first film. And everyone’s role in making the things evolves a bit with each film, which is fun. It’s like a little creative family that comes together every few months and sacrifices their time to make something we can all be excited about.
V: We also have an amazing talent in our costumer, Dasha Martikainen. I think Anna and I both recognize the game we’re playing as making Dasha happy. And the way to make Dasha happy? Esoteric period garb. So she gets to play, we get to play, and the actors get to smact. We also have probably some of the best shooters in the bizzle. As well as Giovanni P Autran and Charlie Porter who could edit your wedding video into a marquee feature. And of course our production partners Zach’s Before The Door Pictures (who we made our feature with) and Scott Robinson to call in the egg sandwiches.
You can read the article HERE.