Tacoma filmmakers relocate to Park City
March 4, 2011
Joe Rosati’s and Scott Stone’s decision to move to Park City from Tacoma, Wash., started with a film called "The Perfect Life."
The two, along with writer/director Chad Ruin, conceived, wrote and shot the film last year.
"The Perfect Life" is about a homeless man named Brian, played by Rosati, who recalls his former life, which included the perfect wife, family, house and career.
"As the film continues, though, the audience begins to wonder if Brian is really remembering his past or making it up," said Rosati, who also produced the film. "Because of the way he narrates the story, the scene could be a figment of his imagination."
"The story started out as a linear script and turned into a non-linear story," Stone said. "It kind of took on a life of it’s own."
Rosati, who had known Stone, the film’s director of photography, since high school, introduced him to Ruin early last year.
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"I had told Joe about this story that I concocted and he insisted I meet Chad," Stone said. During the introduction, Ruin, who was working on six other projects at the time, explained he wasn’t a collaborator and preferred to work alone.
"He then said he was going to put everything on the back burner and work exclusively on scripting my story, which he said he had been waiting for all his life," Stone said.
After the script was completed, Stone and Rosati tried to sell the script to studios in Los Angeles.
"While we were shopping it around, we developed an overwhelming preference to make the film ourselves instead of just selling the script," Stone said. "On the way back from L.A., we decided we needed to make the film."
Ruin suggested Rosati to be the film’s protagonist.
"The next thing we knew, we were in pre-production for ‘A Perfect Life,’" Stone said. "We were surprised at how quickly the film came together once we made the decision to do it ourselves."
The film was originally set in Seattle, Rosati said.
"We realized we could do it much cheaper if we shot it in Tacoma," he said. "We had more resources there than Seattle, and it was easier to do networking because we grew up in Tacoma."
Shooting was scheduled to begin in June, which gave them time to experiment with an array of cameras.
"We decided to use the Cannon EOS 7D," Rosati said. "Scott found it online and it was only $2,000, which is a far cry from the $40,000 camera we would have had to use if we made the film a year earlier."
After completing the shoot, Ruin began to edit, and Stone and Rosati relocated to Park City.
"At that point, Scott and I needed a break from the Northwest," Rosati said. "We were in ruts in our relationships and after spending a good 10 years up there making films, we felt there wasn’t anything more we could do up there. We felt if we were going to grow as artists and individuals, we needed a change."
One of the reasons they chose Park City was its connection to the Sundance Film Festival.
"We were also considering Los Angeles," Stone said. "However, Sundance, being the seat of indie cinema, seemed like the appropriate place to start."
During this year’s festival, the two were amazed to see how many films were shot with a Cannon EOS 7D.
"It was so impressive to hear from the filmmakers and see how the technology was being implemented by a more experienced crew filming an A-list casts," Stone said.
"It was amazing and fascinating to sit in a Q&A session after a film to learn how they did things on a bigger level," Rosati said. "It helped us realize we were on the right track."
The initial plan was to submit "A Perfect Life" to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
"We were running late on the editing and we didn’t want to enter an incomplete film," Rosati said. "So we submitted it to the Cannes Film Festival.
They also submitted the film to the Seattle and Los Angeles Festivals.
"We’re looking at an average of one film festival per month through November," Stone said. "We also have submitted the trailer to some distributors and we’re overwhelmed by the response."
So far the filmmakers have no plans to screen the film in Park City, Rosati said. "We have to be careful that we aren’t violating any rules by showing it before it’s screened during a film festival. If we do end up screening it, we’re pretty sure it would have to be a private screening."