The stars of Colin Fitz Lives appear to be Matt McGrath and Andy Fowle, but there’s a wealth of other recognisable and well-liked faces throughout this trailer. Pay close attention to the clothes and hairstyles – for reasons that will become obvious later/will strike you as obvious right away.
Is that trailer hilarious? No. But then, they rarely are – I think comedy can need a bit of a run-up to work properly. It seems quite absurdly sweet though.
Note that Harry Knowles’ cameo is quickly followed by a quote from Aint It Cool News – “A Cult Hit”. I went to the site to find the full review… and did a face-palm about five seconds later.
What I learnt immediately is that Colin Fitz Lives is some years old n0w. Am I that ignorant of fashions and aging faces that I couldn’t see this? Knowles’ review was from 1997. In it, he says that Robert Bella, the man behind Fitz, is “a director with a future”. What he didn’t know is how much of that future would be taken up with this one film.
Over at the Wall Street Journal I found this timeline of how the film went from conception, through Knowles in ’97, and on to our screens in 2010:
July 1, 1996 — Robert Bella decides to make Colin Fitz Lives; William H Macy and Matt McGrath agree to star.
September 16, 1996 — Principal photograph commences and wraps up two weeks later on October 1. Most of the time is spent shooting in the pouring rain in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. The film was shot on 35mm and cost $150,000.
Mid-November 1996 – The Sundance Film Festival comes calling…and wants a 35mm print in Park City in eight weeks. Bella maxes out his 20 (!) credit cards to the tune of $100,000 to rush-finish his film.
January 1997 — Colin Fitz Lives makes a splash at Sundance, where the media marvels at how Bella was able to make a film from conception to completion in six months. Bella consequently gets an agent, a lawyer and a publicist and moves to Los Angeles.
1997 to 2003 — Bella is forced to pass on various distribution offers until he is able to get the film out of hock (no deal offered enough money to cover the cost of finishing the film). Four other projects fail to come to fruition.
Mid-2000s – Bella moved back to New York and makes a living by working in the theater. He is finally able to pay off his personal debt after eight years. Bella consequently teaches himself Final Cut Pro, re-edits the film and records new audio.
August 2010 – Colin Fitz Lives is finally released via video on demand.
The least we* can do now is watch it, surely?
*Being in the UK, I can’t join in. Very disappointing.
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