? of the day: What's do you know about "the Oh in Ohio"?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 03/19/2006 - 21:44.
I just saw in the PD today a write-up about "The Oh in Ohio" premiering at SXSW - the write up makes it sound like they are giving Cleveland good press - so far the reviews of the movie look mixed to favorable. I saw them shooting around Coventry (this looks like VidStar) and Case, so I really look forward to seeing this. Who around realneo worked on the film - has seen it - met an actor - has a story to tell...
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What PD Blog about Oh in Ohio, from Austin

Sounds good to me... look forward to the big Cleveland premier... anyone know when that is... and why this wasn't in the Cleveland FIlm Festival?

From the PD blogging from Austin:



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This ain't no Cleveland joke, Bubba
Cleveland took a bow last night in Austin.
"The OH in Ohio,” director Billy Kent’s feature debut about a woman on a hilarious quest for sexual fulfillment in Northeast Ohio, made it’s world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival at a packed screening at the historic Paramount Theater just a few blocks from the Texas Capitol. Much of the movie – which stars Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Mischa Barton, Danny DeVito and Liza Minnelli – was shot in Cleveland over five weeks in the fall of 2004.

Kent, producer Amy Salko Robertson, actress-producer Miranda Bailey and other members of the cast and crew were in Austin for the premiere. And they spent a lot of time talking up Cleveland, raving about the city’s lakefont views and locations and touting it as a great place to make movies.


Miranda Bailey, left, and Parker Posey in a scene from "The OH in Ohio." Note Cleveland Browns Stadium in the background. (The OH in Ohio Photo)

There are lots of shots of Cleveland in the film – including beautiful, panaromic views of the skyline that will warm the hearts of civic boosters. The last two buzz movies shot locally – “Welcome to Collinwood” and “American Splendor” – reveled in Cleveland’s down-and-out reputation and Rust Belt vistas. “The OH in Ohio” gives a cameo to “American Splendor’s” quintessential Cleveland nerd, Toby Radloff. But Kent makes frequent use of wide shots and landscapes that make the city glow, using it as a metaphor for the rebirth of the movie’s principal character, played by Posey.

“Cleveland has been a butt of lot of jokes in movies,” said Kent in a Q&A session with the audience after the screening. “That was not our intention. We had other things to joke about in this movie. There are just a lot of cool things in Cleveland. It has a real rock ‘n’ roll sensibility and the water makes it a great location. Even if you aren’t shooting the lake, it gives the landscape a physical presence and beauty.”

“It was important for us that it look beautiful,” said Robertson. “It has had a rebirth, like our character, so it was intential on the part of writers.”

Parker Posey plays Priscilla, “the prettiest girl in Cleveland.” She seems to have it all: A husband, a beautiful home, a high-paying job as a recruiter trying to lure business and jobs to Northeast Ohio. She’s got one problem. She’s never been that interested in sex. In fact, she’s never had an orgasm. She hasn’t given it much thought. But her husband, played by Paul Rudd, certainly has. When he finally snaps, leaving her to pursue a steamy affair with a smart, young woman played by Mischa Barton, Posey emarks on her own epic quest for satisfaction.

The comedy also stars Danny DeVito as Wayne the Pool Guy, an affable, but wise old schlub who is such a salesman that he’s made a fortune installing in-ground swimming pools in Cleveland. (That’s about as close as the movie comes to an old-school Cleveland joke.) Liza Minelli does a hilarious turn as a flamboyant, Richard-Simmons-style masturbation guru. Heather Graham has a small role as the earnest, very-customer-service-oriented owner of a sex-toy boutique.

After the SXSW screening, we sat down for a question-and-answer session with actress Miranda Bailey, who plays Posey’s zany co-worker and quirky muse in the movie. Bailey starred in the critically acclaimed NBC mini-series, “The 60s” and in the indie horror film-comedy “Dead and Breakfast.” She is also a partner in Ambush Entertainment, a production company in Los Angeles.

In a separate interview, we also talked with director Billy Kent and writer Adam Wierzbianski. Kent has directed more than 180 commercials and 11 short films. His short films have been praised for their inventive comic style. Wierzbianski is Kent's childhood friend. The two have collaborated on a variety of film projects for years. When he isn't writing screenplays, Wierzbianski is the managing director of the largest Polish daily newspaper in America, Nowedziennik.

Here's what they all had to say.

MIRANDA BAILEY ON "THE OH IN OHIO"
Q: Let me ask you about Cleveland first. How much time did you actually spend in Cleveland?

A: I personally spent about seven weeks there. But we shot there for most of the movie. We shot there for five weeks. And we also shot in Los Angeles because we also want to bring films to Los Angeles because everybody is going to Canada as well. So we shot the last part there.

Q: What was your experience like in Cleveland? Did you have a good time? A bad time? What do you remember most about it?

A: I think I had good and bad times there. They had phenomenal food there. They’ve got really, really good restaurants. And the bad times was I stationed right downtown near the bus station with a bunch of crack addicts that would like fight at like 3 a.m.

Q: And the weather?
A: The weather. We did a lot of the shots in offices that used because they had these really big windows. Jacobs Field was right outside the window. It was great. Unfortunately, we had foggy days every day we had the window shots.

Q: Yeah. Not much sun in Cleveland.
A: It was tough. Of course, other days were perfect. The day we shot the Jacobs Field scene it was good weather.

Q: A lot of talk in Cleveland about the film industry is whether we have the movie-making infrastructure, enough trained crew to make a Hollywood movie. Did you have a good experience with that?
A: Absolutely. The Cleveland Film Commission did a really great job getting us there. They really hustled. They got us a lot of locations. We had Jacobs Field. I can’t say anymore about that. That’s like the money of the movie besides the orgasm.

Q: The skyline shots were great, too. Usually Cleveland is depicted as a very gritty place.
A: We didn’t want to do that. Everybody does that. There is a rebirth in that city. They are trying to bring it back to life. And it is being brought back to life. The downtown district and the House of Blues. Things are opening up there and it’s really great.

Q: You were balancing producing here and acting. How did that go for you?
A: Actually, it was really good. Because what I did on this on movie as opposed to “Dead and Breakfast” was I was producing from the beginning, before we went to Cleveland. I was very involved in the developing of the script and getting all of the LA crew put together. But I said to the other proudcers and they agreed, that once I landed in Cleveland, I was an actor. If there were problems, they might come to me with them. But for the most part, they let me act. Once I got back to LA, I was in producing mode again.

Q: What about the sides of you that you have to use for producing and acting. The producing side is very creative, but not in the same way as acting.
A: Yeah. It’s weird. I have two sides to my personality. One side is really free-spirited and creative and can go there. And acting really serves that for me. But I’m also meticulously organized and I love business. So the producing side feeds that. I’m not really an actor who is someone who can just act. I love to produce also. I love to start it from the beginning and follow it all the way through, sales, distribution and everything.

Q: The role you play in “The OH in Ohio” is an archetype in comedy movies. The goofy friend. How did you approach it as an actor?
A: It’s weird because this is the first movie for Parker where she is the straight person. She really needed me to be the character role. She was really great and I learned so much from her. She had talks with me. She was like, ‘Your role is so much harder because you have to bring this wackiness to it that isn’t in the straight person.'


Q: Did you get to work directly with DeVito?
A: As a producer I did. But as an actor I learned so much from Danny when I watched him in his scenes. Particularly in the one instance where we do the close up shots at a pool. It was really really cold outside. And he had to do these scenes to Parker but Parker was not there. It was really cold outside and Parker was not in the pool, where the scene is set. He was so like she was there. He has so much experience. I’m at the very beginning stages of ever learning to do that.

Q: He’s not the leading man type. But there is a spark in his eyes. Something special.
A: I had a friend of mine from New York watching the dailies. And she was like, ‘I’m very attractive to Danny Devito!’ He’s kind of loveable everyman.

Q: Paul Rudd has a tough role in this movie. The man who can’t satisfy his wife.
A: That was a really hard role to cast. A lot of actors that we went to weren’t comfortable with it because they were not the man who gave the girl an orgasm. We needed someone who doesn’t care about that and who is actor and who really wants to do this. It’s a very rich role. He goes through a midlife crisis but it’s not that stereotypical male midlife crisis. It’s more complex.


Q: Were you on set when Liza shot her scene?
A: Yes! Oh my god. She is phenemonal. That woman is incredible. That is my favorite scene in the movie. She is an icon. As small as this role is, she takes up the whole screen. She went there. She was freespirted about it.

Q: Do you think this is a mainstream, accessible movie given the topic.
A: You know, I do. But I live in LA. The idea of orgasms or women going on sexual explorations isn’t offensive in any way. But I have learned through this process that not everyone thinks that way. It’s funny. It’s in every Cosmo magazine. `Unsatsifed with your man!?’ `How to get sexed up for your man!’ This movie addresses those issues in the same way. But the humor of this movie sells it.

BILLY KENT AND ADAM WIERZBIANSKI ON "THE OH IN OHIO"
Q: Lets start out talking a little bit about Cleveland.

KENT: Sure, I love Cleveland.
WIERZBIANSKI: A: Not as much as I do!
KENT: Adam loves it the most!

Q: So tell us. What is is your thing about Cleveland, Adam?
WIERZBIANSKI: I have just had an unexplained fetish for Cleveland since I was like 9 years old. I got my first transitor radio for Christmas. I remember this clear as day. And I went into my aunt’s bedroom and turned it on and the first song that came on was a Raspberries song. It was the greatest thing I’d ever heard and I had to find out everything there was to know about this band. And from then on, I had a thing for Cleveland.

Q: You know that Eric Carmen still lives in Cleveland.
WIERZBIANSKI: Oh, yeah. We tried to cast him. He came to the office and saw that the part he was going to audition for was an aging hippie and he said, ‘I’m not hippie, I’m a rocker!
KENT: And he walked out. We wanted him to play the psychiatrist the husband and wife go to for sex counseling.
WIERZBIANSKI: I just saw the Raspberries last summer in New York. It was incredible. Springsteen was there. Jon Bon Jovi. Kiss. It was a star-studded crowd. But yeah, I’ve had girlfriends from Cleveland. Some of my favorite girlfriends are from Cleveland. And I love other bands from Cleveland – the Dead Boys, the Pretenders.

Q: The genesis of this story then was a collaboration between the two of you?
KENT: Yeah. We were talking about making a relationship film that then became a movie about sexual disfunction.
WIERZBIANSKI: I wanted to write a movie about sex. I didn’t know what, but I knew that I was missing that in movies.
KENT: And we wanted to set it somewhere that wasn’t obvious because the city ends up being a character in the movie.
WIERZBIANSKI: And we wanted to give Cleveland its due because it is always the butt of jokes.

Q: The last two big indie films made in Cleveland were “American Splendor” and “Welcome to Collinwood.” Both of those movies revel in Cleveland’s Rust Belt stereotypes.
KENT: We didn’t want to do that. The city was in integral character in the film and we wanted it to look good. It wasn’t a joke in the movie.
WIERZBIANSKI: The lead character really loves her town. We had to cut a lot of that out of the final movie. But she really loves Cleveland.

Q: You can tell from the picture. She is an indie cheerleader for Cleveland. The jokes you do make about the town, like casting Danny DeVito as man who gets rich as an in-ground pool salesman in Cleveland are pretty funny.
KENT: It wasn’t as funny as trying to find locations in Cleveland that had pools!

Q: So how did the shoot go? How was the working relationship with the Cleveland Film Commission?
KENT: They were amazing. (Film Commission Executive Director) Chris Carmody and his crew were fantastic. When we made inquiries about filming there, they did a lot more then just send information. They were really interesting in asking how they could make it happen. They just gave us so much. We really didn’t want this movie to go to Toronto, where we would be having Toronto doubling for Cleveland. They were integral to allowing us to get great locations and keep the movie in Cleveland.

Q: Does the city have the infrastructure to support making Hollywood movies, enough trained crew, things like that?
KENT: You know, you make a movie and you go down this road with a whole bunch of people you haven’t met before. And I was really, really impressed by their dedication for the film. Was everybody the best and at the top? Probably not. But you can be in LA and have the best crew people who are not dedicated to your film or interested in it. You are not getting anything out of them. They are just punching the clock …There are a lot of people in Cleveland who were in the film business in Los Angeles and New York who have moved back there for family reasons or whatever. And they are incredibly skilled people and capable. And many of them were filmmakers, not just an electrician. It was very nice to have them around.

Q: OK, let’s talk a little bit about the movie. You’ve got a great cast here. You got Liza Minnelli as a sort of Richard Simmons-style masturbation guru. You’ve got Parker Posey and Danny Devito. How did that come together?
KENT: A very good friend of both of ours introduced us to Parker and she loved the script. This is going back to 2002. Once she weas on board, people began to take notice.

Q: You’ve got people in roles that they are not normally associated with. Even Parker hasn’t done the lead role in a comedy like this.
KENT: Absolutely. And I think she does a great job. She is so confident and careful and makes great choices. She is so great to work with.

Q: Ok, the subject matter. Orgasms. Can this movie play the multiplex?
KENT: While we were in development, we got a few people who wanted to make this movie for different sized budgets. And the kinds changes they wanted were funny. They either wanted to raunch it up or completely tame it down. And we didn’tunderstand what the taming down was. Adam and I always joked that they would say, ‘I’ll make your movie but it has to be that she cant raise her souffle!’ And we were like, ‘This used to be about sex but it’s a cooking picture now!’ We decided early on that this wasn’t going to be a raunchy film, that this was going to be a film that was accessible. It wasn’t our intention with the story to shock people or come up with perverse or perverted things for them to do on camera. That doesn’t serve the story. It wasn’t the right tone for the comedy.

Q: How was it directing Danny DeVito?
KENT: It was amazing. He was a very giving actor. The first thing he said to me was, ‘I’m here to work for you. Once he said that, we talked about how he likes to work and walked through how each scene would be. He had it. Once an actor has it, the director’s job is to make sure the thing doesn’t go off the tracks, just to stay awake and be there. He brings everybody’s game up because he’s so perfect as an actor.

Q: Liza Minnelli. Let’s talk about that scene – the masturbation seminar.
KENT: That is very brief scene but it took a whole day to shoot. There was a lot we had to talk about and a lot she had to do. We spent a day together basically creating an entire backstory for this character that comes through in this performance. And she was able to improvise and bring so much to it.

Q: So let’s talk about the future of this movie. You are looking at distribution channels now.
KENT: They are in talks with distributors at the moment and it’s looking good. We’re hoping it will get a reasonably good release. This movie has a lot of good luck because a lot of good work has gone into it. We hoping it will be released in a lot of different cities, including Cleveland, this summer.

Q: The Cleveland International Film Festival is about to get underway. Why isn’t the film showing there.
KENT: I don’t know to be honest with you. I love that festival. I’ve had short films there in the past. We’re sort of out of the loop in that kind of stuff. Let the producers field that question. I know we want to do a big premiere in Cleveland. I’m hoping that will work out.

What PD Blog about Oh in Ohio, from Austin

Sounds good to me... look forward to the big Cleveland premier... anyone know when that is... and why this wasn't in the Cleveland FIlm Festival?

From the PD blogging from Austin:



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This ain't no Cleveland joke, Bubba
Cleveland took a bow last night in Austin.
"The OH in Ohio,” director Billy Kent’s feature debut about a woman on a hilarious quest for sexual fulfillment in Northeast Ohio, made it’s world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival at a packed screening at the historic Paramount Theater just a few blocks from the Texas Capitol. Much of the movie – which stars Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Mischa Barton, Danny DeVito and Liza Minnelli – was shot in Cleveland over five weeks in the fall of 2004.

Kent, producer Amy Salko Robertson, actress-producer Miranda Bailey and other members of the cast and crew were in Austin for the premiere. And they spent a lot of time talking up Cleveland, raving about the city’s lakefont views and locations and touting it as a great place to make movies.


Miranda Bailey, left, and Parker Posey in a scene from "The OH in Ohio." Note Cleveland Browns Stadium in the background. (The OH in Ohio Photo)

There are lots of shots of Cleveland in the film – including beautiful, panaromic views of the skyline that will warm the hearts of civic boosters. The last two buzz movies shot locally – “Welcome to Collinwood” and “American Splendor” – reveled in Cleveland’s down-and-out reputation and Rust Belt vistas. “The OH in Ohio” gives a cameo to “American Splendor’s” quintessential Cleveland nerd, Toby Radloff. But Kent makes frequent use of wide shots and landscapes that make the city glow, using it as a metaphor for the rebirth of the movie’s principal character, played by Posey.

“Cleveland has been a butt of lot of jokes in movies,” said Kent in a Q&A session with the audience after the screening. “That was not our intention. We had other things to joke about in this movie. There are just a lot of cool things in Cleveland. It has a real rock ‘n’ roll sensibility and the water makes it a great location. Even if you aren’t shooting the lake, it gives the landscape a physical presence and beauty.”

“It was important for us that it look beautiful,” said Robertson. “It has had a rebirth, like our character, so it was intential on the part of writers.”

Parker Posey plays Priscilla, “the prettiest girl in Cleveland.” She seems to have it all: A husband, a beautiful home, a high-paying job as a recruiter trying to lure business and jobs to Northeast Ohio. She’s got one problem. She’s never been that interested in sex. In fact, she’s never had an orgasm. She hasn’t given it much thought. But her husband, played by Paul Rudd, certainly has. When he finally snaps, leaving her to pursue a steamy affair with a smart, young woman played by Mischa Barton, Posey emarks on her own epic quest for satisfaction.

The comedy also stars Danny DeVito as Wayne the Pool Guy, an affable, but wise old schlub who is such a salesman that he’s made a fortune installing in-ground swimming pools in Cleveland. (That’s about as close as the movie comes to an old-school Cleveland joke.) Liza Minelli does a hilarious turn as a flamboyant, Richard-Simmons-style masturbation guru. Heather Graham has a small role as the earnest, very-customer-service-oriented owner of a sex-toy boutique.

After the SXSW screening, we sat down for a question-and-answer session with actress Miranda Bailey, who plays Posey’s zany co-worker and quirky muse in the movie. Bailey starred in the critically acclaimed NBC mini-series, “The 60s” and in the indie horror film-comedy “Dead and Breakfast.” She is also a partner in Ambush Entertainment, a production company in Los Angeles.

In a separate interview, we also talked with director Billy Kent and writer Adam Wierzbianski. Kent has directed more than 180 commercials and 11 short films. His short films have been praised for their inventive comic style. Wierzbianski is Kent's childhood friend. The two have collaborated on a variety of film projects for years. When he isn't writing screenplays, Wierzbianski is the managing director of the largest Polish daily newspaper in America, Nowedziennik.

Here's what they all had to say.

MIRANDA BAILEY ON "THE OH IN OHIO"
Q: Let me ask you about Cleveland first. How much time did you actually spend in Cleveland?

A: I personally spent about seven weeks there. But we shot there for most of the movie. We shot there for five weeks. And we also shot in Los Angeles because we also want to bring films to Los Angeles because everybody is going to Canada as well. So we shot the last part there.

Q: What was your experience like in Cleveland? Did you have a good time? A bad time? What do you remember most about it?

A: I think I had good and bad times there. They had phenomenal food there. They’ve got really, really good restaurants. And the bad times was I stationed right downtown near the bus station with a bunch of crack addicts that would like fight at like 3 a.m.

Q: And the weather?
A: The weather. We did a lot of the shots in offices that used because they had these really big windows. Jacobs Field was right outside the window. It was great. Unfortunately, we had foggy days every day we had the window shots.

Q: Yeah. Not much sun in Cleveland.
A: It was tough. Of course, other days were perfect. The day we shot the Jacobs Field scene it was good weather.

Q: A lot of talk in Cleveland about the film industry is whether we have the movie-making infrastructure, enough trained crew to make a Hollywood movie. Did you have a good experience with that?
A: Absolutely. The Cleveland Film Commission did a really great job getting us there. They really hustled. They got us a lot of locations. We had Jacobs Field. I can’t say anymore about that. That’s like the money of the movie besides the orgasm.

Q: The skyline shots were great, too. Usually Cleveland is depicted as a very gritty place.
A: We didn’t want to do that. Everybody does that. There is a rebirth in that city. They are trying to bring it back to life. And it is being brought back to life. The downtown district and the House of Blues. Things are opening up there and it’s really great.

Q: You were balancing producing here and acting. How did that go for you?
A: Actually, it was really good. Because what I did on this on movie as opposed to “Dead and Breakfast” was I was producing from the beginning, before we went to Cleveland. I was very involved in the developing of the script and getting all of the LA crew put together. But I said to the other proudcers and they agreed, that once I landed in Cleveland, I was an actor. If there were problems, they might come to me with them. But for the most part, they let me act. Once I got back to LA, I was in producing mode again.

Q: What about the sides of you that you have to use for producing and acting. The producing side is very creative, but not in the same way as acting.
A: Yeah. It’s weird. I have two sides to my personality. One side is really free-spirited and creative and can go there. And acting really serves that for me. But I’m also meticulously organized and I love business. So the producing side feeds that. I’m not really an actor who is someone who can just act. I love to produce also. I love to start it from the beginning and follow it all the way through, sales, distribution and everything.

Q: The role you play in “The OH in Ohio” is an archetype in comedy movies. The goofy friend. How did you approach it as an actor?
A: It’s weird because this is the first movie for Parker where she is the straight person. She really needed me to be the character role. She was really great and I learned so much from her. She had talks with me. She was like, ‘Your role is so much harder because you have to bring this wackiness to it that isn’t in the straight person.'


Q: Did you get to work directly with DeVito?
A: As a producer I did. But as an actor I learned so much from Danny when I watched him in his scenes. Particularly in the one instance where we do the close up shots at a pool. It was really really cold outside. And he had to do these scenes to Parker but Parker was not there. It was really cold outside and Parker was not in the pool, where the scene is set. He was so like she was there. He has so much experience. I’m at the very beginning stages of ever learning to do that.

Q: He’s not the leading man type. But there is a spark in his eyes. Something special.
A: I had a friend of mine from New York watching the dailies. And she was like, ‘I’m very attractive to Danny Devito!’ He’s kind of loveable everyman.

Q: Paul Rudd has a tough role in this movie. The man who can’t satisfy his wife.
A: That was a really hard role to cast. A lot of actors that we went to weren’t comfortable with it because they were not the man who gave the girl an orgasm. We needed someone who doesn’t care about that and who is actor and who really wants to do this. It’s a very rich role. He goes through a midlife crisis but it’s not that stereotypical male midlife crisis. It’s more complex.


Q: Were you on set when Liza shot her scene?
A: Yes! Oh my god. She is phenemonal. That woman is incredible. That is my favorite scene in the movie. She is an icon. As small as this role is, she takes up the whole screen. She went there. She was freespirted about it.

Q: Do you think this is a mainstream, accessible movie given the topic.
A: You know, I do. But I live in LA. The idea of orgasms or women going on sexual explorations isn’t offensive in any way. But I have learned through this process that not everyone thinks that way. It’s funny. It’s in every Cosmo magazine. `Unsatsifed with your man!?’ `How to get sexed up for your man!’ This movie addresses those issues in the same way. But the humor of this movie sells it.

BILLY KENT AND ADAM WIERZBIANSKI ON "THE OH IN OHIO"
Q: Lets start out talking a little bit about Cleveland.

KENT: Sure, I love Cleveland.
WIERZBIANSKI: A: Not as much as I do!
KENT: Adam loves it the most!

Q: So tell us. What is is your thing about Cleveland, Adam?
WIERZBIANSKI: I have just had an unexplained fetish for Cleveland since I was like 9 years old. I got my first transitor radio for Christmas. I remember this clear as day. And I went into my aunt’s bedroom and turned it on and the first song that came on was a Raspberries song. It was the greatest thing I’d ever heard and I had to find out everything there was to know about this band. And from then on, I had a thing for Cleveland.

Q: You know that Eric Carmen still lives in Cleveland.
WIERZBIANSKI: Oh, yeah. We tried to cast him. He came to the office and saw that the part he was going to audition for was an aging hippie and he said, ‘I’m not hippie, I’m a rocker!
KENT: And he walked out. We wanted him to play the psychiatrist the husband and wife go to for sex counseling.
WIERZBIANSKI: I just saw the Raspberries last summer in New York. It was incredible. Springsteen was there. Jon Bon Jovi. Kiss. It was a star-studded crowd. But yeah, I’ve had girlfriends from Cleveland. Some of my favorite girlfriends are from Cleveland. And I love other bands from Cleveland – the Dead Boys, the Pretenders.

Q: The genesis of this story then was a collaboration between the two of you?
KENT: Yeah. We were talking about making a relationship film that then became a movie about sexual disfunction.
WIERZBIANSKI: I wanted to write a movie about sex. I didn’t know what, but I knew that I was missing that in movies.
KENT: And we wanted to set it somewhere that wasn’t obvious because the city ends up being a character in the movie.
WIERZBIANSKI: And we wanted to give Cleveland its due because it is always the butt of jokes.

Q: The last two big indie films made in Cleveland were “American Splendor” and “Welcome to Collinwood.” Both of those movies revel in Cleveland’s Rust Belt stereotypes.
KENT: We didn’t want to do that. The city was in integral character in the film and we wanted it to look good. It wasn’t a joke in the movie.
WIERZBIANSKI: The lead character really loves her town. We had to cut a lot of that out of the final movie. But she really loves Cleveland.

Q: You can tell from the picture. She is an indie cheerleader for Cleveland. The jokes you do make about the town, like casting Danny DeVito as man who gets rich as an in-ground pool salesman in Cleveland are pretty funny.
KENT: It wasn’t as funny as trying to find locations in Cleveland that had pools!

Q: So how did the shoot go? How was the working relationship with the Cleveland Film Commission?
KENT: They were amazing. (Film Commission Executive Director) Chris Carmody and his crew were fantastic. When we made inquiries about filming there, they did a lot more then just send information. They were really interesting in asking how they could make it happen. They just gave us so much. We really didn’t want this movie to go to Toronto, where we would be having Toronto doubling for Cleveland. They were integral to allowing us to get great locations and keep the movie in Cleveland.

Q: Does the city have the infrastructure to support making Hollywood movies, enough trained crew, things like that?
KENT: You know, you make a movie and you go down this road with a whole bunch of people you haven’t met before. And I was really, really impressed by their dedication for the film. Was everybody the best and at the top? Probably not. But you can be in LA and have the best crew people who are not dedicated to your film or interested in it. You are not getting anything out of them. They are just punching the clock …There are a lot of people in Cleveland who were in the film business in Los Angeles and New York who have moved back there for family reasons or whatever. And they are incredibly skilled people and capable. And many of them were filmmakers, not just an electrician. It was very nice to have them around.

Q: OK, let’s talk a little bit about the movie. You’ve got a great cast here. You got Liza Minnelli as a sort of Richard Simmons-style masturbation guru. You’ve got Parker Posey and Danny Devito. How did that come together?
KENT: A very good friend of both of ours introduced us to Parker and she loved the script. This is going back to 2002. Once she weas on board, people began to take notice.

Q: You’ve got people in roles that they are not normally associated with. Even Parker hasn’t done the lead role in a comedy like this.
KENT: Absolutely. And I think she does a great job. She is so confident and careful and makes great choices. She is so great to work with.

Q: Ok, the subject matter. Orgasms. Can this movie play the multiplex?
KENT: While we were in development, we got a few people who wanted to make this movie for different sized budgets. And the kinds changes they wanted were funny. They either wanted to raunch it up or completely tame it down. And we didn’tunderstand what the taming down was. Adam and I always joked that they would say, ‘I’ll make your movie but it has to be that she cant raise her souffle!’ And we were like, ‘This used to be about sex but it’s a cooking picture now!’ We decided early on that this wasn’t going to be a raunchy film, that this was going to be a film that was accessible. It wasn’t our intention with the story to shock people or come up with perverse or perverted things for them to do on camera. That doesn’t serve the story. It wasn’t the right tone for the comedy.

Q: How was it directing Danny DeVito?
KENT: It was amazing. He was a very giving actor. The first thing he said to me was, ‘I’m here to work for you. Once he said that, we talked about how he likes to work and walked through how each scene would be. He had it. Once an actor has it, the director’s job is to make sure the thing doesn’t go off the tracks, just to stay awake and be there. He brings everybody’s game up because he’s so perfect as an actor.

Q: Liza Minnelli. Let’s talk about that scene – the masturbation seminar.
KENT: That is very brief scene but it took a whole day to shoot. There was a lot we had to talk about and a lot she had to do. We spent a day together basically creating an entire backstory for this character that comes through in this performance. And she was able to improvise and bring so much to it.

Q: So let’s talk about the future of this movie. You are looking at distribution channels now.
KENT: They are in talks with distributors at the moment and it’s looking good. We’re hoping it will get a reasonably good release. This movie has a lot of good luck because a lot of good work has gone into it. We hoping it will be released in a lot of different cities, including Cleveland, this summer.

Q: The Cleveland International Film Festival is about to get underway. Why isn’t the film showing there.
KENT: I don’t know to be honest with you. I love that festival. I’ve had short films there in the past. We’re sort of out of the loop in that kind of stuff. Let the producers field that question. I know we want to do a big premiere in Cleveland. I’m hoping that will work out.

Preview of Oh in Ohio

You can check out a preview of Oh in Ohio at http://youtube.com/watch?v=5KM8jMGg3O0 although I couldn't get it to load (my connection isn't very good here)

OH in Ohio' premiere coming to NEO

I saw in the Plain Dealer today they are premiering "The Oh in Ohio" at the Cedar Lee - from the PD...

Preliminary plans are centering on a possible Midwest premiere event the week of July 10 at the Cedar Lee. The movie opens July 14 in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and selected other cities.

Is NEO ready for beautiful agony

The story behind "the Oh in Ohio" sounds pretty funny and I'm really interested to see this story based in NEO. But then I think about all the hype around Spiderman and how little hype there was around filming "the Oh" - I saw it being filmed all over the east side but it wasn't big news. Is that because of the subject? Makes me think about a story in the Free Times a few months ago about a site of people having orgasms... and then picturing that in NEO, on REALNEO, of everyone we know - taking virtual community and user identity to a new level - for some people, that is in the future - for others, not... think about it after you read the Free Times and Facettes de la Peteite Mort

BTW - not endorsing beautiful agony

Just to be clear, it looks like beautiful agony is a pay site, and I'm not endorsing joining it to check it out - I haven't - you'll get the point seeing the home page.