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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Allen Mack

Check out this incredible story by Cory Miller, based on his painstaking and passionate research to tell the tale and realize his short film Allen Mack (2009)...

me: "Cory, can you tell me all about what your film is about, your history, your vision, what you want to say with your film? Also, for the international cinema world, can you tell us how you feel about the state of making an independent film in LA today?"


Cory: "So here's a bit about my (Cory's) movie, my history, etc:

'Allen Mack' is a short film about a fatal police shooting in Queens, New York. The film uses a Rashomon-esque structure, so the five minutes leading up to the shooting are replayed from three different perspectives: the deceased's best friend, a waitress who was more of an objective witness, and the police officer who fires the fatal shots.

This film is very personal to me in the sense that it is based on experiences and stories that I heard at my old job. Before getting into film I worked for four years in New York City investigating complaints leveled against the NYPD. The thing that fascinated me about this job was that after sifting through so much documentary and testimonial evidence, I could never come to a definitive version of "the truth." Truth became a fluid reality that was based more on an individual's subjective assessment of what occurred than on an objective reality. You get fifty people together who randomly witness a car accident, you're going to get fifty different stories about what happened, all tempered by each person's own background, their vantage point, their personal history, their history that day, whether they have low blood sugar and they didn't eat enough so they were woozy, etc. Same goes for a police shooting. Those types of incidents are so polarizing, yet unless you were present for it, you can't say for sure what happened, and even then, it's a crapshoot. An undercover cop, like in my movie, will consider a guy reaching towards his waist an indication that he has a gun, while a waitress might see a guy trying to lift up his baggy pants. Unless a gun is produced, you don't know which person's truth is real. Absolute truth is a fallacy. Real life is messier than that. That's what I was trying to get at with this film. Here's a trailer for the movie:

I'm trying to parlay this short into a feature as well as develop a few TV shows. Right now I have a novel called Courting the Job that I'm adapting into a feature length script. It's a coming of age story based very much on stories I heard at my old job investigating cops. The TV shows are still in the early stages of development, but suffice to say they'll be one hour police procedurals. I know it's a bit cop heavy, but hell, that's what I know. TV is an amazing medium, and I think some of the best work being done today is on television - The Wire, Mad Men, Dexter, Friday Night Lights. It affords the amazing artistic opportunity to develop your stories and your characters over a hundred hours as opposed to 2 hours. Of course that's if I'm lucky enough to get something made, but that's the dream.

A lot of people I know are taking the DIY approach to development, at least in terms of feature scripts. From what I gather, fund raising for independent film is even more difficult than it used to be, but this comes at a time when technological developments like the Canon 5D and 7D make it even easier to obtain high production value for relatively little money. I have two friends who are hitting the road with two 5Ds and some cash they raised on kickstarter, and they plan to come back with a feature. I guess it all depends on what your story demands, but as far as I can tell, there are opportunities for those that are creative with time, money and technology. I know this isn't exactly groundbreaking, but to the low budget filmmaker, it's something to stay optimistic about.- Cory Miller, director of Allen Mack."

me: "Cory, you ROCK! This will be a feature someday soon! I cannot wait to see it! Thank you for your inspiring passion and unrelenting drive." -VM

Trailer for the short film Allen Mack.



Allen Mack
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