Directed by Mike Corey, written by (and starring) Scott Antonucci and produced by Throw Rag's Patrick Dean "McQueen" Bostrom, George is a film about a little girl (Fiona Perry) who is cleverly trying to pick out the best suitor for her mother, and it will be on the big screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival on May 4.
The story starts when 10-year-old George finds in a park artist Ben (Scott Antonucci), who is pining for the death of his wife. A very crafty and intellectual girl, she rattles Ben's cage. She starts the tests she will put Ben through over the course of a few weeks to help him deal with his loss. But she is also sizing him up for her single mother, Grace (Juliana Dever), who sits on a bench some distance away. The ending of George has a chilling but sweet twist that will shake you to the core.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): How cool is it that you have a new film and another run at the Newport Beach Film Festival?
Patrick Dean Bostrom: More like power-walking in dolphin shorts! No, we are very stoked to be accepted again to Newport. It is a validation for all the hard work we did. Being from Long Beach, it is especially gratifying because of its proximity and growing stature of the festival.
I sincerely loved the script you sent me. It made me cry, and I'm not a sappy type of girl, I'll have you know!
Wow, cool, thank you. We got amazing feedback when we sent it out initially. We knew it was a great story that needed to be told.
So how did the story of George come about?
Mike and I were looking for another project after our festival run with The Tab. Scott sent us an early draft of George, and we both loved it and thought we should really develop it further. We all worked very hard to get the story right. The twist in the end had to have the most emotional impact. Eight or so drafts and lots of Scotch later, we locked it and started casting.
The little girl in the film is so great. Who is she?
She is this amazing young actress named Fiona Perry. We needed someone who was not only smart and precocious to carry the role, but also sweet and innocent like a normal 10-year-old girl.
George is a complete switch from The Tab.
Wait, one's about working off a tab of BJs, and the other is about lost souls moving on from death and loss. How is that different? [Laughs.] No, you are right; they are both very different in genre and tone.
So is that the direction you are going in now?
I guess it's like Tim Burton's Big Fish. It is a departure from what I would normally gravitate toward, which is dark comedy and psychological thriller. But really, it's about telling great stories regardless of genre. I have adopted the "subvert from the inside" mantra. Why break down the door when it's already open. Walk through, and start painting the walls any color you like. Bust 'em down, if you have to. Basically, all stories have been told thousands of times throughout history.
So who's influencing you right now?
I am not under the influence, officer; I've only had a few Jäger shots. Honestly, right now, I am really inspired by Darren Arronofsky. His filmmaking is very visceral. He forces you to feel his characters' paranoia and anguish by submerging you in their world. We want the characters to win, which they do, but on their own terms. The ending is implied, but not confirmed. I love it.
Look at you getting all deep! What are you working on now?
This summer, I'm going to direct a psychological thriller that I wrote called Roadside Assistance, about a woman who runs out of gas on a long stretch of deserted road at night. Calling for help, she gets jilted by her drug-dealing boyfriend, just as her cell phone dies. When a tow truck pulls up, she's just happy for a little Roadside Assistance. Be careful what you wish for. I'm also writing and developing a psychological horror/thriller feature called Mohave with my good friend Tommy Martinez at HD Vision Studios. It's kind of a Star Wars in the California desert, with dirt bikes, drugs, aliens and a rogue Native American antagonist who wants to take back America from the white man. We are partnered with Luckster Productions, which just did the Michael Madsen film The Brazen Bull.
You are such a multitasker! What's new with Throw Rag?
We just played in Vegas at the "rock and roll rodeo weekend" festival, with Manic Hispanic, Deadbolt and the Chop Tops. It was the same weekend as the "Viva Las Vegas" convention, which was actually referred to the "Anti-Viva."
So, like, "subverting from the inside"?
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Or cashing in on a good thing. And speaking of good things, I just shot and directed a music video for my singer Sean for his new project, Sean and Zander--Sean Wheeler [Throw Rag, Charlie Horse] and Zander Schloss [Joe Strummer, Circle Jerks]. The song is called "Stranded," and it's off their super-awesome new record, Walk Thee Invisible. We had a great time making it. It involves plantains and Ebenezer Scrooge-style sleeping caps and gowns.
Sounds strange--I like it! Any parting words, Patrick Dean McQueen?
Well, I would say come May 4 to see George, but I've been told by Mike that the showing is sold out. I might not even be able to get in! Hey, who do I have to blow? Oh, wait, that's The Tab.
You can watch the trailer for George here and see Patrick's previous film The Tab's trailer here. To see where Throw Rag will be performing next, check out their website. George can be seen at the Newport Beach Film Festival, at the Regency Theatre at Triangle Square, off Newport Boulevard and 19th Street, Costa Mesa. May 4. See the festival website for show time and ticket price.