Remembering a phone call from Lisa Kudrow that jumpstarted his first feature, “Kabluey,” director Scott Prendergast noted that he was flustered and began stammering when the popular actress contaced him about the project. “She called me and I started hyperventilating,” Prendergast said Monday during a post-screening Q & A at the Los Angeles Film Festival after his film’s world premiere. “And then I realized I was standing in my driveway in boxers with nothing else on.” Laughing near Prendergast at the Q & A, Kudrow added, “And the reason why I was calling was to make sure he was not crazy!”
Kudrow stars alongside writer, director and star Scott Prendergast in “Kabluey,” the story of a slacker uncle (Prendergast) who moves in with his brother’s family while the father is away fighting in Iraq. Mixing quirky humor (including an odd-looking big blue costumed character) with a more serious storyline, Prendergast calls his film a “melancho-medy.” Co-stars include Conchata Ferrell, Teri Garr and a pair of unruly kids whom Prendergrast’s character is expected to care for.
A sort of poster-child for Film Independent, Prendergast made the most of the organization’s programs while developing his first feature, participating in FIND’s 2005 screenwriter’s, 2005 producer’s and 2006 director’s labs, as well as the L.A. Film Fest’s fast track program and Kodak Speed Dating sessions, where he met his ICM agent. And on Monday, the accomplished first feature debuted at FIND’s L.A. Film Fest to a rousing response. Another fest screening is set for Thursday.
Having trained at L.A.’s Groundlings Theater, Prendergast staged “UNman,” a one-man improv show in New York for two years and was a staff writer at MTV‘s Celebrity Deathmatch. But, those who’ve attended film festivals in recent years may know some of his five short films, including “Anna Is Being Stalked” from Sundance and the LAFF, “The Delicious,” which also screened at LAFF and was distributed on a Wholphin DVD, as well as “My Life,” “Group Therapy,” and “Saragossa” (all of which can be seen on his website).
Inspired by his own family — Prendergast wrote “Kabluey” in a hometown Portland, OR library — weaving in facts from his own life. His sister-in-law maintained the homefront while Prendergast’s brother was serving in Iraq for a year-and-a-half. But, unlike Kudrow’s character in “Kabluey,” Prendergast noted that his sister-in-law didn’t struggle with infidelity while her husband was at war. Pointing out his brother’s wife in the audience on Monday night, he exclaimed, “She is not a whore!”