PRODUCTION BRIEFS: Blow Up and Killer Films team on Minahan Project; High Def Pioneer

by Kevin Dreyfuss

>> Blow Up and Killer Films team on Minahan Project

This week, writer-director Dan Minahan (co-writer of "I Shot Andy Warhol")
began shooting his feature directing debut in Danbury, Connecticut. The untitled film is being shot in free-form digital video. Deliberately using faux tabloid-TV documentary techniques, the thriller imagines a world where normal people from everyday life are chosen by lottery to fight to the death in the highest-rated, most exploitative show on television. The film will follow the "contestants" in verite style, with Brooke Smith ("The Silence of the Lambs"), Glenn Fitzgerald ("A Price Above Rubies"), Mary Louise Burke, Merritt Weaver, Michael Kaycheck and Angelina Phillips along for the ride. The film is produced by Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente, Christine Vachon and Katie Roumel of Blow Up Pictures and Killer Films. "We are very happy to be working with Dan on this project," said Vincente. "When we created Blow Up Pictures last January, we knew that there would be terrific scripts suited to new digital technology. Dan's extraordinary script for this project is a perfect match for the DV format."

>> High Def Pioneer

The indie ensemble comedy-drama "Seven and a Match," one of only a handful
of films to be shot in High Definition Digital (a la the upcoming "Star Wars" prequels), is currently shooting outside Manhattan under writer-director Derek Simonds, with a cast that includes Heather Donohue (that "Blair Witch" movie you may have heard about) Eion Bailey ("Fight Club"), Adam Scott, Tina Holmes, Daniel Serafini-Sauli and Devon Gummersall. The film tells the tale of a young woman who invites a half dozen of her old college friends to join her in the old family house she just inherited from her deceased folks, and the drastic measure to which she stoops to pay the bills on the place. The film is the debut production of self-described "microstudio" Firefly Films, with David Effress, Mickey Cottrell and Steven Bratter producing along with Peter Brook.