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Will You See This Movie? | Alan Cumming Stars in Unearthed Gay Adoption Story

Photo of Bryce J. Renninger By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire October 28, 2011 at 5:58AM

It's not everyday you hear of a film directed by a former commercial airline pilot from a script written decades ago by an Emmy-winning screenwriter. "Any Day Now" is just that.
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An image from "Any Day Now." [Image courtesy of the filmmakers]

It's not everyday you hear of a film directed by a former commercial airline pilot from a script written decades ago by an Emmy-winning screenwriter. "Any Day Now" is just that.

Travis Fine, the director of the project, left his job as a commercial airline pilot shortly after the 9/11 tragedy to make the film he had been writing while he was flying on autopilot -- "The Space Between," which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and stars Melissa Leo in a story about a woman and an unaccompanied minor on a plane during the attacks. (The film recently played on the USA network for their 9/11 tenth anniversary commemoration.)

Following the success of "The Space Between," Fine says, "I wanted to direct somebody else's words. My music supervisor gave me this script. His dad had written it over thirty years ago and he thought it was really good. I read the script and immediately liked the character and the concept, but I knew if I was going to make the film, I wanted to restructure the script. Luckily, George [Arthur Bloom, the writer] was amenable to that, so I optioned the script last December."

Travis Fine.

This film, "Any Day Now," is set in 1979, when a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) in New York take in a teenage boy with Down Syndrome (Isaac Levya) who has been abandoned by his drug-addicted mother. When the authorities find out who has taken the child in, a legal battle for custody, spearheaded by the state, ensues.

Fine admits that part of what brought him to the project is the time period: "I'm a huge fan of the gritty, character-driven dramas that were made during the 1970s. This offers me an opportunity as a filmmaker to revisit that time period cinematically, address social issues that are just as relevant today as they were 35 years ago, and explore unique characters who discover love in the most unlikely of places."

"George knew the guys - Alan's character is loosely based on a real guy named Rudy who lived in Brooklyn by George in the 1970s. He was one of those larger than life flamboyant characters. George became aware that this big loud-mouth guy had very sensitively and sweetly become a caretaker and a babysitter for this young kid in his building."

Fine described getting the production together as "jumping out of a plane and fixing the parachute on the way down" after he pitched the film to Alan Cumming and he was interested: "I had the good fortune of connecting with Alan in February and he fell in love with the character. We had to commit to Alan's schedule because he was shooting for 'The Good Wife.' But it worked out great."

"The shoot was challenging," Fine said. "We had a limited budget with limited time, trying to achieve bigger things. It's a period piece with lots of musical elements. We moved the story to Los Angeles, because of some location opportunities and greater flexibility. It all came together because my team is so great. I have a rockstar DP, and my actors were pros. It's amazing when people are so passionate for a project; we're all making it together. It's really our film, we're making it together.  At the end of that 14th hour, when people are dragging - they're reminded that they're working on something that they'll be proud of."

The film is currently wrapping up post-production.

And to think the script was sitting in a drawer for three decades -- Fine mused, "Can you imagine…in people's drawers, desks, shelves; if you really started to look through them, pull out the scripts - there's probably a lot of great material."

"Any Day Now"

Director/Co-Writer/Producer: Travis Fine ("The Space Between")
Co-Writer: George Arthur Bloom
Producer: Kristine Hostetter ("The Space Between") & Chip Hourihan ("Frozen River")
Executive Producer: Anne O'Shea ("The Kids Are All Right")
Director of Photography: Rachel Morrison
Cast: Alan Cumming ("The Good Wife"), Garret Dillahunt ("Deadwood"), Frances Fisher ("Laws of Attraction"), Isaac Levya

This article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit, In The Works