Michael Larnell and I spoke by phone today. We had met several years ago when we spoke at his graduate film class at NYU, which was taught by our friend the
producer Peter Newman.
Michael carefully chose to do his graduate studies at NYU after researching schools and finding the films of NYU grads were most interesting to him.
Another professor there was Spike Lee.
“Cronies” was his thesis film there.
Spike Lee liked the early stages of the project and his yearly grant went to Michael along with Spike becoming the Executive Producer and he brought ICM
into the picture. ICM is repping the film for both U.S. and international distribution.
Regarding domestic distribution, Michael says that “there are couple of options. We have a couple of offers, but I’m thinking of alternative ways of distributing which in turn will help pave the way for the next group of filmmakers. NYU is working on providing its filmmakers with film funding and
Sundance has its digital services and branding too.
On the international side, he is soon to hear from some festivals which will launch the film abroad. “It’s exciting because I’ve never been in Europe
Shows love – comedy to show men struggling with showing their emotions.
“Cronies” is a character piece about twenty-two-year-old Louis who doesn’t know whether his childhood friendship with “Loose Cannon Jack” will last as he
sets a new path for his life. When a new buddy, Andrew, is introduced, emotions such as jealousy set in motion a struggle of the three to express emotions,
something they are not used to doing.
This comedy about love and men struggling to express it stars first time local actors George Sample III, Zurich Buckner and Brian Kowalski. Zurich has been
in shorts and along with George and Brian must now decide how to proceed with their acting careers. Perhaps the L.A. premiere will bring some clarity when
the film is seen by agents and producers.
Michael filmed in his hometown St. Louis, Mo. It is a small city – not a town — big enough for sports teams, etc. However, George, Zurich and Brian will
probably have to decide to leave it if they want to pursue their acting careers. What is good about St. Louis when compared to New York is that in NYC kids
grow up fast and in St. Louis they can grow up more slowly.
Michael did his undergraduate studies in St. Louis, majoring in business. Afterward he went to work for several years in corporate insurance. He added
part-time jobs in other areas of interest. This was at the time that YouTube was becoming popular and he and a friend began shooting and editing shorts. It
intrigued Michael to see how stories came together through editing and he decided to learn more by returning to school. NYU offered the best program for
Since showing the film at Sundance and later at Tribeca with two very different audiences – quiet in SLC and very vocal in NYC, WME has come on as his
agent. WME is helping him with his next script, now in process.
Los Angeles Premiere at NEXT FEST
“Cronies” director Michael Larnell will have a conversation after the screening with Robert Townsend, one of the “Godfathers of the Independent Film World” an actor,
writer, director and producer, first of “Hollywood Shuffle” followed by many other films. He chosen by the filmmaker when Sundance asked Michale who was
influential and who would they want to see their film.
When Michael first started making films he moved to Chicago and then to New York. Robert is from Chicago where they have a big indie world which makes the
films they want to make without caring about who will see them.
Michael took that ethos with him to New York. He never met Robert Townsend, so this conversation will be very interesting to him and to us in the audience.
Michael also likes Tarantino and the Hughes Brothers. Larry Clark is also an inspiration to him. All these filmmakers have influenced various parts of this
We welcome Michael to L.A. and are eager to see his film and meet him again.