Film Runs in the Family
Written by David Pierotti | Posted by: JMG
Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor are ready. Born as cousins but brothers in spirit, they’ve been planning this since they were kids growing up as neighbors in Mansfield, MA. Life separated them for a while as they both pursued journalist careers; Dan for the Associated Press and Guy for the Washington Times. They traveled around the world immersed in global events, met people, saw cultures and, most importantly, gathered stories. These stories would be filed away and saved until they were ready.
In 2007, together in Washington D.C., they took the first tentative steps towards a career change. They made a short film. Then two more. Awards started coming: a 2008 CINE Golden Eagle for Moment of Silence, a 2009 New England Film Online Film Festival award for Clam Pie, among several others. Contacts were made, business plans drawn up, techniques were learned, and step by step, they gathered the information and experience they needed. Because Dan and Guy are going to make a feature film.
But first, they unveiled one last short film at the 2010 Boston International Film Festival. Like Love had the honor of kicking off this year’s festival in front of a packed house at the Boston Common Loews. Shot on Cape Cod, where the Massachusetts natives decided to set up shop, Like Love is a glimpse into the stresses and undercurrents of jealousy in the relationship of a young couple.
“Like Love was a short story that I wrote back in 2003 and we got around to adapting it,” explains Boylan. Having only a few minutes to tell a story forces a certain narrative economy. The film is select moments from a single afternoon of this couple played by Krystal DeSantis and Denis Metin.
“I was going for a Hemingway short story feel. Tell the story well enough and the audience feels a lot more than actually happens,” says Boylan. It was actually shot back-to-back with Clam Pie and by back-to-back, we’re talking one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Besides conserving precious resources, they also felt that since the two films were very different in tone and style, it served an educational purpose. Remember, this is all leading up to something bigger.
Moment of Silence was their first short, and the enthusiasm that it received boosted their confidence enough to raise some money to move back to New England and start their own production company – ASFilmsInternational. There was never a question about the ultimate purpose. “The goal was really to develop a feature. So we established a company, raised enough money for operational costs and we really hunkered down and lived like monks to get our first film off the ground,” said Dan. He emphasized that they always had a grounded understanding that the creativity served a business, and so it is necessary to keep that in mind. “A lot of people have no idea what to do with their movie after they’ve made it.”
Their creative side, the side that yearns to tell stories, forced them to learn the business side. But that education enables the creative side to flourish. According to Taylor, it’s a symbiotic relationship, “The best way to go to Los Angeles and become a director is to write, direct, and produce your own short films. You really learn all aspects of the business. So we used our shorts as calling cards.”
It was this type of focus that allowed them to push open enough doors so that they are on the verge of realizing their goal. They are now in the midst of pre-production on their first feature film. The script is theirs and they hope to be able to shoot in Massachusetts.
Regarding the nature of their collaboration, where both Taylor and Boylan share writing, director and producers credits, “We both like to have a hand in everything but increasingly I play the role of producer and Dan is the director. But you’ve got be able to have a high degree of cohesion,” says Taylor. “One of the most unique nuances of filmmaking is understanding the essence of positive collaboration.”
Positive collaboration is something that Boylan and Taylor seem to have mastered in an astonishingly short amount of time… that is, until you remember just how long they’ve been getting ready.
For more information about Dan Boylan and Gus Taylor visit: http://www.asfilmsinternational.com.