Minimum Wage (2000)

B. O'Malley Films, Minimum Wage 0 Comments

 

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They say a good parent loves his children, no matter how deformed or clueless.

And that’s the reason I love my second feature film. Parental obligation.

This particular little flipper-baby came together as a screenplay after one week of writing, in 1997. I decided to start making it on a shoestring budget in 1998 while still working for Roger Corman, gathered up a bunch of cool peeps I worked with to help me, including original DP Illya Friedman, Script Supervisor Sharon Kelly, 1st AD Jim Simone, Transpo/Sound Danny McNamara, and Sound Recordist Jon Wolff, and then the script ended up on the desk of a commercial producer from New York, who decided he loved flipper-babies and wanted to put up the budget to make the feature film happen.

From there, we grafted a mercenary New York crew onto our cadre of unpaid Roger Corman ne’er-do-wells and started shooting in Jan 1999, in and around Los Angeles, in locations such as Roger Corman’s studios and offices (without his permission, which we ended up having to pay for, and for which numerous members of our crew that still worked for Corman were fired).

I didn’t write a good film, and I didn’t direct a good film, but it has a few good moments, and I consider it my flipper-baby graduate thesis.  Hands down, the funniest, most energetic scenes are when the movie goes completely off-book, mostly due to improv actor Patrick McCartney, playing the asshole agent.  Peter Sean Maloney and Amber Phillips, romantic hero and heroine, respectively, turn in wonderfully-nuanced, real performances, scene by scene. But the problem is that those scenes just don’t add up to a satisfying whole. And that’s my fault as writer-director.

But despite its flaws, it taught me many hard lessons – lessons I couldn’t’ve learned any other way.

Hollywood Agent Greg Philner (Patrick McCartney) broke a deal with devilish bum Zeke Bleak (Michael Anderson from Twin Peaks) and now he’s forced to take a series of menial jobs, slumming it with his high school sweetheart, the morose Milly Bright (Amber Phillips) and the hapless wage slave she has a unrequited crush on, the oblivious Noll Adler (Peter Sean Maloney) in this apoplectic romantic comedy.

81 Minutes | Writer/Director B. O’Malley | Producer Steven Darancette


“highly comical…great dialogue, interesting characters, and winning performances”
–Film Threat

Best Actress — Amber Phillips, No Dance Film Festival
Best Cinematography — Jonathan Furmanski, No Dance Film Festival

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