Lions Gate Strikes Again in Toronto, Nabbing "Vulgar"; Other Fest Films in LGF Sights; Lot 47 Weighing In with Deal of Its Own
Eugene Hernandez - indieWIRE
(indieWIRE/ 9.15.00) -- Lions Gate Films (LGF) is at the center of biz talk
here today in Toronto as the Festival prepares to wrap up tomorrow. LGF
announced this afternoon that it has acquired Bryan Johnson's "Vulgar,"
confirming rumors that began circulating this morning. Additionally,
the company is at the center of speculation surrounding a number of other
titles. Meanwhile, Lot 47 has been the subject of buzz today surrounding
an expected deal announcement for Gary Burns' "waydowntown."
Johnson's "Vulgar," which polarized audiences and scared away most
distributors earlier this week, is executive produced by Kevin Smith and
Scott Mosier through their View Askew Productions. The company will
platform release the movie next summer, starting in New York, LA and
Smith's hometown of Red Bank, NJ. Lions Gate released Smith's "Dogma"
last year after it was abandoned by Miramax.
Subject: Memories of Toronto---kind of long and sappy
Posted by Bryan on September 18, 2000 at 00:47:46:
So I got home last night and the last of us (Monica) rolled in early this eve. As I'm sure many if not all know by
now Lions Gate bought the flick and it will be out there soon at a theatre near you. (If you happen to live near a
major city that is...or Red Bank)
First, I want to say thanks to everyone who took the trek up to see it and more importantly thanks to those who
posted something nice about it afterwards. I read the negative review from AICN and it's fine, the guy didn't like it.
At least he stayed until the end to make a judgement. There were however a few errors in his review. I didn't have
anything to do with the volume of the film and I agree it was a little too loud at certain points. He makes it sound
like I was twisting the ends of my mustache and chortling as if to say "if the subject matter doesn't do them in, than
let the volume!" Another point is, I didn't take it as a badge of honor that people were getting up and walking out.
To be completely honest It was kind of freaking me out until Kevin and Scott reassured me that it was totally
normal. The other thing was, the clown's name is Flappy, not Slappy. You'd figure with the volume turned up so
loud he would be able to hear it very clearly.
Anyway, We had a great time, went to a few parties, got treated like homeless people at the 4 seasons restauraunt
and went to a strip bar. I won't go on with the mundane details but would like to take a moment to thank some
people who really ought to be thanked.
Party wise, Shouts go out to Jen who had the idea for the party when we were in San Diego a few weeks back and
organized the shebang with Malcom. Take this girl out of the suburbs for a few days and she really turns it out. The
club we had the party in was referred to as "trendy" in one article. I've never been considered trendy in my whole
life, dorky maybe, but never trendy. I've got to thank her for that one shining moment. I know what you're thinking
'dork, they were calling the club trendy, not you' That doesn't matter, vicariously, through the club, I was trendy and
no one can ever take that away from me. Malcom was our point man in Canada and had all the connections. He
found some girls (read stippers or hookers, I'm not sure which) and dressed them as Vulgar and if you can imagine
it, they managed to look even more disturbing than O'Halloran in garters and bustiers (sp) They were nice but I've
never really seen people who were hired to serve at a party get drunk so quickly and so unapologetically. The high
point of the night as far as they were concerned was watching them pour liquor in their cleavage and force
O'Halloran's face between their boobs to do a bosom shot. Second only to that was watching his girlfriend get more
and more pissed with each shot Bri licked off their chests.
Monica-whom many of you don't know, was the producer of the movie. When we were first talking about shooting
the movie I had no idea who would produce and we were so fortunate to have her come aboard. The Film would
not be what it is if it weren't for her. She pulled more strings than the students of an all girls school at that time of
the month (I'm working a little blue here) The number of people she recruited and the way she was able to procure
so many favors was nothing short of amazing. She single handedly turned what could have turned into a disaster
into a really smooth flowing project. Plus, she's really fucking hot! (Don't tell Mosier I said that)
speaking of Mosier...Going way beyond the role of exec producer, this is the guy I spent many, many hours with in
the editing room and in NY mixing the film. He taught me a great deal along the way (I never went to film school)
and was always really enthusiastic about the project. It was cool to watch the transition from him helping a friend,
to making the movie his own and really taking a personal stake in it. It was a great experience as it stood (the
whole process) but when a close friend is involved that deeply it makes it that much more enjoyable.
Kevin--Jeez, This is the kind of guy who does so much for you and is so generous that you feel completely assinine
saying thank you. Thank you doesn't even begin to touch what you want to say and you feel kind of dumb because
you can't put it into words. What played an immeasurable part in the production of Vulgar from the first word
written until the last credit rolled (aside from the money he put up) was Kevin's attitude. This is what carried me
through the entire process. By this I mean that it's not so much that Kevin had confidence in me and my abilities, as
that his belief in me made me have confidence in myself. It was kind of like, if he thinks I can do it, I must be able
This is sentimental, out of place, and maybe even kind of weird but I wanted everyone who reads this board who
know these people on one level to know just a bit more what they're like on a more personal level. I wouldn't be the
person I am today without them...wait, I'm a bitter angry fuck...well that part isn't their fault. But seriously, I love
them dearly and if any of you have friends like the ones I do you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. And if you
don't, I'm sure you've been mocking my ass up to this point anyway so fuck off!
Subject: Just got back from Toronto
Posted by Kevin on September 14, 2000 at 23:47:06:
A very... VERY... successful trip. Great screenings, great party, and a great conclusion to the whole affair.
We sold the film.
Now, just WHO we sold the film to you'll read about in Monday's trades or somewhere online, but I thought I'd let
you guys know now, before the news broke. [Lions Gate Films has picked up domestic distribution for 'Vulgar', in case you missed all the text above.]
Needless to say, we're all ecstatic here. I could go on, but it's Bryan's flick and his experience, and I should let him
fill you all in on the details when he gets back.
Jen and Malcolm threw one helluva bash, and damn, if that wife of mine wasn't the most gorgeous creature on two
legs in the room that night (or every night, for that matter). Malcolm looked nice too.
It was a real family affair up north this week, with me and the Missus, Malcolm and Matt (Gissing, of 'Drawing
Flies' fame), Scooter and Monica, Vincent and Brendan, Bry's lady Jill and Bryan's parents and brothers, and of
course, Bryan himself. And none of us would've been there, had it not been for Steve Gravestock (sp?), the cat
with vision enough to program the flick in the fest.
And man - does it get any better than that NY Post piece? Fuck!
So how about a big 'round of applause for Bryan? He made a helluva flick, and it's found a home beyond our own.
I'm proud of our boy, and though I'm sad we'll be losing a merchandise mailroom manager, I'm happy to be gaining