Director Series: Paul Jarrett - Crazy Famous
Crazy Famous, Paul Jarrett’s new film about a troubled man so obsessed with the enticement of fame and getting into the limelight that he finds himself institutionalized, positioned the director in decidedly independent territory. Largely without major names, Crazy Famous, which Jarrett described as a “very fast, very intense, action-adventure-comedy” was shot in only 19 days.
“The tight schedule is a really big factor,” said Jarrett of the eventual 78-minute project. In shooting the film within its brisk schedule, “things would just happen, like, ‘It would be great if we could shoot this car change in three days,’ but we’re only gonna do it in two days—but it rains, so we only have a day and a half,” the director confessed. When it came to confronting other similar challenges, Jarrett said, “You don’t have a lot of time to pivot, or go to cover, or anything—you have such a short schedule”.
Aside from the struggles of shooting on such a short schedule, Jarrett maximized his limited resources to the best of his abilities, not compromising on any creative choices which would have set the film back. One critical element was shoehorning principal photography into star Richard Short’s schedule. “Richard Short was the only person who came in and played it straight,” Jarrett conveyed, “but he was working on a big television show, and it was like, ‘How do we figure out our schedule and Richard’s schedule?’ It was hard, but we got it to work.”
Jarrett related that one of the key aspects of Crazy Famous which drew him to this project was screenwriter Bob Farkas’s enthusiasm to make his first feature. “Some of the elements and… the different influences in Bob’s writing really stuck out to me,” Jarrett stated. “It was fun to work with Bob in determining how some of the great ideas he had could be figured out in our limited schedule and budget.”
Jarrett closed by offering tips for aspiring cinema craftspeople. “When you are gonna make your movie, you’ve got to make it nearly perfect to have a shot,” he claimed. This is a very high standard for any artist, but Jarrett explained its importance in the competitive arena of filmmaking. “You gotta really put in the work to make sure it stands out because there is so much other material,” he observed.
Jarrett’s last word of advice for new moviemakers is to simply start small. “If you can kinda figure out what movie you might wanna make in the future, and think about what the short would be that would help you get that job, that’s something I would work on,” he detailed.