Originally from Philadelphia, David attended that city’s “Fame” high school, Creative And Performing Arts, where his classmates included QuestLove and Boyz II Men. He then graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York, and worked as a graphic designer for ad agencies, designed book covers, movie posters, and indie film titles.
He impulsively moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and became a stand-up comic for a while, performing at The Improv, The Vancouver Comedy Festival, and in sketches on “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” and “The Showbiz Show with David Spade”. But he tired of comedy clubs after a few years and focused on writing instead. In 2006, his “Will & Grace” spec made it to the semi-finals of the Warner Bros. Comedy Workshop.
Switching to drama, he optioned the book “Minamata” (and the life rights of the author), about the experiences of journalist W. Eugene Smith photographing mercury poisoning victims in Japan. He wrote the screenplay in six weeks, and it got him a literary manager. Then Johnny Depp’s company came on board to produce with Depp himself as the star. Filming on MINAMATA completed in the Spring of ’19, with an expected release in Fall 2021. “Minamata” premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2020 and has since been picked up by Samuel Goldwyn Films for domestic distribution. It also stars Bill Nighy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, and the singer Katherine Jenkins.
His follow up, DREAMERS (based on the book John Lennon Vs. The US), is about John Lennon’s immigration battle with the Nixon administration which legally set the stage (many years later) for DACA/The Dream Act.
David was recently hired by the director of “Minamata”, Andrew Levitas, to rewrite a script about the two brothers who owned Adidas and Puma and who battled each other for decades. That project, “Adidas V Puma”, is currently out to actors and mentioned in “The Hollywood Reporter” in early March 2021.
David Kessler 0:00
Depp put a lot of them himself into the part and into the production of the movie. You know the movie was made I think the budget was $11 million. Maybe it was.
Alex Ferrari 0:12
It looks a lot more expensive than that.
David Kessler 0:14
It looks amazing.
Alex Ferrari 0:15
This episode is brought to you by bulletproof script coverage, where screenwriters go to get their scripts read by Top Hollywood Professionals. Learn more at covermyscreenplay.com I'd like to welcome to the show, David Kessler, how're you doing, David?
David Kessler 0:29
Alex Ferrari 0:30
Thank you so much for being on the show. Man. I think I appreciate you reaching out to me, man, I get reached out by as you can imagine a lot of people want to come on the show. And very blessed with that. But when I saw your story, and I saw the films you worked on, and I just found it interesting to see your perspective on on the craft on the business and so on. So first question, man, how did you get into this insanity that is the business?
David Kessler 0:57
That's a this is this is my fourth career. So I have to have to make this one stick. I went to art school and went to Parsons School of Design. But I was always I was always I was trained to be a designer, but I was always writing on the side. met again many years ago, I wrote a short story for an NYU film application. And a friend gave it to a woman who came into her Cafe she was a waitress. And then it turned out that she then this woman wrote me a letter so I got a letter in the corner to Janklow and Nesbit Oh no, I'm getting sued. I'm gonna have to leave my apartment or something. You know? Like, it turns out Marchenko is an attorney and the logo looks very much like a law firm. But it turns out there they are, like the biggest literary agency in New York, they represent the represented Michael Creighton, they represented Richard Price who was my favorite author at the time. So yeah, my, my, my, my journey goes goes goes way back. So you know, that was sort of an inkling that maybe I had something that you know,
Alex Ferrari 2:11
Started yet someone's yet some some of the juice some of the magic
David Kessler 2:15
I had some of the juice. Yeah, I don't even think I don't even think I think I was still 21 I just graduated college. But yeah, I got I got rejected by NYU. I don't even know I don't even know how I could have afforded it. But
Alex Ferrari 2:29
So it might have been the best thing for you not to go to NYU because you might be still be carrying around an obscene amount of debt.
David Kessler 2:35
Probably Probably. But actually, I got to know a lot of NYU. People from that time. I was doing film titles for NYU students. So I put like fliers all over NYU like hey, I'll do your film titles for $99 or whatever it was. And I got to know some really interesting people. One of the people I got to know the first film title it was a guy named Randy Pearlstein Pearlstein he and his roommate, Eli Roth does later did Cabin Fever
Alex Ferrari 3:09
Wow, very cool. Now is it true that you also went to the same high school?
David Kessler 3:15
I went to the Philly version of the same high school
Alex Ferrari 3:18
So you went to the same high school the the Philly version? Yeah, but while you were there some of your your your co your students that you went to school with is a tree went to school with Boys to Men and quest love. Yes, yes. Yes. What was that like? Dude? How were they back then?
David Kessler 3:37
I think I was bullied by boys to men's like associates, freshman year. I remember somebody pushing me down on the roof. We had our we had our playground on the roof because it was in a city. I didn't and then yeah Questlove was a year below me. He was a mere Thompson then I didn't wait they were on a different floor. So they you know, they had they you know they had a music floor and then they had like, you know, rehearsal spaces in the basement you know that were soundproof so but yeah, I mean, I knew sort of a mirror in passing but I don't think he'd remember me.
Alex Ferrari 4:17
That's funny man as funny now from what I understand you also became a stand up as well. Yes. And you did some stand up work now I've had decades of experience with stand up so I know the creature very well.
David Kessler 4:32
It is. It is a beast. It is.
Alex Ferrari 4:36
A stand up the standup it is it is the comedian the stand up comedian is their own species. I you know the sad clown is very, very true in many in many cases. What drew you to stand up and because look, I was shooting a special once I was shooting a stand up special directing it and I just got up on the on the stage. age with nobody in the audience just to set up for the camera. They're like, Okay, I'll stand in. And I freaked out, just standing there in front of nobody in front of and I just I'm like, Oh no, I can never like it. It's it takes such a level of, I don't know, courage or insanity to try to go up there and entertain people with a mic for an hour. So what drew you to that insanity that's even more insane in the film business.
David Kessler 5:29
Indirectly, a therapist, Kaiser permanency drove drove me to it. I had just gotten to LA, I had moved to LA because I moved. I moved here because I met a woman on the World Wide Web, which is what we called it done. Yeah, and that that relationship crashed, like, I think on the fifth day, or the fourth day I was here. So I was here for about a year and a year and a half, two years. And I just was like, depressed, I couldn't get out of bed, and I went to Kaiser and the therapist was like, you know, what, you have no support system? No, you, you're kind of moved on a whim, you know, you need you, I need you to come back next week with a list of classes that you want to take. So you can you know, find some friends and you know, you know, build the community. So I think two minutes before the next session, I was like, stand up cooking class, acting class, writing class, dance class. And yeah, stand up was was the first thing and she goes, I think that might be good for you. And then like, probably a week and a half later, I was on the stand of class.
Alex Ferrari 6:37
Oh, my God. And then you went out and they started, you started doing stand up. Now you had some success and stand up a little bit and got some work in writing comedy and so on. Right?
David Kessler 6:47
Yeah, I got a manager. Probably within 20 months of the class. I was I was signed with Messina Baker they represented Tim L and Drew Carey. At the time. Yeah. So the representative, Tim Allen, Andrew Carey, and then there was like a bunch of people. Like, you know, there's the a list and then there were so like the E list I was I was sort of in the E list. There was no there was no mid there was no mid talent at the time.
Alex Ferrari 7:22
So when you were working in stand up in working in comedy writing, how did that help you in your dramatic writing that will that's where you are currently today?
David Kessler 7:31
Yeah, I It's hard to say I actually the first script I ever wrote was a biopic which is now my thing. But I wrote a biopic in the mid 90s, about Frankie Lymon and the teenagers. Frankie Lymon was the kid who sang Why do fools fall in love? So that was my first script. So I wrote that in the mid to late 90s. Yeah. And then I was doing standup in the early 2000s, mid 2000s. I don't know, for some reason, the comedy thing. I stopped doing stand up. But I was still writing romantic comedies and comedy scripts. And just it just wasn't sticking. I just I just, you know, there were some nibbles and some bites and, and then all of a sudden, I just made this. I think I think I stopped. Yeah, I stopped. I stopped all entertainment. I was in the laundry business for a long time, which is, which is career number two, career number three, you know, I was like, because I was in my early to mid 30s. And I was like, Okay, I need to grow up. Like, you know, I, you know, I need to get serious about, you know, trying to stay alive. And yeah, and then I just I did a hard pivot to drama and true stories. And that was the thing that was the thing that stuck.
Alex Ferrari 8:47
But you and you were you've been drawn to true stories pretty much ever since it's kind of like you're you've kind of niched yourself in that space.
David Kessler 8:53
Yeah, yeah. I've gotten sort of a semi reputation as the, you know, the doctor of broken biopics. So yeah, there was there was like, I gotten a couple or two or three freelance jobs where producers had come come to me with with a piece of IP or a book or an idea or a true story. And they're like, we've had other people work on this and we have this script and you know, Can Can you try and fix it?
Alex Ferrari 9:20
So, so your script doctored a bunch as well?
David Kessler 9:23
Yeah, in fact, the director of Minamata hired me to rewrite a script he had called the data is V Puma, which was about the two brothers who own those companies who are at war with one another for 30 years.
Alex Ferrari 9:38
So Adidas and Puma had, they were brothers, the owners of this company,
David Kessler 9:42
Yeah, one guy, his name was Adi Dassler. It does it does it this got it? And the other guy was Rudolph, Rudy Dassler there with the Dotzler brothers. And then he founded Puma so they they so yeah, they they had they had a shoe company in the 20s and 30s called the docile shoe company. And then world war two kind of split them apart. And then yeah, one, one.
Alex Ferrari 10:13
That's an interesting story.
David Kessler 10:15
I did a page one rewrite on that spirit. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 10:18
Oh, that must I can't I hope it gets made one day. That'd be a fantastic
David Kessler 10:22
My manager called me about a month ago. And she goes, Oh, yeah, the script you wrote has come back to the agency because they represent directors and and they had it. It's sort of like went out in the world. And it came right back for another client.
Alex Ferrari 10:39
It's interesting how that works is like is a writer, you write something or you're hired to write something and you've no idea what's going to happen to you kind of, you know, you pray to the Hollywood gods, that someone's going to produce it. And I've said this on the show so many times that there's I know writers who might have one, one really popular movie on their on their resume, or are actually produced one or two things. And they're like, oh, they haven't done anything in 10 years. I'm like, No, they've been working nonstop. They've probably written 10 or 15. Paid been paid to write 10 or 15 scripts that just haven't been produced, let alone Script doctoring.
David Kessler 11:15
Right, right. Yeah, I had. I called I call the company that owns the manage the estates of rock bands. And I got a guy on the phone. And I said, Yeah, I've done the Johnny Depp movie, Minamata. Yatta, yatta yatta. And he goes, what else have you done? And I go, Well, you know, being my first movie starring and produced Johnny Depp, I don't think that's too bad. But he was very quick to dismiss that I only had one, right. Oh, but I made that one. But you know, to start with,
Alex Ferrari 11:48
It's not a bad it's not a bad hit to come out with. So let's talk a little bit about Minamata. You are the producer of that, as well as the writer of it, one of the writers of it as well, and one of the most of it. So you're the one who started, you're the one that went out and optioned the book. All that how did you decide to option the book? How did you option the book? And can you explain to the audience of screenwriters out there and filmmakers who might want to Option A book what the process is like?
David Kessler 12:19
It was just it was just a few years of crawling over broken glass. That's all it was. That's it really was really overnight. Really, it was really easy. I had known of the photograph, there's a very famous photograph of this Japanese woman bathing her severely disabled and deformed daughter. I knew that photograph when I was at Parsons, because that was in like, every the best photo journalism book, The Best of, you know, time life. It was it's a haunting picture. I don't know if you've seen the
Alex Ferrari 12:55
No, I've seen. I've seen the picture.
David Kessler 12:57
Yeah, it's and yeah, so that was taken by Jean Eugene Smith. And I didn't, I thought it was in Hiroshima, because it was from black and white. And, you know, it just felt like it was from long ago. But it was only taken, you know, a decade and a half or two decades before I was in college. So then, you know, I discovered the story behind the photograph and the story behind Jean Smith. And then I actually got the Minamata book out of the Los Angeles Public Library. Luckily, it's still in circulation because some books you you can only get at the downtown library, you know, the reference, you know, so that I have to travel, travel, you know, 15 miles and find parking in downtown LA, which I really loads. But yeah, so then I tracked Mrs. Smith down, Mrs. Smith had a, a website where she, you know, answered questions about photographs, or if people wanted to license to photographs. So I reached out to her. January of 2011 never wrote me back. I tried a full year later, just January 12. I was like, I'm just gonna send the same email. And then she wrote me back a few days later. And that this was a big leap of faith for her because I'm not Steven Spielberg. I'm not Bob Zemeckis. I'm not Eric Roth. I don't you know, I don't have Munich behind me. I don't have Schindler's List behind me. I was a guy who did stand up and wrote romantic comedies so and had never made a movie before. So it was a huge, huge I owe Mrs. Smith a huge gratitude, and a debt for trusting me with her story and her husband's story and the story of the community that they lived in. But yeah, it took two years. It was two years of she lives in Japan. She's half Japanese. So it took two years of emails and Skype. phone calls at midnight and letters back and forth. And sometimes she would, you know, decide, um, you know, maybe this isn't a good idea, maybe this is not something I want to revisit, and it brings up too many bad memories and, and then I'd have to reel her back. You know, I think it's a good thing. I think it's a good it would be a good thing for the world to be reminded. Yeah, so it took it was a year and a half of convincing her. And then it was six months of legal wrangling. So yeah, it was it was it was 23 months before she signed on the dotted line.
Alex Ferrari 15:33
So you, you were like a dog with a bone for a year and a half, essentially, and didn't give up. I did not give up on this process, which is a very important lesson for everyone listening. It doesn't happen overnight. Yeah, how? How much are you willing to endure? Because most people would have given up after six months after a couple months there would have given this this lady just doesn't want to do it. It's not for me. What? Who am I? How did you I want to ask you, I'm assuming during that year and a half of you trying to convince this lady to give you the rights or husband's amazing story and book
David Kessler 16:08
And her story.
Alex Ferrari 16:09
Yeah. And her story as well. There had to be moments that you said to yourself, in the quiet of the night, who do you think you are? How dare you think you could even attempt to do something like that? There have been some negative talks and impostor syndrome flying around? How did you overcome that?
David Kessler 16:27
I have a little have a little like sticky on my, my computer, you know, the digital sticky, you know, yeah. And it says, Don't give up on something that you think about every day. So that that that that little digital Mac sticky kind of kept me going on? Because I do you know, I did think about it every day. And I did think it was an important story. And I was just like, You know what, I'm just, I'm just gonna give
Alex Ferrari 16:57
You just kept going, you know, no matter what did you write the script before you had the rights? Or as even as an exercise? Or did you wait,
David Kessler 17:08
I waited, I waited that I had written the Frankie Lymon script on spec, but I hadn't had the rights. And then as soon as I finished that there was an announcement that Gregory Nava was going to do what it was fall in love. And then I had 120 pages of garbage. So I didn't want to make the same mistake of putting all this time and effort and creativity into something that that could go, but I did in my head. I did have like, Okay, this could be the first act, this could be the second act. This is the theme. These are the things I want to talk about, you know, these are the scenes I want to have. So I did I did have it cooking. And I might have written you know, a one page.
Alex Ferrari 17:48
Maybe something something just to like, I don't want to lose this that stuff. Yeah, there was like, Oh, that would be a good scene.
David Kessler 17:54
And then I would maybe write it down. But I didn't. I didn't like I didn't hit fade in and start start writing. I didn't do that.
Alex Ferrari 18:00
So Alright, so now you've got the signature, you've got the rights. Yeah. You've never produced a movie before. You've never made a movie before. That's right. What is the next step? Like? How did you get this thing off the ground? Because you're now one of 1000? If not 10,000? guys running around Hollywood with life rights or book rights or things like that? What made you able to what, how did you get it off the ground? What made you stand above everybody else, at least just to get this thing going?
David Kessler 18:34
You know, I shook the trees of use of you know, friends of friends, co workers. And I remember talking to a woman who worked at participant films, because this seemed like it was up their alley because it had a social environmental component. And she was very blunt and impatient, and she was kind of like, you got rights, that's great. But it's not a script. You know, like, it's not a commodity, you know, like, it's something but it's not something anything. She was basically say, like, turn those rights into a script, you know, or find a writer. So then I wrote the script and six weeks.
Alex Ferrari 19:22
You wrote the whole script and six weeks. I mean, but you've been cooking on it for two years.
David Kessler 19:25
It was it was it was cooking. It was cooking. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 19:28
So you were cooking it for two years, but you actually wrote the draft that went out in six weeks.
David Kessler 19:34
First Draft six weeks, maybe I wrote a bunch of revisions, but it wasn't that different than the first draft.
Alex Ferrari 19:42
So you're the bulk of what you the bulk of what the script was, was written in those six weeks. Yeah. Yeah. That's That's crazy. All right. So now that you have the script now, you're now you're a guy, a screenwriter who has a script who has life rights, again. 9000 of those.
David Kessler 19:58
Right, right, right. Ah, right now, now I'm just one of 50,000 people with a script, but I have the life rights what's actually, you know, meant something that actually had, it had some currency that, you know, there's IP, you know, it was, it was a book, you know. And then I own the rights, you know, so like it gave me it sprinkled a little, little magic dust on on it that, you know, I have the Moxie and I have the entrepreneurship of, you know, getting the rights. You know, like,
Alex Ferrari 20:36
As soon as a writer though, and I want that's one of the reasons I wanted you on the show, because I wanted writers to understand the importance of what you've done with this with this project, specifically, because you did, what basically 1% of 1% of all screenwriters do, which is take control of their of their career, and give themselves a better shot by going out and becoming a producer and or entrepreneur, and going after life rights going after IP going after something that makes you stand out of the crowd. And that's, that's why I'm kind of really examining your process and really, hopefully inspiring somebody listening.
David Kessler 21:20
That was one of the smarter things I've done in the last few decades was, was was was Yeah, being being an entrepreneur, slash producer, in terms of of getting the rights.
Alex Ferrari 21:35
So you've got the rights and that you're running around town. How did how did you? what point did someone say, hey, let's, let's make this
David Kessler 21:45
Well, I have the script and I have the rights. And then I had a friend who I met actually, this is one of the reasons you know, it's great to take classes and you know, meet you know, find comrades and collaborators. I met when I hit I after the Scanner class, I took a sketch class sketch comedy class within beats, who actually passed quite recently, and she was one of the original female writers of SNL. The original SNL the original 75 Yeah. 70 to 80. So she wrote the NoGi sketch, you know the, with Bill Murray and, and Gilda Radner. She had previously written for the Lampoon the National Lampoon. So I took, I took a sketch class, and in that sketch class, a woman had taken the sketch house before me. We had stayed friends. And, you know, now this is 15 13 15 years later, she had a manager. And so I gave her Minamata. She gave it to her manager, she nagged her manager to read it. Her manager had once worked for a photographic photography magazine, in the 70s, in New York City. So there was this kind of like, Oh, I know who, you know, Jean Smith was I, you know, I worked at this magazine, you know. And then finally she read it, and then she loved it. And then and then I got signed by her. And then she was sending out the script.
Alex Ferrari 23:24
And then how did Johnny Depp get involved?
David Kessler 23:27
She sent it to Johnny Depp's company. This is kind of a funny story. She said, she sent it out. And she's ended the journey of the company. And they passed. Past. Simple, simple pass, you know, they might have said they liked the writing, I don't remember. But then nine months later, or 10, eight, eight to eight to eight to 12 months later, I think it was under a year. She calls me on a Friday and says you're not gonna believe this. But Johnny Depp's company has called maybe somebody new RedHat. She says, they think you can win an Academy Award and they and they want us to come in on Monday happened.
So we had, like we were there on a Monday and there was a guy, you know, we have a meeting in a conference room. Now I've since found out what had happened. I have now pieced together the these little threads. So what happened? It turned out he had read it months earlier. He had loved it. He brought it to his boss, his boss, passed for whatever reasons. And then I think he had gotten a promotion, you know, eight months net 10 months later. And then he was told that you know, I hoped apologies to Jason I hope I'm getting the story the story correct. But he was told that you know, he could I'm spearhead a project. And he said, You know, I can't stop thinking about the Minamata script, which is goes to, you know, the earlier thing, if you can't stop thinking about it, maybe it's something you should, you should, you know, you know, go after with with with, with all the love in your heart. And then she goes, Well, if you can't stop thinking about it, maybe, you know, take the lead. And then he called, he called me and told me and then we were in the office on Monday.
Alex Ferrari 25:32
And what point did Johnny read it?
David Kessler 25:35
That's a good question. I don't know, I'm gonna have to go back and piece together the puzzle on that. But maybe for a year and a half to two years, it was never talked about that he would star. They just they just did it was they were just developing it as a production company. Now. It's possible. This was being groomed to be a project for Johnny. But I wasn't privy to those conversations. And it was never mentioned to me.
Alex Ferrari 26:12
So So I want I want, again, people listening just I think there's a lesson here to be to be pointed out. So nine months after they said, No, swing back and say we think this could win an Oscar, you come in on Monday. That's right. That is something that you can't plan for. No, can't prepare for. There is such an element of luck in this industry, that after talking to so many people over the years, who have been at high levels in the industry, luck plays such a big part. But with that said, you had a script, you had life rights, you had you had done a lot of the legwork to get you to that place. So in other words, that phone call would have never come unless you have gone through those two years of over the glass trying to get the rights and all this time and effort trying to get this thing made. But because you did all that work at one point or another, literally luck. Just opened that door.
David Kessler 27:15
Yeah, a lot of things needed to fall into place at just the right time. I mean, I'm not going to discount the amazing luck that has befallen me and Kismet you know, because I took this sketch class, but this this, this woman, Moira, she was in the sketch class, not this guy. She was in the sketch house before my sketch class, but happened to go to our performance, who I met after the show. So the serendipity of her coming to my class, even though she wasn't, you know, coming to the show, even though she wasn't in my class. And then us, you know, staying in touch, and remaining friends for 15 years.
Alex Ferrari 27:53
So long con, it's a long con.
David Kessler 27:56
I was I was inadvertently playing the long game. And so then yeah, so then, you know, she gets a manager, the manager worked at of photography magazine in the 1970s had a personal interest in the subject matter. Read the script, you know, gave it knew the person who ran Johnny Depp's company gave it to Johnny Depp's company. And then and then there's other things that I found out much later was, you know, Johnny Depp had come in the office because he was, you know, off making pirate movies. As soon as someone dies, he's not in the office every day. So he came in the office, and then you know, they have a they have these meetings of, you know, what's going on, you know, what are we developing? What are we looking at? What are we producing? What are we thinking about? You know, and they said, well, well, Johnny, you know, we have this script. It's based on a book. It's called Minamata. It's it's about the journey of this photographer named Eugene Smith. And apparently depth goes I know that Jane Smith is I mean, he didn't say that the be a jerk. He was just saying, like, you know, I'm a, I'm a fan. You don't explain it to me. So it turned out Depp had been a fan of Jean Smith. I, he he had known. You know, he'd been a fan of the photography. He'd been a, you know, sort of aware of Jean Smith's reputation. Jean Smith was a was an eccentric. He was a tortured artist who drank a lot and did drugs and, you know, burn bridges. I think it was in the pantheon of people that DEP admires you know, your Hunter Thompson. Say, you know, your your Keith Richards you know, he just
Alex Ferrari 29:36
You're Jack Sparrow, if you will.
David Kessler 29:38
Jackson Pollock, you know, he just fell into into the boat that kind of self destructive, you know, tortured artist. And, in addition, he had been depth had been friends with a woman named melee Mary Ellen Mark, who was a documentarian, who made a document who made a A doc document documentary about street kids in Seattle in the late 70s, early 80s. She later made it into a feature with Jeff Bridges. Do you remember this movie? Jeff, I forget what the movie was called Jeff Bridges is in it. Edward Furlong plays his sons. And then it was loosely based upon the documentary, I remember that that she had made. So yes, she was. She had taken classes from Eugene Smith in the late 60s, early 70s, at the New School for Social Research, where he had gone to college where I had gone to college. And she had told depth these stories about Jean Smith, you know,
Alex Ferrari 30:37
So it's kind of like the universe was like, building up this, this, this, this, this a maximum point, this turning point where all of these things would just come to a head and you just, yeah, there's no time.
David Kessler 30:49
This was a 50. This was a 52 years, it was a decade long, long game.
Alex Ferrari 30:54
That's what this this was you you had no idea you were part of it till later on.
David Kessler 30:58
Alex Ferrari 31:01
Alright, so I have to ask you. So you know, there's been a lot of talk. There's been over the years have done a lot of talk about Johnny, and how he works with his, his crew and how you worked with writing. What was it like producing a movie with Johnny Depp? Especially something like this? How involved is he in the script is the scripting process? Because I mean, he does take a character and this is obviously based on someone real, but he does take a character and kind of go with it. I mean, I mean, he made the Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp, there is no Pirates of the Caribbean. I don't care what they do after now that they're not going to have him back or anything. There is no parser therapy without Johnny Depp. So without Jack Sparrow, so how, how did he approach this process with you?
David Kessler 31:43
Yep. That was really that put a lot of himself into the part and into the production of the movie. You know, the movie was made? I think the budget was $11 million. Maybe it was it was looks, it looks a lot more expensive than that. It looks amazing. I mean, it looks amazing. The cinematographers may Andrew did an amazing job. Stunning. Richie Sakamoto did the music. I mean, like, if you've made a list of like, who should do the music, like Ricci Sakamoto would be like, top of that list
Alex Ferrari 32:21
Yeah. Bill Nye and you have
David Kessler 32:22
Oh, yeah. Bill Nye. So yeah. Deb. You know, again, Deb had this personal connection, you know, to Jean Smith, as an artist as a person. So you know, I mean, I mean, I don't want to say he did the movie for scale. But he did the movie for just a fraction of what he used to get to be a pirate.
Alex Ferrari 32:44
Basically, a bunch of lunch money lunch money for Jack Sparrow.
David Kessler 32:48
Yeah, we shot in Serbia and Montenegro. You know, we couldn't even afford to shoot it in Japan, unfortunately. I think although they did shoot some plates in Japan. So yeah, I mean, this was a personal this was a this was something personal for for Johnny. So yeah, I was I was on set. I'm in a minute scene in the movie. There's a scene in Life Magazine, you might have seen the clip, where he's like, kind of walking around this conference table and lecture lecturing us. Yeah, I'm at the table. But if you sneeze or blink, if you do one of those two things, you will miss me. But yeah, I mean, he, he looks, he looks like Jean Smith, you know, with a beard, and he's got his age spots. And he's, he was the same age as as Smith was at the time. You know, there's this world weariness that Smith had, but Johnny just sort of has, you know, being who Johnny is. Yeah, of course, at the age that Johnny is. And you know, he just he just embodied the part and then on onset, he was called gene. He was called, on the call sheet says, like, you know, Gene Smith as Gene Smith. He just took it really, really seriously.
Alex Ferrari 34:13
So you so you're there watching him? I'm assuming you were there almost every day on set, or were you on set a lot.
David Kessler 34:18
I was there for a week. I was I was just there for a week in Serbia. So I only saw some some scenes.
Alex Ferrari 34:24
Okay, so when you're on the set and watching Johnny work, what did I mean? You know, he's our he's arguably one of the better actors of his generation. Without question, what's it like seeing him work and also bringing your words to life?
David Kessler 34:41
It's, it was the latter part of your question. It's sort of an out of body experience. Like, I like I like I don't know how I've gotten to this point. You know, I mean, things were not going well for me and my laundry business until the end. I had $50.12 in the bank before they wired in the money or the movie. You know, like I was going to have to move back to my parents house in Philadelphia like things were not you know, my pivot into the laundry industry was was ended up not not being a good one. So
Alex Ferrari 35:19
I thought my pivot into the olive oil and vinegar business was rough.
David Kessler 35:24
Yeah, my my last gamble was making a movie. I like it. Like, it's weird that this this, this worked out the way you did. But but to your earlier point, Johnny Depp's is amazing. That one scene took about eight and a half hours to shoot the scene in the Life Magazine. I'm sitting at the table. I'm sitting at the table the entire day, just watching him work. Essentially. I'm sitting next to Bill Nye. He is He is to my right. Katherine Jenkins, the opera singer and performer who's the director's wife is sitting across from me. And debt, that's the depot supposed to walk around the table and lecture us all. And, you know, when we start, you know, 830 in the morning, and depth is, you know, Okay, I gotta say this when I hit this mark, okay, okay, you know, and he's, he's got a long monologue, maybe it's a three and a half minute monologue, I don't remember. But he's got a lot to say, in a short amount of time. And again, he's got a hit, you know, Mark's gonna hit the marks, and you know, the camera, people are following him around and, you know, boom, people. So in the beginning, you know, it's like, oh, no, you know, is is, you know, it's he's kind of kind of rough going, you know, the first first, you know, 30 minutes or hour, you know, and if you're, what's the line? Okay. Okay. But then, the course of the day, I am watching. Like, it's a masterclass, I am watching Johnny Depp, like, find the meaning in the words, you know, like, find the meaning behind the meaning, like, I'm watching him, connect with Bill Nye, you know, who he knows? Yeah, he's here with Bill Nye, who he's known for 20 years. But in the movie, Jean Smith obviously knows the the editor of Life magazine for probably as long. So like, there's these kind of mirroring, like, parallel relationships that are happening, you know, so he's, you know, he's, you know, playing this bitter photographer who's angry at the life. Like, I was just like, minutes before we shot. I don't know, Bill gave Johnny or bill or Johnny gave bill, a book was like a nonfiction book, I thought you would really enjoy this. So good to have this relationship. Then I'm watching this relationship play out with my words and the words of the script. And I'm like, This is amazing. You know, like, there's, there's history there. Like, there's real life history that they are sort of pinging back, you know, they're, they're mining from it was kind of extraordinary.
Alex Ferrari 38:08
That's amazing. No, it was, it was amazing. So let me ask you, do you have any advice for people who are adapting screenwriters who are adapting a true story? What advice you wish you would have known when you started adapting these kind of things? That's a different art form than writing something from scratch.
David Kessler 38:27
Yeah, it's funny. Just this weekend, I taught a one to one day workshop, a three hour workshop called The Art of adaptation. And I had about two and a half hours of it advice. And I think the first chunk of it was like, you know how to win over people who own the IP.
Alex Ferrari 38:49
That's, that's a class in itself. It is.
David Kessler 38:52
It is. It's not easy. It's really not easy. You know, it's, I mean, it's easier now for me, you know, oh, I made this movie with Johnny Depp. And
Alex Ferrari 39:03
Oh, yeah, the doors open a little bit wider. Yeah. Like, like, Hi, I'm Steven Spielberg. And that's what you need to say.
David Kessler 39:08
Well, it was even a little tougher. You know, when like, the movie hadn't been made yet. So it was just kind of theoretical. It was just like, movie Johnny Depp Minamata. You know, people really couldn't like they could watch it. They could see it. Sure. No, it wasn't, it wasn't tangible. But now I can say oh, you can look at it on iTunes and, you know, amaz Amazon Prime and, and whatnot. Yeah, so part of it is, I think the first part of the class was, yeah, adeno identifying IP, where you could find it. It's everywhere. I mean, like, oh, there's
Alex Ferrari 39:40
1000s 10s Hundreds 1000s of bugs, comics and gate. There's just so much
David Kessler 39:45
There's, there's 400,000 recordings that you could put you could you know, you could write a movie based on a song and use the actual song. So there's almost half a million songs that you can use the actual recordings of anything before 1926 In America, but interestingly, you can't the UK and Canada have different public domain rules, which I found out about that's like, it's like, the death. It's like the life of the author plus 50 or 70 years. You know, which is which is different than the US. So it's like you whatever was published in Canada or the UK, that might you know, that stuff might be available 10 years before it's available. Domestic.
Alex Ferrari 40:41
So how does that work, though? So like, I'll go over the Canada by the rights of Canada. And can you play it out here? You can't do that?
David Kessler 40:46
I don't I don't know. Yeah, that's yeah, that's what I do know this. I have I have a friend who's a Broadway producer. And he's, he's doing a musical of the Little Prince. Yeah. But he's only doing it in like Europe, because the rights are available. Yeah. Like, you couldn't do it here. And you could I like, I think, even think he's doing it in Hungary or Poland or something. There's like
Alex Ferrari 41:16
Some place that's like, so specific that you can't get out of that. Nobody.
David Kessler 41:19
It's like, he's got a full production. And he can do it. And he can perform the shows on that IP, because he's, you know, he's found the loopholes of the countries that you can. So yeah, there's all these like, you know, very interesting. There's all these like, very interesting, like, little like, you know, loopholes that you can sort of like slide through. Even in my research, you know, about the Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Dollar Baby thing,
Alex Ferrari 41:52
Ofcourse, yeah. Let everybody know. But yeah, that short film thing. Yeah, I've heard that forever. But go ahead.
David Kessler 41:56
He still does it. I thought, Well, he did like the middle does it.
Alex Ferrari 42:01
So for everybody listening, Stephen King will allow you to license a short film that is not licensed by a major company or a short short story, a short story, excuse me of his of his that can be turned into a short film. And you can't make money on it. You can't sell it. But the only prerequisite is you could send it but not the festival, show it off as yourself. But he needs to get a copy of it. So you can watch it. That's right. And there was a couple guys who got their starts like that fair, Frank Darabont. I think yeah, I think Frank Darabont Frank Darabont started his whole journey with that that's how he was able to license Shawshank Redemption not for $1 Obviously because but he had a relationship already with Stephen King and then that then went on to the Green Mile and and then missed in all these other things.
David Kessler 42:47
The missed the Miss gave me nightmares.
Alex Ferrari 42:52
Dude, I just had Thomas Jane on. Oh, wow. You can listen to that episode. It's so awesome. Like,
David Kessler 42:57
Yeah, so you can you can go to Stephen King John says last dollar, baby. And then all the rules right there. Yeah. So there's, there's, there's there is IP there is and then, you know, in my, in my class, I was breaking down, like all the things that are inspired. But you know, like, there's so many things that are Frankenstein, like, Oh, my God, Ex Machina. Frankenstein. Like, you know, Shakespeare. Oh my God, there's so many ships. Oh, you know, they did the hip hop a fellow, you know, 1010 Things I Hate About You. And then they did the meta Shakespeare, they did a Shakespeare play about a Shakespeare play
Alex Ferrari 43:42
Taming the shrewd. It's, there's so much IP out there that if you are a new writer wanting to get into the business, if you can come up with a new unique twist on a obviously successful IP, like a Shakespeare play, but just turn it and flip it around in a way that makes sense for you. It makes sense that's something new and fresh, which is hard to do and those kinds of IPs. But that's just an example. You can get the ball rolling on it, you can get your career off the ground, you can create a writing sample based on the structure of some of the greatest writers of all time.
David Kessler 44:18
You cannot you can take a Lovecraft story and Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, I mean, there there are lists. And I sent this out to my class. And actually, I'll forward it to you that are just like, they're the websites that just keep track of like what's fresh in the public domain? Oh, that's nice. You know, like Eugene O'Neill stories, and the way novels like there's just all this stuff that is just just like what is alien, except it's a haunted house story in space, right? Like Outland is a Western in space. Like just take something and put it in Space.
Alex Ferrari 45:01
Well, and it's a little bit more expensive to shoot stuff in space, but generally speaking, yes. Or you could just be a desolate. Poke post apocalyptic, post apocalyptic.
David Kessler 45:11
I mean, look, the abyss is a haunted house story in the water
Alex Ferrari 45:16
Again, again very difficult to shoot. But But yes, no without without question and all those. There's always I mean, look at and I've said this before and I'm not the first to say this. The Fast and Furious is point break. And it was based on an article, right so but the Fast and Furious No, no, no, no, but the Fast and Furious. Yeah, the Fast and Furious first movie was based on an article, but the structure of the movie is point break.
David Kessler 45:44
Oh, okay. Right.
Alex Ferrari 45:45
I mean, just look at it. Just look at it undercover cop the girl extreme infiltrating secret. It's point break point for point beat for beat, you just go through it. There's videos on it on YouTube. It's just point break. It's all it is, is Point Break, and you're just like, me Can't believe now. It's like some sort of James Bond Frankenstein that they turned it into.
David Kessler 46:11
But to your point, it's like IP of IP, you know,
Alex Ferrari 46:14
I mean, it was they used to structure but they use the structure of another movie. And completely, I don't know how they got away with it, to be honest with you. But, but things like that. There's always stories out there. And if you can attach and in the world we live in today, IP is king. Everybody just wants IP, everyone wants a best selling book. Everybody wants something that they can hold their hat, they could do that get the give an executive and out if all goes wrong. So in other words, hey, I we put this movie into production is based on a Shakespeare play. Who knew? You know, they have to have something to escape hatch? If not, they don't take risks on original IP as much anymore. Because if they fail, they're gone.
David Kessler 46:59
I mean, what is AI? If it's not Pinocchio with robots, you know, but, I mean, there's even a Blue Fairy in it. I mean, and Jude Law is like a handsome robot Jiminy Cricket. I mean, you know, but um, yeah, I just read somebody's hard script. It was it took place in a single location, I found on the blacklist website. And then I got the guy on the phone. And I said, Hey, you know, what's, what inspired this? And he goes, Well, this this serial, the serial serial killer did this, like one thing? You know, like, I don't know, if he put people in the basement. First, I forget what it was. It was something benign. I mean, not benign, but not something, not something like, Oh, my God, that's horrible. And I can't I don't want to think about it. But it was just like, you know, maybe it was the van. I don't know. It was something small, right? It was something small and not pedestrian. But you know, and I said, Listen, I'm gonna, I'm gonna raise the value of your spec with four words. Okay, open up final draft or Highlander, whatever it is. Okay, right under your name. You're doing this inspired by a true story. Oh, yeah, that's, yeah, it's not wrong. It was inspired by this one little thing that this terrible person did, you know, one or one or two times, and I was like, Dude, that's the inspiration for your script. And, you know, people will be interested. It's got some magic dust on it, you know, inspired by a true story.
Alex Ferrari 48:27
It's so it's so true. And now you see that everywhere now is everything's inspired by a true story inspired by true story. I look, again, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show is to talk to you about IP about how to get IP. And it's so important in today's world, because you need something make you stand out as a writer and as a filmmaker. And if something as simple as the Stephen King Dollar, baby thing. I mean, if you're coming up as a filmmaker, and you're like, I don't have anything, I don't have a story to tell him I go read one of the best authors of his generation of the 20th century 21st century Stephen King. And he's how many stories short stories.
David Kessler 49:03
Yeah, hundreds and and you can make it on your you can make it on your phone,
Alex Ferrari 49:07
Which, which I've seen by the way, I've seen him by the way I get I've get pitched Stephen King projects all the time. Like those short bit like I just made a Stephen King short film, and they're using Stephen King's name to try to open some doors. Oh, they're like, Oh, it's a noose, a new short film by Stephen King that he wrote it. And I'm like, Yeah, I'm hip to the game already brought it I think.
David Kessler 49:28
I think that violates the dollar maybe rules, because he's got specific rules that you like, you can't you can't you can't like, oh, Stephen King authorized this or something like yeah,
Alex Ferrari 49:38
No, no, yeah. But nowadays, everybody knows about this. I mean, everybody in the business kind of knows about it, but it still opens. If you want to be a director and want to show off what you can do. Why not on a Stephen King movie. I mean, it works with Frank Darabont back in the 80s. I saw his his his Stephen King adaptation
David Kessler 49:54
It was was it was a chore. Or was it something
Alex Ferrari 49:56
Oh, no, no, it wasn't Shawshank. It was a think it was the one it was called the boogeyman, I think was the book, The boogeyman, the boogeyman, I remember I wanted to make that back in the day I wanted to make the book and I was How was his short? Is it the ad? So is it you know, the technology wasn't that it was shot on 35. I think he shot on 60. And one of the two, it was good, it was well crafted. It was, you know, he was a writer wanted to be a director. And then he put he pulled this obscure short film, which was the Rita Davis, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, which nobody in there, who's gonna make a movie out of that short film. And then Frank actually filled it out and build out a feature based on that short film. And then Steven was so excited ecstatic about it, then he's like, Hey, I'm writing this thing called the Green Mile. And he was giving him the Green Mile episodes before anybody. So he was already he's like, Steven, I need to I need I need to make this. So it was that was why it was right. After Shawshank. He went right back to the prison and made Green Mile, which is still is one of my favorite movies of all time as well. And then he went back with the mist and, and so on. It's just, it's fascinating. But that's, that's one of those success stories of someone using IP. And God bless Stephen King for doing it.
David Kessler 51:15
Yeah, I'm glad you brought up short stories short stories are, they're, they're a great, they're a great place to mine from because, you know, they're not on everybody's mind. You know, I mean, they might be in a collection that's out of print. Right? Oh, like, you know, who reads short story collections anymore? I mean, I remember the last time I read one, but you know, Stephen King, son, Joe Hill, they're making a movie. I think it's called fun. Oh, my God, that was an amazing short story. I went back and I read the short story, but short stories, you know, it's not it's not on top of mind, right? You could get a famous author to, like Stephen King to maybe license the, you know, allow you to, you know, you know, option, their short story, an author of a short story might feel less. They might be less, you know, yeah, less precious. That's I was gonna say proprietary, but less precious about like, wow, like, you know, it's only 15 pages or 20 pages short.
Alex Ferrari 52:15
It's a short film, what are you going to do with it, you want to make a short film, knock yourself out,
David Kessler 52:19
You know, but love versus like, oh, I spent 10 years writing this novel, I don't want you to change a word. You know, they and then that way, you have more you have more I can flesh it out. It can it can be more of your own, you know, you can add stuff to it. Yeah. So you know, I mean, if I had more time and more inclination, I would probably go into your short story. collections.
Alex Ferrari 52:40
So what are you working next man? What are you working on next?
David Kessler 52:44
I have a Kubrick I mentioned this. Before we got on the air. I have a Kubrick themed script. What else am I working on? They're all they tend to be true stories. I'm reading some nonfiction books, ones ones ones about has to deal with UFOs. Awesome I'm working on. Oh, yeah, I have reached I reached out there, there are some big properties that I am like I'm swinging for the fences for one's a rock band. One's a rock band. Who has already had, you know an adaptation of one of their things made. There's there's another rock artists of the 60s and 70s and 80s. I just want to make a movie of a chapter of his biography, you know, just just just one of the chapters, you know, not the whole thing. You know, because that has a beginning and a middle and end. That's that's another thing I love about true stories and IP is that structures laid out for you. But yeah,
Alex Ferrari 54:04
We had somebody who came on the show who wrote The Motley Crue biopic for Netflix. Oh, wow. Yeah. And he but he'd been on it for 15 years, somewhere that like it took forever to get Yeah.
David Kessler 54:18
I had the the rock stars people bid for just a moment. There was a moment where like, all the conduits between me and the rock star, you know, we're all like, Oh, he's interested. And now now now. Now now now, I don't know it just it just it just kind of, kind of like they say in the dating parlance kind of I feel like I've gotten ghosted, right but but now that Minamata is going to come out on DVD, I'm literally buying like, you know, 20 copies of it and I'm just gonna mail it to the people that I want to get the IP from gone. There's a movie for you to watch it If you'd like it, let's talk.
Alex Ferrari 55:01
Yeah, that's a that's a Yeah. Well, I mean, you've got a heck of a calling card. Now, that's a really Heck of a calling card to rock it out. But man, listen, your story has been so inspiring man. You know, it doesn't happen very often. Your first first movie out of the gate is of such magnitude, such quality and, and working with one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It's a pretty amazing story. I'm going to ask you a few questions asked all my guests. What advice would you give a screenwriter trying to break into the business today?
David Kessler 55:30
Find some IP not not just for the, you know, magic dust that that you know, having, you know, some, some some intellectual property, you know, it eases the writing, you know, it eases the pulling your hair out and trying to figure out how God what's gonna happen now, what's my character's motivation? You know, who's the bad guy? A lot of it is already laid out, you know, in the
Alex Ferrari 55:59
Oh, yeah, a lot of the heavy lifting has been done if you're picking up somebody else's IP. I mean, it's a lot of heavy lifting has been done, you just now have to, as opposed to trying to build something you're trying to now you're taking things away, which is a lot easier. You're editing versus creating scenes, like I have 400 scenes to choose from, but I really only got 27 I can actually put in the movie.
David Kessler 56:18
Unless you unless you're adapting a short story then it's a different edition novels are about or, or about subtraction, right? And, and often nonfiction is about addition, there are a lot of stuff I had to add Minamata the book is basically it's almost like a travelogue. It's and then it's you know, it has it's kind of a photo essay.
Alex Ferrari 56:44
The meat is there. You're just seasoning there.
David Kessler 56:46
Were there were some I mean, there's some scenes and stuff, but I relied on, you know, Eileen, you know, gave me a lot of stories. And I relied on there's, you know, an 800 page, Jean Smith biography. But there was a lot of filling in ahead of it. So yeah, so So yeah, find find some some IP and again, anything before 1926 Depending on your country.
Alex Ferrari 57:11
Don't make a movie about Mickey Mouse. No, that's, that's not going to work.
David Kessler 57:15
I mean, I don't know if you're aware, but Steamboat Willie is up, is is almost in the public domain.
Alex Ferrari 57:23
It's almost it's almost in the public domain. And I promise you best of luck putting it out. I don't know why. I don't know. I don't know how the mouse is gonna
David Kessler 57:34
I'm not I'm not advocating that I'm just I'm just being informative about the, the copyright deadline.
Alex Ferrari 57:43
It's coming, they'll probably extend it somehow, again, I'm sure. Like, yeah, it should have been issued a public domain 20 years ago. But there's that. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
David Kessler 57:59
It does also include romantically
Alex Ferrari 58:01
Whatever in life life for, or the film business, don't move to LA chasing a woman, that's probably a good one.
David Kessler 58:09
Moving moving to LA is not a bad thing that I will never regret that, that, that that was that was the impetus for this entire journey. I mean, I would still be living in my rent stabilized, you know, apartment, you know, on a fifth floor walk up, you know, just, you know, decomposing. And if, if, if I hadn't hit, you know, that button on that dating website, you know, in 2000 What advice is, um, you know, I'm learning now is just, like, you know, I'm older, and there was a period, until quite recently, I was looking for a full time job. And that's not gonna happen. Like, like, you know, I'm building the plane in midair. I see that. And, and sometimes you just have to, you know, just like, trust your gut, like, Oh, that's not for me. Like, I don't fit. Like, that's not gonna work. Another No. So like, only a few months ago, I was like, Oh, this is it. This is my life. Like I'm like, every day I am you know, hustling to make movies and you know, get rights and you know, charm charm, the IP holders. It's like, and there's there's only you only have one lunch.
Alex Ferrari 59:35
This is it. This is it.
David Kessler 59:37
I mean, I'm not saying you know, you know, leave your wife and leave your kid and you know, go out for a pack of cigarettes and never come back. I mean, you have to be responsible. But, you know, you just have to carve your own carve your own path.
Alex Ferrari 59:53
Very good advice. Now, what are three of your favorite films of all time?
David Kessler 59:57
It sounds trite. But I don't mean it to be Meet the Parents is what is in my, in my in my top three, the pan i i I talk about it in my, my I teach for the script anatomy. I break it there I have to go back because they videotape the classes for people have missed it. I have to go back because I expound I go deep, like you've got that Kubrick book I, like I have talked about Meet the Parents in such granular like, deep in that there's so many things going on in that movie, you know, in terms of theme in terms of like, the theme behind the theme. Like and it's it's so like, deceptively simple, like, you know, like I once had a meeting with a producer who made a lot of big movies in the 80s. And every time I pitched something he would be like, execution dependent. All right, okay. But like, Is it everything? Like was it like, yeah, what isn't? You know, like, you know, alien, okay, it's an alien and a thing. And you know, there's this woman and she's trying to fight the execution dependent. I'm like, I'm sure it would have to be like, you know, on what the alien look like. And you know, if you know, HR Giger is making the alien. But, like, meet the parents is so deceptively simple, like, a guy goes home to impress his girlfriend's parents. Like, like, if you pitch that to me, you get thrown out.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:42
Right, then no, you're absolutely right, that it's deceivingly simple, and yet complex.
David Kessler 1:01:48
I also have like this, like, it's not a conspiracy theory, because, like, it's also a movie about a Jewish person, like trying to marry into a wasp family. That's also like one of the themes behind the themes. And again, it's not like a conspiracy theory that I've liked thought of, and, you know, in the dark hours, like, it kind of comes up a few times in the movie. Oh, more than a few times more than a few times. Oh, it's this what you guys call a Hapa. Like, you know, well,
Alex Ferrari 1:02:22
I have I have Nicolas Greg, can you milk me?
David Kessler 1:02:26
Even in that scene, you know, he gets asked to say the prayer over the me like, well do Jews pray over meals, don't they? Like, again? It's it's, it's more than subtext is text.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:39
So what are the other tip?
David Kessler 1:02:43
haven't watched it in a long time, but Raging Bull Raging Bull really knocked me out? When I was in my 20s. And when I was in college, that's a hell of a movie.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:54
Of course it is.
David Kessler 1:02:56
Alex Ferrari 1:02:58
Oh, god, that's a masterpiece. So it's Quinn, Tarantino say that was his favorite movie of the 2000s. So far, between 2010
David Kessler 1:03:07
Oh, I guess I would say Pulp Fiction too. Well, yeah, me, not me. Well, one of my prized possessions is I got to, I worked at Miramax for probably 72 hours. Okay, like, at a time when they still pasted things up, like on art boards, you know, and I befriended the art director, we were still friends. This is like 25 years later, maybe longer. I was able to get the original poster for Reservoir Dogs. Wow. Written like the original like, like off the press for the first, you know, run of it. And also, he sent me a Pulp Fiction poster. Again, like off the press for the first, you know, when they first like, you know, first, and I'm sure there's some code or some number, maybe on the back that says, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:04
So things don't work out eBay.
David Kessler 1:04:07
I do have a poster tube of posters that you know in case of emergency brake.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:16
It has been a pleasure talking to you, man. It's been a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on the show brother and continued success and I appreciate you, hopefully inspiring some screenwriters out there some filmmakers out there to go out there and get some IP and make their dreams come true. So I appreciate you my friend.
David Kessler 1:04:31
Super let's keep in touch!
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