The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently rejected attempts to cap the tax breaks offered to filmmakers in the commonwealth, which is good for Hollywood studios and for the local economy. But can it benefit would-be moguls in these parts who’d like to make their own movies?
Producer Howard Rosenman promises to demonstrate just that in his four-hour seminar “The Hollywood Sell,” which takes place on Saturday, April 10, from 10 am to 2 pm at the Stuart Street Playhouse under the auspices of Emerson College. In it, Rosenman, who has made dozens of films ranging from Father of the Bride (1991) to The Celluloid Closet (1995), will guide aspiring Spielbergs through the production process, from “pitch to Oscar acceptance speech.”
Rosenman doesn’t guarantee everyone an Academy Award, but certainly doesn’t dismiss the possibility. “Everybody has a dream,” he tells me over the phone from LA. “Everybody can do it. Look at your two boys from Boston, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon [winners of the 1997 Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting]. They did it because they sat down and wrote a script and they’re smart and they’re movie lovers and had drive, passion, and ambition.”
And back then, they didn’t even have the tax breaks, which, says Rosenman, can help out — even if you’re not Martin Scorsese or Clint Eastwood. “Movies don’t have to cost $60 million,” he says. “Paramount is producing films with budgets of as little as $200,000. I’m giving people the tools to develop those movies, to develop those screenplays. It’s about how to take an idea and bring it to fruition.”
“The Hollywood Sell” takes place on Saturday, April, 10, at the Stuart Street Playhouse, 200 Stuart Street, in Boston. Tickets are $50 ($30 for students). Call 617.426.4499.
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