Film Short: Director Steve Marra Loves “Amanda”

Bill Bannister, Ariana Dubynin and Steve Marra on the Red Carpet

 Steve Marra, Director of the independent film “Amanda”, had reason to smile last May as he celebrated the movie’s red carpet premiere along with cast members Ariana Dubynin (Amanda) and Bill Bannister (Bob Bender) at the Giordano Theatre housed in the Las Vegas Hilton.  Marra, who helms Adrenaline Motion Pictures, wrote the screenplay, produced and edited the film and had a small acting role in it. “I always wanted to do a romantic comedy,” he shared.  However, rather than do the typical boy meets girl story, he focused on the idea of  people loving each other for being who they are and inserted a gender twist.  “The premise of the movie is about a guy that just turns 40 and thinks he’ll never find romance.  He meets the girl of his dreams.  They get married.  They fall in love, they get married and then something happens on their wedding night,” Marr explained.  Then with a smile he added, “It’s quite shocking.”  The story begins with a surprise birthday party for Joe Bender (Randy Ryan), which leads to a whirlwind romance with the beautiful Amanda and several questions involving the age old concept of true love. “Sex is easy.  The spark is hard,” the screenwriter alleged.

As for taking on multiple roles during the production, Steve commented, “It just so happens I’m capable.”  He also said that acting in so many capacities saved him a lot of money.  An editor for many years, he decided it was time to try directing.  “If I want to cut my teeth, why not make it easy on myself?” he asked.  That logic doesn’t extend to producing at the same time though, which he doesn’t want to do again.  Instead, he recommended getting a line producer for those duties.  “I was a basket case,” he admitted.  The other responsibilities came naturally to him with writing being his favorite, then editing and directing coming in third place.  He explained that one reason he’s attracted to writing so much is because of the solitude.  “I can do it anywhere,” he smiled.

Hailing from Indiana, Steve described his home state as film friendly, but very conservative when it comes to investing in film production.  “We don’t do movies in Indiana,” he said before commenting, “No one makes the money appear magically,”   He and his executive producers held an investment meeting at a local restaurant and flew in the actors and key crew members to meet with potential funders.  They spent the evening dining and getting to know potential backers while showing them their business plan.  The next day they received two checks and the project was greenlit.  The script was finished in January 2008 and then it took 16 months to raise the financing.  Shooting began on April 15th of last year and wrapped on May 10th.  They worked 6 day weeks on a 24 day shoot which Steve said he won’t do again on his next movie since Sundays don’t provide enough down time.

The father of two, a son and a daughter, Marra said both his children are supportive of his artistic endeavors.   He described his son Liam as a ham who enjoys staying up all night and his daughter Caitlin, who played Party Girl 2 in the film, a good actress.  Mentioning her take on “Amanda” Steve said “My daughter got a twist on Beauty and the Beast.” 

Last fall Marra spent three days attending AFM and set up several distribution meetings there.  Then, with the assistance of a producer’s rep, he connected with Giordano.  Aside from having a theatrical release, “Amanda” was also screened at film festivals in Indianapolis and Vancouver, Canada and Steve has also set up a home video deal with Osiris Entertainment.

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>