Sure, GW has the Elliott School for International Affairs and a massive political science department pumping out government employees by the dozen. What about the other departments? Darren Goldberg, a partner at 7th Floor Productions in Manhattan and a graduate of the Electronic Media program, is distributing his newest film, “Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story.”
“Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story” is the story of Bobby Dukes, an idol in the world of paintball, and stars Rob Corddry from “The Daily Show.” However, when he’s caught wiping paint from his jersey he’s suspended from the sport for 10 years. When Bobby is able to return to paintball, he finds it difficult to regain the respect he lost. That is, until he finds a friend in a shockingly unlikely person: the referee who caught him cheating, Lenny Pear, who is played by Paul Scheer from The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Troop.
Together, they put together a team of misfit paint-ballers, Eddie Reynolds (Rob Riddle – Saturday Night Live), Sam Brown (Rob Huebel – Arrested Development, The Upright Citizens Brigade), Showtime and Crosby Peters (Curtis Gwinn and Seth Morris, both of The Upright Citizens Brigade).
“Blackballed” was declared the Best Improv Film of 2005 by Improv Miami, and it is definitely clear why. From the very beginning, it is apparent how incredibly quick-witted the entire cast is. From Corddry’s rather understated performance to the over the top but incredibly funny acting of Riggle, the performances are made even funnier by the film’s mockumentary style, which cleverly gives an excuse for the abundance of hand-held camera work.
The actors were given their character biographies and a general idea of where the scene needed to go and were allowed to just run with the scene, said Goldberg in an interview with The Hatchet. This strategy yielded 70 hours of footage, and the editing staff was faced with the daunting task of cutting it down to its 91 minute duration. The end result is a funny, quick-witted, spontaneous film – clearly the product of a cast of talented stand-up comedians.
Darren Goldberg, since his graduation from GW, has made a successful foray into the film industry. After paying his dues in the New York film industry, Goldberg joined 7th Floor Productions in 2000. Most recently in 2005, it handled production services on the Nicholas Cage film “Lord of War.” One of 7th Floor’s upcoming projects includes “Gardener of Eden,” where Goldberg serves as executive producer.
“Blackballed” also marks the directorial debut of “Entourage” star Kevin Connolly, whom Darren describes as a “current . suburban taxi driver.” The film is in post-production, and they are looking towards the Sundance Film Festival. Also, in June they will be going into production on “The Cake Eaters,” which will mark the directorial debut of actress Mary Stuart Masterson (“Benny and Joon”).
“Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story” is scheduled at the Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse. After two years playing and winning awards at film festivals around the country, including the Telluride Comedy Film Festival and the AFI Film Festival, the film has been hampered by distribution troubles.
This film definitely provides a nice break in this last week before the start of finals. However, for those too engrossed in their studies to venture over to Arlington, the DVD is scheduled to be released July 25. n
“Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story” is currently playing at the Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse.
7th Floor is currently looking for interns to assist on the set of “The Cake Eaters” when it begins filming in New York. Any interested students should email email@example.com
This article appeared in the May 4, 2006 issue of the Hatchet.