SIX OF THE BEST: Jerry Cavallaro

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC SIX OF THE BEST: Jerry Cavallaro

Welcome to another edition of SIX OF THE BEST, the semi regular part of BRWC where we fire six questions at lovely people.  This time, we chat to Jerry Cavallaro.

Jerry is a NY based screenwriter & director. He occasionally writes for We Are Movie Geeks & can be found working the chatroom every Thursday night on FilmSnobbery Live! He has a novelty t-shirt addiction & even sells some of his own designs at Everyone hopes he gets his next film made soon so he will finally stop talking about his critically acclaimed award-winning romantic comedy, Stuck Like Chuck.

What are you up to today?

Like most weekdays, I spent a few mind-numbing hours working at my local library and the rest of the day parked in front of my horribly outdated mac. I’m currently stuck in a waiting period that almost all filmmakers go through unless you are Steven Soderbergh, Woody Allen or Gary King. I’m waiting to hear back from distributors regarding a proper release for Stuck Like Chuck. Director Nick Peterson recently optioned an over-the-top horror script I wrote called Funny Devils so we are waiting to hear back from producers & actors that have some interest in it. I also just finished a teen comedy called Freshman 15 that is clearly the best thing I have ever written. I’ve been trying to get it in the hands of whoever will read it so I’ve been waiting to hear from people on that as well. I don’t want to make it sound like I am just sitting around doing nothing while I wait though. I am actively pitching and promoting these projects while also juggling a few different ideas for what my next couple of scripts will be. I also spent some time today putting together a schedule for the Tribeca Film Festival since I will be covering it for When you do all this stuff without even leaving your room, does it still count as doing a lot?

How easy/hard is it to be a filmmaker nowadays?

Nowadays it is incredibly easy to be a filmmaker. The problem is that it is still incredibly difficult to make any money doing it. That shouldn’t stop anyone from trying though. I tell people all the time if they want to make a movie, then make a movie. I know that is much easier said than done but I am proof that it really can be done if you put the effort in. I wrote a very budget-conscious script with locations I had access to and very few characters. I also lucked out with finding 3 incredibly talented lead actors willing to work for far less than they deserved. I used whatever equipment I had, went out and made Stuck Like Chuck with a crew of one and a budget comprised of money I scraped together from my part-time job & returning an Xbox 360 I got for Christmas. It didn’t exactly emulate the success of Kevin Smith, Ed Burns or the Duplass Brothers’ early efforts but we played some fests, won a few awards, received some amazing reviews and years later there’s still interest in the film. Not a bad start to get my foot in the door. We live in a wonderful time where you can make a movie on your phone & people will watch it. There’s no reason not to pick up a camera and try.

This is of course assuming that you have a passion for filmmaking to begin with. You need to love, live and breathe movies. If you don’t, than this is a tedious, soul-crushing, insanely stressful, rejection-filled, nightmarish endeavor that you should avoid like the plague.

You’re quite busy online!  How do you fit it all in?!

Thank you. It’s actually quite simple really. As you probably figured out based on my first answer, I have absolutely no social life. And the few social gatherings I actually do manage to attend in the real world are usually shared online via the magic of my iPhone. While we are on the subject…

Official Website –
SLC Official Website –
Google+ –

What films are your faves?

I used to hate this question because I never really had a good response. My stock answer has always been Clerks. simply because of how much it inspired me. But would it be my desert island pick? Probably not. That honor would most likely go to Castaway just because of how meta that would be. For some reason I’ve actually been thinking about this question a lot lately and I may have finally come up with a good response.

My favorite film is whatever the next film I make will be. I realize that sounds like a horribly arrogant answer. That’s because it is. However, I truly believe that you should set out to make your new favorite film every time you embark on a new project. Filmmaking is an incredibly selfish act. There are really only 2 reasons people make movies; for passion or money. Regardless of which camp you fall in, you should put everything you have into making a film you not only like but absolutely love. In the end, it will never end up being your favorite film. Odds are you won’t even be able to sit through it by the time it is finished. But putting all that passion into your work means it just may end up being someone else’s favourite.

Any advice for anyone seeing this?

After years of failure, of course I learned a few things along the way. In fact, I probably have a book’s worth of advice so I’ll save the good stuff till I get a publishing deal. But here is a little nugget of wisdom for any filmmakers out there that I can guarantee you have never heard before. Everyone knows having a fully stocked craft service table is a good way to keep your cast & crew happy. The problem is that it can get very expensive. A great way to save a lot of money but still have tons of snacks is to purchase Holiday-packaged goodies (candy, chips, cakes, etc.) a few days after the holiday has passed. I purchased about $200 worth of snacks for $10 on December 28th because Santa’s face was on all the packages. We still had stuff left over when we wrapped production of SLC in late-January. Most candy & chips last at least a few months so it doesn’t hurt to stock up just in case. The 3 big holidays to watch for are Halloween, Christmas & Easter. I know this may seem like trivial advice but I just saved you hundreds of dollars on food & helped keep everyone on set happy. You’re welcome!

Anything else you want to get off your chest?!

Certainly none of my hilarious & finely crafted novelty t-shirts currently available for very reasonable prices at!

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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