Gorman ( right ) with actress Danielle Panabaker
published in the official
Haley Joel Osment Message Board on 3rd September 2005 .
article was rewritten on 19th November 2005 for this tribute site by the author
, incorporating new information about Rusty Gorman after he was contacted by Mr
Gorman himself, following the publication of this article here.
sure to read the ORIGINAL
was late June 2005 when we first heard Home of the Giants mentioned on the official
Haley Joel Osment website forums. Fair posted a news report from a Terre-Haute,
Indiana paper saying that Haley was attached to the project but the story by Indiana
writer/director Rusty Gorman could be filmed in North Carolina. Two days later
Fair turned up another story from the Greensboro North Carolina News&Record
stating that the production, with Haley, was coming to the Greensboro home base
of independent filmmaker Sympics International. Im as anxious as anyone
to see him on screen again and I really wanted it to be true. But days and weeks
passed with no official announcement from KA and nothing in the trade press and
I began to have doubts. Could Sympics principal L Charles Grimes be talking up
the project before he had actual signatures on contracts? Stranger things have
happened. All became clear in mid July. Haley travelled all the way to the Giffoni
Film Festival in Italy where he announced his new film in person, followed shortly
thereafter by stories in the trades.
clearly remember the year of Secondhand Lions when we spent many months finding
and posting news about the production and the filmmakers. That was the first medium
budget feature for writer/director Tim McCanlies but we came to know him quite
well through some lengthy interviews he gave. Now we can start all over again
with Home of the Giants.
So, what do we
know about HOTG director Rusty Gorman? Not much if we rely on IMDB which only
lists his credit as director: marine unit on the independent 2001
pic Madison. That was a based-on-a-true-story hydroplane-racing movie financed
by a consortium of Chicago investors. Written by William (Bill) and Scott Bindley,
it was directed by Bill with the boat racing sequences directed and largely shot
by Rusty Gorman. It was also Jake Lloyds first acting job after Star Wars Ep.1
and had Haley co-star Jim Caviezel in the lead. Madison went to the January 2001
Sundance Film Festival, then sat on the shelf for over four years. For reasons
that can only be guessed at, its backers could not secure a distribution deal.
And poor Jake Lloyds acting career seemed to sink along with the movie.
The film eventually got a limited theatrical opening in April 2005, and was released
on DVD on September 13 2005.
sympathise with the troubles surrounding Madison. He's been through it himself.
often does not have the whole story. Some convoluted web-crawling turned up more
information and then Rusty himself came to the rescue with a concise but informative
resume of his achievements.
and Rusty Gorman were in the class of 1984 at Northwestern University film school
in Chicago/Evanston. Just after receiving their undergraduate degrees, they collaborated
on their own sports themed short film. Technically, they were no longer students
but the professor turned a tolerantly blind eye to their use of film school equipment
while the two friends crashed on the dorm room floor of Bills freshman brother
Scott. The finished film, entitled Sportsmans Field ran 24 minutes and took
high honors at the Chicago Access Film Festival, Houston International Film Festival,
and the Canadian International Film Festival. A promising start for two young
Bill and Rusty pursued separate
careers, though their paths crossed on projects such as Miracle Beach (1992) where
they are both credited as associate producers. Rusty also accumulated production
experience on such feature films as The Abyss, Think Big, and Zombie High.
directed several other short films, including Piha, a 10-minute experimental film
for the New Zealand Board of Tourism and the critically acclaimed Tree of Battles,
a 20-minute narrative produced by the University of Southern California. He also
directed many industrial and promotional films through Stone Soup Productions,
Inc. for a wide variety of clients. One of his innovative ideas was adapting a
basic promotional video for individual dentistry practices. His father Jack was
a dentist widely respected in the profession. I wonder if Rusty took an interest
in Haleys teeth once they get together on set?
What lovely teeth you have. False?
HALEY: No, its perfectly true. They
are lovely teeth.
Rusty showed his versatility
by directing Last Drop of Sunlight, a rock video for artist Frank Scura, and Caves
of Fear, a CD-ROM interactive game film for Atari and Warner Brothers.
1993 and 1994 he co-produced three short comic films with actor/director Chris
Elliott for the David Letterman Show. A certain Jon Felson was assistant director.
Felson and Gorman would team up later as screenwriters.
commercials is one of the most exacting training grounds for a film professional.
The client has high expectations, the production must come in on time and on budget
and the film maker has to tell a story in as little as thirty seconds. Rusty was
quite a success at directing commercials for such clients as Introspect, Z. Cavaricci,
Zodiac Footwear, Maneuvers, The Chicago Wolves, and The American Health Network.
Nine of the spots have aired nationally including Teva Sports Sandal's "Free
Your Feet" which won a prestigious Telly award.
something was missing.
This is how Jon
Felson tells it on www.writersbootcamp.com
After film school, I began directing
television commercials. Six years into productions, I found myself filming a sport
sandal commercial in the Grand Canyon. I turned to Rusty Gorman, my producing
partner (eventual writing partner), and asked, Were not makin
movies, are we? He shot back, Nope, were selling shoes.
That was it! We went back to LA and wrote King Bee. We spent the next couple of
years learning to write. (I took Writers Boot Camp in here) You have to write
a lot of bad scripts before you learn how to write a good one. We wrote Food of
the Gods with input from Jonathan Mostow. (Director: Terminator III, U-571). We
learned a lot from him. This represented another big turning point.
Bee was based on a short story by novelist T.C.Boyle. Back in May 2000, industry
buzz had it set for production but it did not go ahead. Similarly, the remake
of H.G.Wellss Food of the Gods has not happened just yet.
also wrote Kentucky Blues for HBO, with the prospect of co-producing it with his
old friend Bill Bindley.
team next pop up in June 2004 with news that Columbia Pictures has bought their
pitch for a ghost story called Ghost Story. It concerns the 11-year-old son of
a newly inaugurated President who sees ghosts in the White House. It sounds fascinating,
like West Wing meets Sixth Sense meets First Kid but we wont really know
until its made which isnt on the horizon at present.
January 2005 brought word that Cinergi Pictures Entertainment had bought their
story entitled No Quarter Given. Sounds like a man who is mean to panhandlers
but it is really about the US Olympic Rugby Team of 1924 and their Gold Medal
victory over the highly fancied French team. Did everyone know that the USA is
currently the Olympic Rugby football champion? Its true. Although 1924 was
the last year that Rugby was an Olympic sport
no more word about No Quarter Given either. But this is no reason for a screenwriter
to feel depressed. Of all the screenplays sold, only a fraction are produced and
it is quite possible to scratch a living as a screenwriter without ever getting
a credit for a produced script. Tim McCanlies had great affection for his Secondhand
Lions screenplay because he sold the option a couple of times for substantial
money before finally getting the chance to direct it himself.
Gorman is in a similar position. He is a seasoned and sold writer, now in his
early forties with extensive experience in directing, producing and cinematography.
During his busy career he even found time to earn a Masters degree in Film Production
at the University of Southern California. Now he is finally getting the chance
to direct an actual feature with a real budget and a full sized crew. Best of
all, its his own story. Maybe we will find out how long the story has been
cooking. Perhaps for quite a while as Rusty is a native of basketball-mad Indiana
and his first student short with Bill Bindley had a sports theme. I hope that
Rusty will talk about this over the next year or so.
Haley chose this independent project after several years of looking at scripts
there must be something about the story that captured his attention. I can even
imagine that his character is a bit like him, a basketball loving high schooler
that never grew quite tall enough to make it in high school competition but keeps
in contact with the game, and his heroes by becoming a school sports reporter.
that shooting has wrapped in late 2005, I hope Haley had a lot of fun working
on the production and enjoyed a fruitful relationship with his director. I look
forward to seeing him in the completed film.
Gorman is represented by Todd Hoffman at Broder-Webb-Chervin-Silbermann Agency,
Magnet Management, and Mitch Smelkinson at Stone, Meyer & Genow, LLP.