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Home of the Giants

Gorman's "Home of the Giants" the only local feature to screen at Chicago Fest

Written by Ruth L. Rathy

© 2007

First published3rd October 2007

Be sure to read the original article

Rusty Gorman has the singular distinction of being the only Chicago filmmaker whose narrative motion picture will screen at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival.

Gorman wrote and directed the $3.7 million feature, “Home of the Giants,” with a solid cast headed by Oscar-nominated Haley Joel Osment and rising star Ryan Merriman and Disney darling Danielle Panabaker.

“Giants” follows Indiana high school sports journalist Gar (Osment) as he’s persuaded by his best friend and basketball star Matt (Merriman) into robbing a drug dealer. Things don’t go as planned and Gar faces a desperate predicament with the state title and Matt’s future on the line.

Gorman says his coming-of-age film will “give more than you’d expect, with curveballs coming from different genres—lots of thriller, suspense, and humor elements.”

A seasoned writer/director, Gorman is no newcomer to the challenges of feature filmmaking. He spent more than a decade in L.A. learning his craft in different areas—and along the way earning an MFA in film from USC—after graduating NU in 1985.

The Indiana native wrote the “Giants” screenplay in 1997 but production didn’t take off until he met his producing partner Dan Schalk. “We started off as two guys trying to raise money to make the movie in summer of 2005,” said Gorman.

Prior to “Giants,” success was almost twice within the grasp of Gorman and his then-L.A.-based writing partner, Jon Felson. They sold two different stories to Columbia Pictures in 2004 and Cynergi Pictures the following year. But nothing came of either one.

SymPics International of Greensboro, N.C. was the initial funder, at whose behest Indiana-set “Giants” was shot in North Carolina. Their funding petered out after 80% of the footage was in the can.

Enter RDS. “They took a chance and worked like mad entertaining potential investors for four or five months,” said Gorman. A short trailer cut by RDS was instrumental in convincing potential funders.

The final 20% of the footage was filmed in L.A., with some scenes in Chicago, and the 20% completion funding was ultimately provided by L.A.-based Blue Rider Entertainment through RDS' efforts.

They’re working on a distribution deal, which should be finalized within the next 30-45 days, Gorman said.

Entering “Giants” in CIFF wasn't a planned part of their marketing strategy and its acceptance pleased them. Gorman said he submitted his movie to the Chicago fest thinking “it would be fun since I live here.”

Gorman and his wife, Gayle, moved back to the Midwest in ’96. “To me, Chicago is a great place to raise a family,” he said. The Gormans have three children. “I grew up in the Midwest, so I'm trying to make it work with the entertainment industry.”

From his Lakeview office, Gorman is currently hunkered over his latest project, a screenplay based on Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Marx’s book, “Season of Life,” about Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL football star.

“Home of the Giants” will screen at Landmark Century Center Cinema Oct. 12 at 6:45 p.m. and Oct. 14 at noon; at AMC River East 21, Oct. 16, 9:30 p.m.


Following CIFF, “Giants” will screen six times, Oct. 20-24 at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis.

Be sure to read the original article


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