Rare Mint Production’s Stories for Dinner was first featured in this space (link) on January 21st. They had a kickstarter campaign that included a well-made trailer. The fundraiser met its goal and shooting was completed. The movie is now in post production. The Boston Film Industry Examiner got to speak with Dolph Paulsen. He is the writer and director and an actor.
Dolph Paulsen comes across as a thoughtful fellow who thinks and plans his moves with a good degree of thoroughness. That’s not the whole story. He was trying to come up with a concept that would tie together the script he was working on. Where do the great ideas come from? Well Newton had the apple, but Dolph was just lying in bed when it came to him. The eureka moment was the character of Spencer, a traumatized veteran of service in Afghanistan.
Like most people in indie film, Dolph has had a professional odyssey. He got an MFA from Florida State University and headed for LA like he was “shot out of a barrel.” He even had his first SAG credit before he arrived.
Unfortunately, his two years in LaLa land would be frustrating. As he put it, “Too many almosts.” It seemed time for a change. Dolph took the Law School Admission Test, and did well, but did not get into the school of his choice.
Still, you can’t escape destiny or who you are. Dolph came back to Boston to work as a waiter. Yes, the cliché of the actor waiting for the break. At work he met a colleague in both trades, actor and server, Scott Louthan. Despite an age difference of several years, they clicked and things “kinda snowballed.” Thus began collaboration. Sam Howe, working in the same establishment, joined the team.
The restaurant where the three work must be a hotbed of film enthusiasts. Co-worker Ricardo Monzon became part of the crew. According to Dolph, Ricardo is a dynamic young man who has a knack for attracting great people to projects. He has managed and worked in a number of restaurants, and is often an impresario of gallery openings and music events. Dolph was fulsome in his praise as Ricardo covered a lot of bases for the production. It would safe to say he was a kind of glue as he held a lot together.
Another important member of a crew is the cinematographer. When Dolph met Deigh Kelin, he was impressed. Deigh didn’t go on about what he could do, but asked Dolph what he wanted. Dolph describes Deigh as, interesting, eccentric and experimental. They worked together on pre-production mostly over pizza. Deigh is now attending Emerson.
So there is a team, now there is need for a script. As mentioned above, Dolph had inspiration for his role, but that didn’t happen right away. He had spent a year writing screenplays. The Spencer character worked and he would build others.
The essential plot is a journalism student needs a home run with a writing assignment to save his grade. He hits on the idea of inviting over a random group to tell their tales at dinner. Helping to make it compelling is that the stories are real. According to Dolph, “most of the stories in the movie, the ones told by the characters at the dinner/house party, are adapted from true stories, mostly people that I know, family friends and my own personal experiences.”
So they had the plot. Scott and Dolph would need to do some strategic planning. After all, Indie film generally does not swim in a sea of cash. They set the parameters for a doable film. They are theater guys anyway so were okay with a dialog driven movie. One location would have to suffice for almost all the action.
The use of the single location would be a device to drive the interaction of the cast. A living room in a house in winter would be claustrophobic enough for drama. Understandably, Dolph has sworn me to secrecy about some of the plot. Though my lips are sealed, it should be compelling.
A previous article examined the filmmaking philosophy of Ed Burns(link). Burns is a guy that believes in doing more with less. He makes movies with relatively inexpensive technology as Dolph is doing. Burns has said, “we’re only two or three generations away from having cinema-quality video sensors in our smartphones.” What that means is, as indie film making becomes cheaper and anyone can make a movie, content is king. Ed burns gets that and from my conversation with Dolph, I believe he does too.
We have the second trailer embedded here. It is well worth watching. It integrates music nicely and if it is any indication, Stories for Dinner should be something to see.
Watch this space for updates.
Rare Mint Productions LLC on facebook
Rare Mint Productions LLC website