Saturday, May 31, 2008


There is a nice little write up on the Newport International Film Festival in this week's Providence Phoenix newspaper that includes some nice words about SHERMAN'S WAY. Check it out HERE.

I also just found ot that there is ANOTHER Newport International Film Festival in Wales, UK. Maybe we should submit SW so that we could claim to have played every Newport festival on earth.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


In conjunction with the upcoming Jackson Hole Film Festival, IndieWire has been conducting interviews with filmmakers whose works will be screening at this year's fest. Yours truly was interviewed, and the results were posted online today. CLICK HERE to read.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Q & A: Interview with MICHAEL SHULMAN

Q: What was the hardest thing about juggling producing/acting duties on SHERMAN'S WAY?

I think the most difficult aspect of juggling the producing and acting duties arose when the actor in me wanted to stay and get the line JUST right and the producer in me wanted to kill the actor in me for being such a perfectionist and making us go into overtime. There’s definitely some added stress to producing, but Craig was great at shielding me from some problems that would have made me REALLY stress, like when the catering truck exploded on Day One.

Q: This was your first "adult" role since graduating from Yale. Did you go through a different preparation for Sherman than you did on the roles you performed as a child actor?

When I was a kid, some of the most important aspects of acting were memorizing my lines and hitting my marks. As an adult, memorizing your lines and hitting your marks are almost the least important parts of the whole process, and you need to focus a lot more on your character and improvisation.

Q: Most of the film was shot on location in Northern California. Being from Manhattan, was it hard to adjust to the small towns? Tell us about your experience shooting.

My shooting experience was both an incredible shock and amazing journey. First, I flew into Sacramento and drove through these mountains, where I immediately lost cell phone reception. I was immediately shocked. Then, I pulled up to a cabin in the woods and one of the crew members said “it’ll be like camping.” Well, I had never been camping. So, the experience became a time of firsts. I loved the cabin, it was actually bigger than my apartment in New York, and got used to walking around this small town where everyone was so incredibly friendly, focusing on life without cell phone or internet. I learned how to drive a stick shift, learned how to climb a tree, and discovered a lot about what it takes to come together as a team to make a movie.

Q: Were you involved in the development of the screenplay?

Craig and I were both very involved in the development of the screenplay. The very idea of an uptight book-smart Yalie paired with a more laid-back, self-taught West Coaster IS generally the pairing of myself and Craig. We pitched around various ideas, and then came to Tom to work his magic with Craig. I read almost every draft and especially contributed to making the New York/Yale life more accurate and grounded. It was especially important to me that Sherman and his New York life were not stereotypes, and I was fortunate that Craig knew so much about New York as well.

Q: What is your favorite scene in the movie?

I probably have a few favorite scenes. My favorite comedic scene is the skinny-dipping scene, probably because it makes me laugh every time I watch it. That may be the awkward humiliation of watching a giant projection of myself running naked into water, or remembering that it was the single most ridiculous act I’ve ever done on film (it was really really cold). My favorite dramatic scenes are the scenes towards the end with Rico Colantoni on the dock, and James Legros and I on the beach. Both scenes are really simple, just dialogue, characters, and honesty. Those are the scenes I truly love.

Q: What was it like working with your cast mates?

Working with the actors in this cast was one of, if not the greatest, highlight of the entire experience. I got to work with my friends Donna Murphy and Lacey Chabert again, the first time as an adult, which was absolutely amazing and forever memorable. Getting to know Brooke Nevin was such a pleasure—she’s incredibly sweet, so well grounded, and endlessly fun to both act and hang out with. She’s also traveled to two of the festivals in which we’ve appeared and it’s been a real treat to get to know her more and more. Rico was a true actor’s actor, and someone I really look up to, a man who is as generous as any actor you could possibly imagine, well-taught, passionate about acting, and shares the same obsession as I do with Chekhov. And finally, working with James Legros was an experience I’ll never forget. James became like a father, teaching me how to drive, and how to behave like a humble gentleman and actor’s actor on a film set.

Q: Do you recall the first moment when you decided to be an actor?

I think the first time I wanted to be an actor was at my first audition, when I was stood up on stage and stared out at the casting team in the audience. I felt so excited, and kind of powerful—they HAD to watch me! Or so I thought!

Q: How similar are you to Sherman?

I’m similar to Sherman in many ways, perhaps too many ways, and beyond the fact that much of his wardrobe is my own! Sherman’s experience in the film really was my experience in making the film, and I think I’m much more well-rounded for having made this picture. Ok, a bit more well-rounded…

Q: What aspect of making SW took you by surprise?

It takes FOREVER to make a movie and yet only 2 hours to watch! Craig and I began talking about the project in November, and we thought “we’ll be in production in May.” Well, the following November we had a script and the following June we were in production!

Q: Creatively, what was the most challenging aspect of making the film?

I think the most challenging aspect of making the film was the trying to understand the balance between when to speak up and when to stay silent. As both an actor and producer, sometimes you have to voice your opinion strongly, and sometimes you have to bow to the collaborative process. Also, in making an independent film, you are limited by how much time you can physically spend on a location, which sometimes only affords you one or two takes when you need ten.

Q: If you had it all to do over, what would you do differently?

Everything and nothing.

Q: What role are you dying to play next?

Any role played by Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman or written by Anton Chekhov or William Shakespeare or any role anyone would like to offer me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I just saw this "Red Carpet Exclusive" of the arrivals to our screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival. CLICK HERE to check it out Brooke Nevin's arrival, and CLICK HERE to check out Michael Shulman's arrival!

Also, from the show THE JUICE (CLICK HERE)


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Tom just designed us a a new postcard for Jackson Hole and Newport. We opted for the fancy 5.5 x 8.5, double-sided beauties. Oh yeah. We're spending some serious bucks here. Let me know what you think. Always up for some constructive criticism. Especially if it's unabashed praise.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Just found out our screening dates at NIFF are Wednesday (5/4) night at 9:00 PM and again at 3:00 PM on Saturday (5/7). Looks like I'll be able to be at both Jackson Hole and Newport afterall, at least for the Wednesday screening, where Mike and I will do Q&A together, then he'll be solo for Saturday in Newport, and I'll be solo in Jackson Hole for both screenings there. Unless of course James' always busy schedule allows him to join the festivities in Wyoming.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Our DP Joaquin Sedillo is busy with his new CBS show SWINGTOWN, which was profiled in today's New York Times. This racy drama is set in the swinging 1970's about a group of neighbors who swap partners. Hmm. Far cry from MURDER SHE WROTE.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I've had a number of requests from various bloggers and new media types about obtaining images from the film for use online. Below are images that may be freely downloaded and utilized for such purposes.

Sherman (Michael Shulman) and Palmer (James Le Gros) discuss life's possibilities

Ms. Black (Donna Murphy) scolds her son Sherman (Michael Shulman)

Marcy (Lacey Chabert)

DJ (Enrico Colantoni)

Sherman (Michael Shulman) and Palmer (James Le Gros) share a meal

Sherman gets a swimming lesson

Palmer (James Le Gros) and DJ (Enrico Colantoni) take a break

Sherman (Michael Shulman) berates Palmer (James Le Gros) on his driving

Behind the scenes: hood-mounted camera

DJ (Enrico Colantoni) and pal Palmer (James Le Gros)

Sherman (Michael Shulman) is challenged to a race by Palmer (James Le Gros)

Sherman and Palmer make a quick escape

Marcy (Lacey Chabert) pleads for Sherman (Michael Shulman) to take a cab

Sherman and Palmer prepare to meet Palmer's son

Sherman accuses Palmer

Addy (Brooke Nevin) skinnydips

The restored MGB Roadster

DJ (Enrico Colantoni) shares a secret

Sherman and Palmer take the MGB Roadster out for a spin

Sherman meets Addy (Brooke Nevin)

Sherman (Michael Shulman) gets lost

The date

The diner

The subway

The co-worker (Thomas Ian Nicholas)

Thursday, May 1, 2008


What a way to end the fest! After dropping off some "thank you" gifts to the NBFF group, I headed over to the historic art deco Lido Theater to catch the closing night film CAPTAIN ABU RAED, an incredibly touching, beautifully shot Jordanian film. It deserves all the accolades it's been receiving.

At the After Party, I got a chance to catch up with some of the really cool filmmakers I had met during the course of the festival, including LIE TO ME's John Stewart Muller and co-writer/producer Laura Boersman. Probably the worst picture ever taken of me appears above from the Orange County Register. Not only do I look drunk, which I was not, John appears stunned and seems to be guarding his privates from the freak standing next to him. That's actor Nick Wexler on the left, and Laura on the right.

I also got to chat it up with RAED director Amin Matalqa, who is incredibly nice and shares a passion for the works of Milos Forman. Later in the evening, I hung out with two of the coolest festival types you'll ever meet: Melanie Miller and Diane Becker from the Jackson Hole Film Festival. I can't wait to spend time with them in Wyoming next month.