I lucked into a job at the first-string film critic for the L.A. Reader in 1983. Quit in 1985 and made a feature-length dramatic video, Polly Perverse Strikes Again!, at EZTV Video Center, thanks to the assistance of the late John Dorr, who is missed by everyone who knew him. If you don't mind movies with bad image quality and semi-inaudible sound, you can rent Polly at Mondo Kim's on St. Mark's Place in NYC, though I don't know if I can recommend the experience at this point in my life.
I worked for a few years on the American Film Institute catalog of American films from the 1911-1920 period. Then I started working for Quarterdeck, a computer software company in Santa Monica, in 1987, and spent a few busy years there learning about PCs and saving money. I began another video at EZTV, but the project was aborted early in the shoot when a lead actress quit and proved difficult to replace. I did the guitar/vocal thing in a rock 'n' roll band, Blow This Nightclub, in 1990 and 1991. In recent years I've been known to do a solo gig or two in little NYC clubs, but don't hold your breath waiting for the next one.
Moved to NYC in 1992 when Quarterdeck opened an office here. I really like New York. Two of my friends, Robin Burchill and Fred Cisterna, and I started talking about making movies together, and the three of us did a music video in 1993 for the band Love Camp 7, with me producing. Quarterdeck closed down its office here at the end of 1994, and I decided that it was time to blow my life savings on a feature film. Robin, Fred, and I worked on a few projects before I came up with the script for Honeymoon. After the shoot in the summer of 1996, I got another computer job at Box Hill in Soho, which eventually became Dot Hill. I was laid off there in 2001, and took the opportunity to shoot another movie, All the Ships at Sea, which finished principal photography in June 2002. No diary for that one - I feel as if I've sort of exhausted the concept. I've been doing freelance technical writing lately to make money, and trying to get Ships out on the festival circuit.
I still see a whole lot of movies, and am a familiar geeky face on the NYC film circuit. I started out immersed in the classic American dudes like Hawks, Lubitsch, and Keaton; I still love them, but spend more of my energy on foreign films these days. (When I make movies, I think they come out looking more influenced by Europeans like Rohmer, Pialat, and Eustache.) You can learn more than you want to about my tastes from this list of my favorite films. I also listen to a lot of rock 'n' roll; my old favorites include Richard Thompson, Gene Clark, Big Star, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen; and my favorites from the last decade include Liz Phair, Philip Price, Freedy Johnston, Cheri Knight, the Loud Family, the Schramms, and Elliott Smith. I mostly hang out with a crowd of musicians in NYC, some of them as remarkable as Love Camp 7 and Paula Carino.
A few film articles I've written can be found on my home page.
You can send me E-mail at sallitt at post dot harvard dot edu.
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