'Thank You, Good Night' Goes From Dust to Roaring

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Indie filmmaker Chuck Griffith takes his first movie to market.

After sitting on the shelf, "Thank You, Good Night," an award-winning independent feature film starring Mark Hamill gets a second chance with a new soundtrack and edit by Director Chuck Griffith. The film goes on sale today on CustomFlix.com, and will soon be available on Amazon and Netflix.

The rockin' directorial debut is the brainchild of Griffith, who produced, directed and co-wrote the feature in 2001. Griffith, then 25, optioned the script from a comedy TV writer, Chris Provenzano, for $10.00 at Hollywood's popular greasy spoon, Mel's Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard. Griffith teamed up with Emmy-winning producer/writer Robert Zimmer and executive producer/actor Scott Burkhardt to shoot the feel good indie flick under the shingle, Burkhardt/Griffith Productions.

The all-star cast includes Christian Campbell (Trick, Refer Madness), J.P. Pitoc (Trick, Six Feet Under), Jay Leggett (Ally McBeal), Nicole Eggert (Baywatch, Blown Away), Golden Globe Winner Sally Kirkland (Anna), and Mark Hamill (Star Wars).

The 35mm feature film was a darling of the festivals in 2001 and 2002, going on to premiere at trendy film festivals like Durango and Dances with Film and eventually winning a Jury Prize in Florida; however, the film never got to major distribution.

Enter Roaring Leo Productions, a distribution company in New York, as they scrambled earlier this year to get the rights to the film, re-cut it down to a tighter 89 minutes (originally 114), and revamped the soundtrack with edgier indie bands all under the supervision of Griffith. The result was distribution on Amazon.com. The film goes on sale today for $19.99. It will include downloadable songs and a director's commentary.

The surprising fact is that Griffith started Roaring Leo Productions after he wanted to re-cut the movie because he was convinced that the original cut was too long. He teamed up with Producer Larry Cohen over the summer and set out to retool the film for the market.

"It's never too late," explains Griffith, "I grew up, learned more, and knew there was a great movie in it. When you set out to make a movie and you are so young, you can make mistakes. It took some years, but it's finally out the door and I'm extremely proud of it. Think back in 2001 and think of the market now...You have so many more avenues now with video-on-demand, Netflix, and Amazon."

Next for Griffith, he says, is to find solid representation as a director-for-hire on studio and television projects while awaiting for the green light on a passion project slated for May 2007. "Revisiting 'Thank You, Good Night' has made me an efficient storyteller and I'm ready for elevating my craft. I took some years off to work in advertising. That experience has helped shape my perception of the marketplace. Do I want to do independent films? Yes, from time to time. But does that mean I can't handle studio projects? No."

Griffith was quickly signed by Metropolitan Talent Agency in 2001, but he admits that he wasn't thinking big enough, and within in a year he left Hollywood ready to give up after the film didn't get picked up.

"My former agent was sending me in to pitch directing projects with ridiculous titles like 'Wet Beavers' and other slapstick movies. I had to regroup out of Tinsel Town. Now, I'm writing television pilots and working on a film franchise," Griffith declared.

Griffith is now developing an action thriller entitled "A Lion's Wake", a trilogy about a lawyer turned assassin that he hopes to direct. He's also slated to go into production in May 2007 on an independent gay-themed feature set in Brooklyn named "Shifting the Canvas". He resides in New York City.

Roaring Leo Productions, Inc. is a production and distribution company of fine cinema based in New York City.

"Thank You, Good Night" is available starting today on DVD. For sale on Amazon.com and CustomFlix; distributed by Roaring Leo Productions, Inc. For the month of August, use Customflix promotional code 53H5WFDM at http://www.handykaufmans.com to save 5%.

Executive Producers Scott Burkhardt, Brandon Lyons; Producers Robert Zimmer, Jr., Inman Young, Chuck Griffith; Associate Producers Jeremy Rubins, Andre Devon Magone, Larry Cohen (DVD); Co-Producer Angelo Spizzirri; Director Chuck Griffith; Screenplay Chris Provenzano, Robert Zimmer, Jr., Chuck Griffith; Original Score Christopher Hoag; Cinematography Matthew Irving; Editor Gloria Vela; Production Design Madla Hurza; Costume Roger Forker; Handy Kaufmans Songs written by Andre Devon Magone and Robert Zimmer, Jr., lyrics by Robert Zimmer, Jr. and Chuck Griffith; Cast Christian Campbell, Lara Boyd Rhodes, J.P. Pitoc, Scott Burkhardt, Mark Hamill, Sally Kirkland, Nicole Eggert, Eddie Singletary, Gedde Watanabe, Billy Davis, Jr., Matthew Bordofsky, Terri Garber, Bret Domrose, Robert Raad, Danny Wood, Dee Freeman, Diva Zappa, Vicki Kleist, Sam Scarber, Erik Passoja, Gail Oakhem.

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