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Hi, I’m Jeff Nimoy. You’re about to hear the name Jeff Nimoy about a trillion times because the character I play in the film is named Jeff Nimoy, who in both the film and in real life, is an anime superstar. The reason was, we filmed at an anime convention in Madison, Wisconsin, and while filming we also actually attended the convention as guests. And because there were signs, and T-shirts, and programs with our names on/in it, I didn’t want to say my name is Steve Smith, and in the middle of the scene a fan asks, “Mr. Nimoy, can I get your autograph?” So, like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” we are all playing caricatures of ourselves.
I want you to remember this, because it is NOT an autobiographical film. I don’t want you sitting there wondering, “Did that really happen to him?” It did not. It is fictional. So don’t get too upset, it’s just a movie.
I’d like to tell you how and why this film came about.
It all started back when I had a terrific job with a terrific company called Bellum Entertainment. I was the Supervising Producer for a very funny clip show called “Crazy Wheels,” and life was good.
One Wednesday night in May of 2017 I suddenly got the headaches of headaches, and flash forward to the ER, a catscan revealed I had a ping pong ball sized brain tumor.
Relax, it’s all good now, I had brain surgery a week later, and luckily they got it all. But trust me, it’s easier to tell my Jewish mother I’m converting to Islam than it is to tell her I had a brain tumor. “Mom, I have a brain tumor.” “Oy vey! Oy vey!” “Mom, I’m converting to Islam.” “Oh, thank god, I thought you were gonna tell me you have a brain tumor.”
Anyway, after I recovered from brain surgery I got back to work, and as luck would have it, only a few weeks later, the owner of that fantastic company Bellum Entertainment, embezzled all the company’s money, and suddenly the staff of over 20 shows in production were out of work, including mine (it was in the trades and everything)!
So, having a new lease on life, and no job, I decided this is a perfect time to make a movie. I had written 3 screenplays in the past that were produced, but I didn’t get to direct any of them. I had written several others for me to direct, but I was never able to secure any financing. But a near death experience will move your bucket list up significantly, so I was done asking permission.
I approached people to join me, and my pitch to them was, I have no money, I can’t guarantee anyone will ever see this movie, and I can’t guarantee this movie will even be good, but I’m tired of asking for permission to make a movie, and if you’re tired too, please join me.” And many of the people did.
So, I took a year off to make the movie. I wrote “Fame-ish,” a romantic comedy set at an anime convention. A Com-Con/Rom-Com if you will. I then partnered with Geek Kon in Madison, Wisconsin to shoot there. They flew us all out and put us up in return for being guests at the con in between filming. We shot for parts of 12 days, and for the scenes that took place at the con that weekend, I created a workflow to be able to shoot 80 pages of screenplay in about 71 hours of actual work. And we did it! A Herculean task to say the least. I couldn’t be prouder of my cast and crew. The fact a little movie like this got a distribution deal is something we can all be proud to put our names on! I hope you enjoy the movie as much as we enjoyed making it!