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Waves crashing on a BIG BEACH

I’m writing to give props to a small company that I love … Big Beach Films. Why do I love them? (They have summarily rejected plenty of my own scripts … so why?) Well, they’ve been making good work. They’ve been taking chances.

Formed in 2004 by producer Peter Saraf and funder/producer Marc Turtletaub, one of Big Beach’s first films was Liev Schrieber’s EVERYTHING WAS ILLUMINATED. A success? Well, not really. It had some beautiful elements. But overall, adaptation is really difficult, and this epic Jonathan Safron Foer novel was simply tough to reduce to the screen. When the documentary OPERATION FILMMAKER hit the screen, a profile of ILLUMINATED’s Iraqi intern, it didn’t help in making the film look a little indulgent. But Big Beach survived it without a hiccup – and maybe ended up looking okay. (Trailer here.)

The next film out was LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Nuf said.

But the next was not riding the same train. It was Laurie Collyer’s SHERRY BABY, a gritty, kitchen sink realist drama featuring a trash-talking Maggie Gyllenhaal trying to get her life together. Big Beach has also funded and produced Ramin Bahrani’s work (CHOP SHOP), which is about as far away from LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE as you can get. They made Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s directoral debut, JACK GOES BOATING. They made AWAY WE GO with Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski, with a screenplay co-written by Dave Eggers. And they have projects in the works with the Duplass bothers (THE PUFFY CHAIR) and Todd Rohal (THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM).

All in all, they take risks. The material is not the same. They engage a wide range of artists, stories, tones, budgets. Kudos. See the range by checking out the trailers below.

-AH