Friday, March 05, 2010



Roland Uruci, Shannon Lower (Patty Reilly), and Eric Kappenberg
Photo by Andrew Serban

WEST SIDE GIRL is a short film written and directed by Andrew Serban.

ON AUG 18, 2010 at 7:15 PM at Anthology Film Archive
as part of the Short Film Program at the NewFilmmakers Film Festival.

Patricia Erin Reilly, the West Side girl of WEST SIDE GIRL is not an eight year old in pigtails hanging around Zabar's, but a tough young woman from Hell's Kitchen with a criminal record and dangerous friends.

I'm Bertelsman, the landlord, and I do not want Patty Reilly in my building.

Eric Roffman (aka Me)
As Bertelsman, the landlord
Photo by Andrew Serban

It's true I only have a few minutes on screen and a few lines. But as far as I'm concerned, this is my story.

Now, this movie could have been called "One Dark and Very, Very, Very Cold Night," because the action happens on... well, I just said it. And the long nights we filmed were just that bitterly freezing and windy.

In my scene, I'm coming out of one of my buildings where, according to Patty, in her vulgar speech, I've been "porking someone on the side".

Unfortunately, I am not a post-method actor. As a post-method actor I would have prepared for the scene by actually doing just what Patty said (in a nice warm place, too!), and then getting dressed and coming out into the street right when the director needed me. As a mere method actor, I used sense-memory and got ready for my long shot while waiting outside in the cold.

Perhaps in the sequel or prequel I get to present the intimate details of my story.

With a different cast, the director
Andrew Serban, made another, earlier short film Patty Reilly Was Here, about the same character, Patty Reilly. This first film was shown recently by "New Filmmakers" at Anthology Film Archives.

Andrew has been doing excellent work as a professional photographer for years. And he has a strong visual style. WEST SIDE GIRL was shot at night, entirely in available light, on location on Hell's Kitchen streets. He worked slowly and with tremendous attention to detail, making sure that every shot was carefully framed, perfectly focussed, well lit, and properly played, according to his needs, and that the audio was cleanly recorded -- in between noise, stray lights, and raindrops... from passing cars, trains, clouds and airplanes. It was immensely careful work, taking great pains to get the acting, the creative storytelling, and the minute technical details in every scene all just right.

The cast, some of whom are pretty scary in the movie, did a great job of acting -- they're actually really nice people.

The story is tense and the look, film noir at its most contemporary.

The film has just been completed. As of this moment, I haven't even seen the DVD yet... it's in the mail!

I've been covering film festivals for QPORIT. My hope is that WEST SIDE GIRL will be accepted to one of the festivals I cover, so that I can interview myself live on the Red Carpet.


CAST (in alphebetical order)

Eric Kappenberg (Tommy)
Shannon Lower (Patricia Erin Reilly)
John Newsome (Johnny)
Eric Roffman -- aka Me! (Bertelsman - the landlord)
Roland Uruci (Shane)
Liane Wunderlich (Sassy)


Directed by Andrew Serban
Produced by Andrew Serban and Liane Wunderlich
Written by Andrew Serban with additional material by Liane Wunderlich
Sound recording by Joe Savastano
Music composed by Richard William Flores
Music composed for the opening credits by Stuart Torrance

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