It was during the filming of Dead Right that I learned the best way of checking into a hotel room. We were in Las Vegas for what ordinarily would be some second unit filming so there were just three of us--the director of photography, the leading man and me. We had three comped rooms at the
It was fitting that the last shooting days on this film took place in Las Vegas because that is where the deal was hatched to co-produce the movie with my Italian partner. I had attended a film market in Las Vegas and instead of going to a seminar about how to find funding for films, I went from suite to suite looking at the films being offered by the many distributors and sales reps there. I was getting tired and decided to have a rest so I sat down in a suite belonging to DB Media. As luck would have it, one of the two brothers who owned the company returned from an appointment and asked me what I wanted. I couldn't exactly say I'd just come in to sit for awhile so I told him about my previous trips to Italy and that I could make a feature film for [sum of money deleted]. His name was Vito di Bari and he didn't believe me. I assured him that I was being truthful. "What kind of film?" Come down the hall and I'll show you. The company representing my film Bleeder & Bates had a suite on the same floor.
We put a cassette into the VCR and Vito watched the first ten minutes of Bleeder. He then scanned forward and watched ten minutes in the middle. Then he fast-forwarded and watched the end. "What kind of film do you want to make?" he asked. Just like the one you saw, I told him--a thinking man's cop drama with an existential theme and Machiavellian politics. We went out into the hallway and made a verbal deal to make the movie.
Filming Dead Right took me, once again, to the El Mirage dry lake bed that I first visited working on Sole
The efforts to subvert the production were all for naught. Within days of its completion, the film sold in some thirty countries at MIFED and Vito told me that the movie opened up markets for the company where they had not sold previously. The story of how government, law enforcement and organized crime work in concert seemed to appeal to the world market. The poster line was 'For a cop on the wrong side of the law, every move has to be right--Dead Right'. Though I attracted an offer from a US distributor, I don't think that DB Media ever consummated the deal and a US sale was never reported to me. The company subsequently went out of business.
I like to put interesting cars into my films and this time I had one of the leads driving my recently acquired Lincoln