A few months ago I found one of my student films, GOD SAVE THE KING.
GOD SAVE THE KING was my first sync sound film when I was in NYU film school. Back in 1977 student films were shot on real film and the move from silent to sound was considered a huge step. The original 16 mm print was recently discovered in a box under a bed in the basement of a juvenile correctional institution near Miami.
I wrote and directed the film in my 2nd year at NYU. It was loosely based on an incident that had happened to me one steamy August night a few months earlier. The punk movement was in full spasm. For some performance photos needed for the film we went to CBGB’s one afternoon and they let me shoot Joe and Jay on the stage for 20 minutes.
After graduation I decided for some reason to scrape some money together and re-edit the film. I added titles, did a sound mix and made something that was almost unheard of for an ex NYU student with no job–a real 16mm print.
Eight years later when I submitted my first screenplay Johnny Suede to the National Endowment for the Arts, I sent the print of God Save The King as an example of my work. They gave me $25,000.
A year later I submitted the Johnny Suede screenplay to the Sundance Director’s Lab. Once again, I sent this only print of God Save The King as a directing sample. I got accepted.
In some ways you could say this little film started my career.