Chump Change

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February '98 After writing a script for a major studio that takes over a year, Burrows writes a script about the writing of that script in 25 days.

September '98 After fibbing to the money people about the cast and after fibbing to the cast about the money people, the production team secures funding to shoot Chump Change for approximately chump change.

November '98 Pre-production on Chump Change begins. Tim Matheson, Traci Lords, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, A.J. Benza, Clancy Brown and Fred Willard all agree to appear.

December '98 Chump Change begins principal photography in Los Angeles, only to run out of money later that day. After selling his soul to the devil and after cashing in he and his wife's IRA's about 40 years too early, Burrows secures funding that allows the Los Angeles shoot to proceed. Following a brief one day shoot in New York City, the company moves to Wisconsin, where principal photography is completed 21 days later.

January '99 Chump Change runs out of money.

February '99 With no money for an editor, Burrows cuts film himself. [Note: it can not be stressed enough that Burrows has no experience and/or desire for experience in the world of post-production.]

March '99 After fibbing to the money people about how much it will take to complete the film, and after fibbing to the post-production people about how much money the money people have left over, the production team secures additional funding to finish film.

April '99 On the first day of post-production, Burrows discovers that - due to a "technical glitch" - all 17 hours of footage are off by one frame. This 'glitch' takes three months to correct.

May '99 Burrows producer fires Chump Change composer for reasons inexplicably having to do with Nancy Sinatra, Shirley Jones and Liza Minelli. Burrows and composer proceed to work on Chump Change score in secret for nine months anyway.

June '99 While apparently waiting for Liza Minelli to become available to shoot the last scene in Chump Change, Burrows is hospitalized with kidney stones the size of Manhattan in Manhattan.

July '99 - August '99 Liza Minelli bails on Chump Change. The last scene of the film is postponed indefinitely. In a weird twist of fate, Abe Vigoda signs on to replace Liza Minelli. The final scene of Chump Change is shot in New York City in less than two hours.

September '99 Burrows catches his negative cutter eating while cutting his negative.

October '99 ADR looping is canceled for the month because one actress is in labor, another is in Romania and another is in a coma.

November '99 Burrows catches his negative cutter smoking while cutting his negative.

December '99 Post-production is further delayed because the sound editor is too busy working on porno's. Sunsex Boulevard, Lawful Entry and Jailbait Motel push Chump Change's finish date back to 2000.

January '00 The lab spends two weeks cleaning food and ash off the negative of Chump Change.

February '00 Burrows sneak peeks the rough cut of Chump Change at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, where the film gets its first excellent reviews.

March '00 Chump Change runs out of money.

April - Sept. '00 Independent film purgatory, as Chump Change waits for money to finish the film so it can be sold, while simultaneously waiting for it to be sold so it can afford to be finished. The production team running out of fibs.

September '00 Chump Change is accepted into the prestigious AFI Film Festival.

October '00 Chump Change hires Jeff 'The Dude' Dowd of Big Lebowski fame to sales rep Chump at the AFI. Chump Change begs, borrows and steals $15,000 to pay The Dude in return for The Dude's show biz connection's.

November '00 Chump Change screens at the AFI to SRO crowds and great reviews. The Dude delivers zero distributors, but does invite six hookers to the screening. Says The Dude, "You need to start thinking outside the box." Says Chump Change, "You're fired."

December '00 Despite The Dude, strong reviews and great word of mouth generate buzz on Chump Change, which is subsequently invited to the Sacramento Festival of Cinema, the Phoenix Film Festival, the Dublin Film Festival, SlamDunk at Sundance, and to the world renowned HBO/U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

January '01 Desperate to fill the SlamDunk audience in Park City, Utah, Burrows hires three beautiful Mormon girls to walk around in cheeseheads and pass out flyers for 50 bucks. The cheap ploy works, as Chump Change has three sold-out shows, and goes on to win Best Comedy and Best Screenplay.

February '01 Chump Change screens at the HBO Comedy Festival where Traci Lords wins Best Actress (accepting her award from Billy Crystal) and Chump Change wins the Audience Award for Best Feature (Burrows accepts the award from Catherine O'Hara).

March '01 Miramax hears about the Chump Change HBO victory, asks to screen the print, and buys the film 90 minutes later.

April '01 The production team moves to New York. Burrows forced to fib for himself.

May '01 Burrows assumes the technical delivery of Chump Change to Miramax. [NOTE: It can not be stressed enough that Burrows has no idea whatsoever and/or no desire to have an idea whatsoever about how to technically deliver a film to Miramax.]

July '01 The delivery person at Miramax takes pity on Burrows and becomes his surrogate technical delivery savior.

August '01 The delivery person at Miramax is fired.

September '01 The person who takes over for the delivery person at Miramax who was fired, is fired.

October '01 Burrows is forced to replace 13 songs in Chump Change that have not been properly licensed. The Chump Change composer who was fired earlier, is subsequently re-hired.

January '02 Burrows calls his Miramax executive to find out about a release date. Burrows instead finds out his executive has been fired.

February '02 The person who took over for the person who took over for the person who was in charge of Miramax delivery says all the elements that were delivered by Burrows are now missing.

March - August '02 With no executive and no film elements, Chump Change sits dormant.

September '02 Burrows finally makes contact with the President of Miramax. A meeting is set for November.

October '02 The Chump Change film elements are found. In fact, the person who took over for the person who took over for the person who took over for the person who took over the delivery of the film seems to think the elements were never actually lost.

November '02 Burrows meets with the President of Miramax, who screens Chump Change, loves it and agrees to immediate focus group testing.

Thanksgiving '02 The President of Miramax is fired. The focus group test screening is canceled.

December '02 - Jan. '03 The focus group test screening is rescheduled, postponed and/or canceled nine times, largely due to Miramax's 'other' film - Gangs of New York.

February '03 Miramax tests Chump Change. Although 'extremely funny', the film is found to be "too independent to be mainstream, and too mainstream to be independent".

March '03 Burrows writes an open letter to Miramax suggesting they are idiots and chastises them for underestimating the box office appeal of Abe Vigoda. Burrows does not send open letter.

April '03 Burrows meets his wonderful new Miramax executives, who he warns will be immediately fired upon returning from lunch with said Burrows. Oddly, no one is fired.

May '03 Chump Change sells its foreign distribution rights to Greece, Portugal, France, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the UK, the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and interestingly enough - Israel and the Middle East. Chump Change is now essentially a successful foreign film.

June '03 With no domestic release imminent, a desperate Burrows seriously considers renaming Chump Change to Hump Change.

August '03 Chump Change is invited to premiere theatrically in November at the Milwaukee International Film Festival. Burrows and Miramax wholeheartedly accept, as the film now comes full circle.

November '03 For the first time in history, the palatial Oriental Theatre sells out all 1,200 of its seats for the premiere of Chump Change, not to mention turning away 500 plus folks in 10 degree weather. The screening, the after-party and the after-after party is the blow out of all blow outs.

December '03 The beginning of the end of the beginning begins as the movie about a movie within a movie that imitates life that imitates art that imitates life times ten will become a fully-tricked out, High-Profile Miramax DVD release in January, 2004!


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