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March 21, 2013 - Image 62

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-03-21

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arts & entertainment

Persistence Pays Off

Movie producer Eddie Rubin, 25, follows
his dreams of a career in film.


Suzanne Chessler

Contributing Writer


ddie Rubin couldn't wait for
graduation from the University of
Michigan to practice his profes-
sion. He started producing films during
his sophomore year.
Rubin did have to wait for a certain
screenwriter whose work he wanted to fea-
ture during that year. A collaboration pitch
was turned down by his advanced filmmak-
ing professor, U-M's Jim Burnstein, screen-
writer of the feature films Renaissance Man
and D3: The Mighty Ducks.
Although Burnstein had refused to work
with Rubin as a student, he did consent to
work with him as a graduate. The result
is Love and Honor, available On Demand
through cable providers and opening in
New York and Los Angeles Friday, March
22, when it also will be shown to benefit
the Penn Theatre in Plymouth.
The local public opening has been
scheduled for Friday, March 29, at
Emagine Novi.
Love and Honor, co written by
Burnstein with Hollywood screenwriter
Garrett Schiff, follows Vietnam-era sol-
dier Dalton Joiner (Austin Stowell), who
is forsaken by his girlfriend and tries to
win her back. That attempt involves going
AWOL with buddy Mickey Wright, played
by Australian heartthrob Liam Hemsworth


(The Hunger Games), and encountering
Vietnam War protestors in Ann Arbor.
"I love seeing the years of work that
have gone into this project finally come
to fruition" says Rubin, 25, the executive
producer who lives in Farmington Hills
but considers his office any place where he
can take a cell phone and computer.
"I love knowing that this film was com-
pletely made in Michigan and can be appre-
ciated by viewers of different generations.
It has universal themes about commitment,
relationships and love so everyone can find
something that makes a personal connec-
The movie, directed by Rubin's U-M
classmate Danny Mooney, also stars Aimee
Teegarden as former girlfriend Juniper/
Jane and Teresa Palmer as Candace, who
becomes Wright's romantic interest. Chris
Lowell portrays Peter, publisher of an
underground newspaper and determined
to write about the soldiers. Also co-starring
are Wyatt Russell (son of actors Goldie
Hawn and Kurt Russell) as Topher and Max
Adler (football player Dave Karofsky on
Glee) as Burns.
"This is not a film about the Vietnam
generation" Rubin says. "It's a film with a
storyline set in that generation"
Rubin, who looks back on a brief but
enlarging film career, bases his success
on persistence, not letting the word "no"
prevent additional efforts. That helps get

Co-producers Eddie Rubin and Chip Diggins on the set of Love and Honor

private funding.
"I always loved the entertainment world
and early on went to just about every
movie with my late father, Berry Rubin,
who headed an alternative school program
in Warren" recalls the filmmaker, who
graduated from Walled Lake Western
High School, had his bar mitzvah at
Congregation B'nai Moshe and pursued
advanced religious studies at Adat Shalom
"Although I participated in productions
at the Marquis Theatre in Northville, I
entered U-M believing I would be study-
ing law. I enrolled in filmmaking classes to
satisfy a special interest and soon decided
to change my major.
"In film classes, I met Danny Mooney,
and he became my directing partner for
a short film we did as a class project.
Afterward, we decided to continue to work
Rubin and Mooney joined forces for a
short film, Fingers, featuring Ben Daniels,
son of famed actor Jeff Daniels. It traveled
to many festivals across countries and
became an award winner at the Hamptons
International Film Festival.
With that success, Rubin and Mooney
decided to establish Deep Blue Pictures,

Liam Hemsworth co-stars in the
Michigan-made Love and Honor as the
best friend of a young soldier in Vietnam
who gets dumped by his hometown girl.
They decide to go AWOL and return to
Ann Arbor to win her back.

which takes its name from the maize and
blue colors at U-M, where Rubin received
a bachelor's degree in film and psychology.
"Over the next two years, we contin-
ued to grow the company and produced
more short films, commercials and two
ultra-low budget features, Art House and
Starlight and Superfish," Rubin recalls.
During Rubin's senior year, he and
Mooney began producing a music video,
"Million Dollars" for Kanye West's artist

Getting A Life!

A journey of self-discovery leads to finding true love.

Suzanne Chessler
I Contributing Writer

Deb (Sara Rue), a young single, looks
after an unappreciative father (Elliott
Gould) and a spoiled brother (Jonathan
endy Kout found the backdrop
Chase), who relies on Deb to smooth out
for her new film before she
his business and marital problems.
invented the plot.
Open to change, Deb vol-
The screenwriter thinks of
unteers to cat sit for a man
that as beshert.
(Johann Urb) whose romantic
Invited to downtown Los
attention she has been pursu-
Angeles by a friend, Kout saw
ing, but then meets another
an exciting real estate transfor-
man (Haaz Sleiman) and learns
mation and decided that would
about herself and her possibili-
be the right setting for a story
about a person's transforma-
"My body of work has been
a journey, and this is the stage
That's where Deb Dorfman
of my writing where I begin to
Screenwr iter
enters as the main character
connect to the deeply personal:'
Wendy Ko ut
in Dorfman in Love, which
says Kout, 61, in a phone conver-
premieres March 22 in select theaters
sation from the road.
around the country and simultaneously on
"I'm writing through my own life prism.
I'm not Deb Dorfman, but I know many



March 21 • 2013

Deb Dorfmans, and I certainly can
relate to times of being unseen and
The surname of the character was
taken from someone Kout knew in
high school. She always loved that
Sara Rue as Deb Dorfman and Elliot Gould as
name, which she considered recog-
her father, Burt Dorfman, in Dorfman in Love
nizable as Jewish and important to
her character.
She picked Deb for alliteration.
I found resonance when Deb finds a man
The writing of the film was reinforced by who encourages her:'
Leonard Hill, a producer-turned-real estate
Kout, part of a couple with writer Dennis
developer who returned to production for
Koenig for 25 years, built her career in tele-
this project. Bradley Leong directed.
vision after graduating from the University
"I wanted the script to be about the
of California at Los Angeles. She worked
capacity for change that we all have," Kout
on Mork & Mindy before developing
explains. "The important and primary love
Anything But Love with Jamie Lee Curtis
for Deb is to learn how to love herself.
and Richard Lewis.
"The [male-female] film relationships
While trying to get film projects in
relate to my own life, but not the father-
the works, she ventured into theater,
daughter or the brother-sister relationship.
co writing Don't Blame Me, I Voted for


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