In 1987, two students came to my door and signed as private students, their names are John and Marcello and a friendship between us started immediately. Marcello who later became a director of commercials, wanted to do the same for me and he did. This is where Marcello got his start, he did not charge too much money because he needed the experience. He knew that it was my dream to make this movie and we started to collaborate. Marcello and I went to restaurants to talk about the movie, we always talked about the movie, I told him of my dream to make a successful film. I told him countless times that if this movie failed that it would shatter that dream. My father always believed in preventing a bad thing from happening and those words stuck with me. Marcello never had a finished script but I trusted him and he always convinced me by saying something like “Don’t worry, I know what I am doing.”
I thought about this movie for eight years and asked myself all the time, can this young guy direct it? Over the years I had always spent lots of time with various people to discuss business deals to prevent those bad things from happening if I could. I don’t believe in contracts but instead in mutual agreements. I did everything I could in those eight years to prevent any mistakes and I know now that everything I did was taken for granted. “Marcello,” I said time and time again, “This movie determines my success and my career.” We were best friends, such good friends that when he moved to the city he sent me letters to tell me what he was doing, how his life was, and how hard and how much skill he was going to put into my movie.
What I did not know about Marcello was that he was working for one thing, to make a trailer for himself in order to sell himself as a movie director. So much money was wasted on the first attempt at making this movie and Marcello wanted a second attempt at it. I did everything to get more money and gave Marcello a second chance like I always do because I don’t believe in giving up on people. As we started the movie, I opened an account where the money to make the movie would be deposited with the producer and Marcello on that account. The first budget for the movie was gone after two weeks so this was the reason for opening another account. Within two weeks the money was gone. There were checks written to buy products that I never knew about. Two years later, somebody close to the producer came and told me that over $100,000 was taken and I was so trusting and sincere that I believed that these people were just human. Even without knowing the producer, I trusted him, he was Marcello‘s friend. One thing I noticed that when the first budget was gone, the producer felt so bad that he gave me his credit card for to charge $10,000 which I paid him as he finished shooting the movie. That should have told me that something was not right because people do not do that. Did the producer feel bad or did he just not want me to look into where the money had gone?
To be continued…
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