Woody wannabe plays many roles with `Script';

[All Editions]
AMY AMATANGELO. Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Feb 13, 2004. pg. E.22
Full Text (497 words)
Copyright Boston Herald Library Feb 13, 2004

Gumption and chutzpah? Keith Black has them. A thriving movie career? Not quite yet, but give him time.

The 35-year-old high school math teacher from Brooklyn co-wrote and stars in the 16-minute short "Get the Script to Woody Allen," which runs for a week beginning today at the Belmont Studio Cinema (right before the theater's feature presentation).

Black financed the short on his teaching salary and made it in two days in January 2003. He convinced a restaurant owner to let him use the establishment as his set and contacted acting coaches to find his cast. Black is also the film's sole publicist and distributor. In fact, he's so used to doing everything himself that during a recent phone interview he asked and answered his own questions.

"Dale Olson, Shirley MacLaine's current publicist, who launched Sylvester Stallone and did the publicity campaign for `Rocky,' said he believes that lightning could strike again for Keith Black," Black said in response to no particular query.

The former tax accountant has always admired Allen. "I was upset growing up as a kid because I had 20-20 vision. My dream came true in high school when I needed glasses. My proudest day was when I put my glasses on and went to my first therapy session," he said.

The movie is loosely based on Black's experience of meeting the famed director after his performance at a jazz club. "I said, `I have a present for you.' And he said, `Thank you,' and kept walking."

Black had given Allen his script, "I Will Survive," a screenplay about his devastating heartbreak after his first serious relationship ended.

Despite repeated phone calls, he never did hear back from Allen, so he decided on a different approach. For "Get the Script," he teamed with friend and fellow comedian Steve Marshall, who serves as the film's director and co-writer. He cast his mom and her friends as extras.

"My mom was so excited. Now she thinks she's Meryl Streep."

The film features a romantic moment inspired by Black's favorite film, "Annie Hall."

"For the big kissing scene, I had so much anxiety. I watched the scene from `Annie Hall' like 100 times to be ready."

Black sees "Get the Script," which was the winner of Best Short Film at the 2003 Long Island Film Festival, as his calling card into Hollywood. He notes several times that Vin Diesel got his start in a similar way (with the 1994 short "Multi-Facial"). He can also quote verbatim every single positive thing a critic has ever said about him.

Black is so confident, it's almost hard to believe he was ever the insecure nebbish he plays in the movie.

"The character is what I used to be," he said. "The last time I went to my therapist, I got really nervous because he said I was getting better."

Caption: ANNIE WHO?: Georgette Malone, left, and Keith Black share a romantic moment in Black's `Get the Script to Woody Allen.' Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
People: Black, Keith, Allen, Woody
Section: THE EDGE
ISSN/ISBN: 07385854
Text Word Count 497