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Posted on Fri, Apr. 08, 2005
Woody Allen

‘Get the Script' imitates life

Filmmaker's idiosyncrasies inhabit his homage to Woody Allen

The Kansas City Star

Keith Black is a 36-year-old high school math teacher who lives with his mother in Brooklyn.

He's also the star and co-author of “Get the Script to Woody Allen,” a 17-minute film that Black, a dyed-in-the-wool Allen fan, made as an homage to the Woodman.

“Get the Script” will be shown at the Glenwood Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday before screenings of Allen's “Melinda and Melinda.”

The film is a mini-romantic comedy in which Keith Black plays an aspiring screenwriter scrambling to get his script to Woody Allen.

The character Black embodies on screen is a socially challenged everyman trying to find a woman who'll mesh with his peculiar sensibilities. For example, he dines out only when he has a half-price coupon.

“The funniest stuff about my comedy is the true stuff,” Black said in a phone interview from Brooklyn. “I really use coupons on a first date. My friends worry that I could lose a good girl with the coupons. They maintain you can use coupons only after you've seen each other naked. Use them on the first date, and a girl will get scared and run away.

“My feeling is that this is who I am. What's more impressive — the guy who gets a meal for full price or one who gets it for half price? It's just good economics.”

“Get the Script” was produced with $3,000 of Black's own money. His old friend and pal in stand-up comedy, Steve Marshall, co-wrote and directed.

It may be the best-looking $3,000 movie ever made.

“I'm a former CPA and figured out how to bring it in way under budget. I got a great cinematographer who fell in love with the script, and the cast all worked for free. My mom and her boyfriend were extras. Didn't have to pay them.”

The movie has played at film festivals around the country and enjoyed a commercial run in several cities. Black has sold it to cable and to foreign markets. It has even played as in-flight entertainment on an airline.

“Of course, I'm terrified of flying, so I sent my mom on several flights to Baltimore to see it in the air,” Black said.

Emboldened by his success, Black said he has a couple of full-length screenplays he's going to try to sell to Hollywood.

“ 'Course I won't fly out there. My mom and I will take the Greyhound.”

Not that he plans to give up teaching, which he says is great training for comedy.

“There's no tougher audience than inner-city ninth-graders dealing with a boring subject. If I can engage them, imagine what I can do on screen.”

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