The Alarm's Great Rock & Roll Swindle Reaches Silver Screen via Wales and Costa Mesa
|Peters, the fellow at the bottom, at the height of the Alarm.|
Cooper says his first produced screenplay, co-written with Sugarman, may be subject to plagiarism charges because reviews read in the film of the fictional fake band are word-for-word what was written about the real fake band--not that the rock journalists would want to make it an issue because they'd also be admitting they got royally duped.
Vinyl almost got made into a Hollywood film, with a budget of $11 million, but that later fell apart. Sugarman would not say how much the indie version cost to make, other than it was "tiny." There was also talk of hiring an American actress to play one of the Welsh roles, but Sugarman said that star's makeup budget alone would have dwarfed the project.
Despite having made a movie for Disney (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen in 2004, when Lindsay Lohan was still sane), Sugarman wound up going back to the American Film Institute in LA just to meet contacts who could help her get Vinyl made. Among them were Berger and producer Preston Clay Reed.
Berger told the Newport crowd they "put together a little cash" and cashed in some favors before the LA crew arrived in Wales with nothing more than prepaid international calling cards. In the DIY spirit of punk and indie filmmaking, they managed to leave the U.K. with a movie in the can.
"It was a labor of love," Berger said. "It was a story we knew needed to be told."
But some would-be distributors have had problems with the "older cast." Gee, where have we heard that before. And one has suggested making an American version of Vinyl. Joked Berger, "We're going to have to get a British crew to shoot that in LA."
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