Story and photo by DAVID MENDEZ
Former Pima Community College student Patrick Griffin, 20, is one semester away from earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona.
He also has two acting credits to his name, and a film premiering Nov. 13 at The Screening Room in downtown Tucson.
Griffin, at ease behind a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses and a lit cigarette, recently discussed his film, “Curved.”
It’s a coming-of-age story, though he shies from the term.
He says it is about a student whose relationships are dissolving around him. “As he loses these connections, he’s getting closer to having to make a decision between following his passion, and taking the easy career in journalism.”
The story, clearly, has a basis in its writer’s life.
Griffin is a past editor in chief of Pima’s Aztec Press. He recently finished his capstone project at the University of Arizona by working at the Tombstone Epitaph, where he spent time as an editor and covering the political beat.
While working on “Curved,” Griffin was involved in most every part of the process, from screenwriting to directing to editing. He said the film wouldn’t be possible without his experiences at Pima.
The original idea for creating a film came from a discussion with Aztec Press advertising manager Anthony French. Griffin also met key members of the production during his time at Pima.
“The thing about Pima is that, with over 80,000 total students, there are a lot of interesting people,” he said. “If you ask around enough and talk to enough people, you’re going to find others who share your passion.”
He paid for the film himself, out of pocket, without having any budget at all to pay his crew.
“I told them from the beginning, ‘This is an indie film,’” he said. “‘If you’re going to do it, do it because you enjoy acting.’ The only compensation I offered was an IMDB credit, though if you’re just starting out acting, that’s a gold mine.”
Though he spent what he had in his bank account, Griffin said that it wasn’t about the money.
“More important than anything else, our goal is to get as many people to see the film as we possibly can,” he said.
The premiere falls during November’s Second Saturday Downtown, which typically brings scores of people to Tucson’s city center.
“We really wanted to go downtown, having that nice downtown atmosphere,” Griffin said. “If people want to come in, have a few drinks, see the movie and go down to the bars afterwards, that’s a good atmosphere to have.”
He promised a personal and intimate movie setting.
“We want to have the kind of atmosphere where you can bring your friends, your family,” he said. “If you’re interested in film, you have direct access to me and the cast.”
What: “Curved” premiere
Where: The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.
When: Saturday, Nov. 13, 8 p.m.
Unrated, but contains strong language.