Director/producer Trevor White shares how he left his studio job, started Star Thrower Entertainment production company with brother Tim White and began making movies. His credits include A CROOKED SOMEBODY, THE POST, INGRID GOES WEST, LBJ movie and more. Trevor and Tim White’s latest film A CROOKED SOMEBODY is also available on DIRECTV CINEMA and in theaters.
Trevor White, Director/Producer: Now we’re fortunate enough to be in a position where we are incredibly selective. We can have five movies and go Will you come onto this one? They are go movies. They’re happening. I don’t think we’d jump onto these unless we absolutely love it and we provide value to the project.
I think we tend to want to be more actively involved in a project than passively so. Hence why we like to develop our own material, why we like to kind of control it, control how the movie comes together.
And then sometimes the movie goes out of your hands a bit and then come together miraculously like THE POST which for someone who idolized (is an understatement) as a kid Steven Spielberg. I had a poster of him on my wall. It was the dream of a lifetime to sit beside him as he directed, watch him, learn from him.
You know, there are always fun moments.
Film Courage: THE POST is a film that is very timely right now, we won’t go into some of the reasons why but can you talk about making it and the process of seeing it?
Trevor: Well, when we started developing the script we didn’t know that the film was going to be as relevant as it became. It was during pre the election. It was actually at a time when we thought we were going to have our first female president. And we thought this is a movie that is about female empowerment, about a woman finding her voice and we thought it was relevant in that way. Little did we know that it was about to be relevant in a whole other way. And I think what was amazing about that, we still have to pinch ourselves that it happened in the way that it did.
Most movies don’t get green lit, have a start date two months with a release date six months after that in time for Oscar season. It was very much when the green light came, it was kind of a stunning moment.
Film Courage: Seeing it in a big theater with the cast and crew?
Trevor: The first time I saw it was in a small theater. I saw it at Amblin, at Steven Spielberg’s office in his private screening room. And it was it was just one of those incredible experiences I think of my life. Every day, watching how Steven worked and where his mind was going, his decisions and to see it so effortlessly and to see it come together and to see our company name there, this was a dream, this was a childhood dream. I never thought it would happen. It was emotional.
Film Courage: How did you attached Steven Spielberg? How did you approach it?
Trevor: I should say we didn’t. The script had kind of taken on a life of its own and had become quite a popular script. And at that point there were plenty of buyers involved that wanted it and take it off the table. And ultimately went to Amy Pascal who was in her new post as a producer after run Sony for a long time. And Amy was incredibly gracious and collaborative and couldn’t have been a better partner on the project.
And then with Amy, we then set up it with Fox and then together it was one of these questions I remember the first time we talked about directors and Steven Spielberg’s name came up and He’s doing another movie and it’s a long shot of all long shots. And we kind of just didn’t think about it and then Amy received an incoming call that said Steven’s movie is going to push and Tom and Meryl, we want to send it to all three of them at the same time.
And it was on a Friday afternoon that we got that call. And by Monday all three had read it and wanted to do it.
Film Courage: What was that weekend like?
Trevor: Actually not bad because we thought it was so far-fetched. We didn’t think it was in the realm of possibility. We get calls all the time on a project Oh let’s send it to so-and-so, let’s send it to them. And nine out of ten times it doesn’t pan out so we never thought that the Monday call was going to come the way it did. So I didn’t think about it much over that weekend. But then when we heard it it was like…it took your breath away.
About A CROOKED SOMEBODY:
The plot Michael Vaughn’s (Rich Sommer) minister father always told him: Better to be an honest nobody than a crooked somebody. But Michael doesn’t see the harm in giving people the closure they need with the dead and travels town to town professing his abilities as a spirit medium. One night, Michael is kidnapped. With a knife to his throat, Michael suddenly sees the opportunity of a lifetime in his psychologically unstable captor’s desperation to make contact with the other side.
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