Bay Area native Veronica Mannion brings comedy-musical to Cinequest
Cinequest begins this week, and Bay Area native Veronica Mannion brings her film Booze Boys and Brownies for its World Premiere. Veronica was born in San Francisco in her parent’s one bedroom apartment in North Beach and then moved to Marin County. She went to Terra Linda High School and San Francisco State and did some theater in the Bay including Tony and Tina’s Wedding on Fisherman’s Wharf, Alterana Playhouse in Alameda, and also at Center Rep Theater in Walnut Creek.
1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of BOOZE BOYS & BROWNIES, from concept to financing.
When I moved to LA from my sleepy suburban Bay Area town, I decided to put on a one woman show ala my idol Molly Shannon to “get noticed” in Hollywood. “Booze Boys & Brownies” was performed at the Exit Theater in SF and at the Hollywood Fringe Festival to enthusiastic but small crowds, and some people told me to make it a web series of me playing these different characters and singing these old show tunes, but I always wanted to make movies. I grew up loving films, and if I was truly honest with myself, I knew I had to write my ticket into them. This movie is a twist on very real events of my first year living in LA. I love slice of life films and looking back, I was aware of the juxtaposition of my feelings while BBB was first going on; I was performing my stage show and feeling ecstatic but also reeling from a very difficult break up. I decided this was my story I wanted to share, and after 2 years of drafts and drafts of it, I decided to spend all my savings and just make it. And I’m so happy I did!
2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of BOOZE BOYS & BROWNIES. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?
I’m extremely excited and nervous to hear the crowd’s reactions! I’ve seen it so many times with my editor and my sound guys, and even my little sister who offered a much needed outside perspective, and we quote certain things and fixate on other random things. I’m interested to see what will land, and what won’t. Also there’s some “industry” jokes that I don’t know will resonate with the Bay Area crowd. But I’m hoping they’ll love it! I’m hoping the songs will get stuck in their heads and they’ll revel in the cheesiness. If one person cries, I will feel like I’ve made it.
3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making BOOZE BOYS & BROWNIES?
My best experience was that I got to be the star of a musical! That’s never happened to me before. After my first day of choreography with Deborah Geffner (a Broadway multi-talented performer who also plays Sharon in BBB), I realized I had made my own dreams come true. And that felt pretty powerful.
The worst experience was just a few last minute heart attacks- I had to recast the role of Sugar Daddy one week before shooting, and also recast Doug only hours before the shoot because some actors had to drop out. It was stressful and not ideal, but my film was a super low budget thing and things like this happen- but the show must go on.
4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?
I feel like so many movies today aren’t made for me. They are too fast or violent or kinda gross. I made a movie I would want to watch on a rainy Sunday with my best friends, or make some cookies and watch with my mom, or to nurse me through a breakup. I made that movie that gets better every time you see it, that warms your heart and hopefully makes you think about your life and feel a little lighter.
5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for BOOZE BOYS & BROWNIES. Give us your acceptance speech.
I’d like to thank my mom for teaching me the most important words in the English dictionary- I AM. This is for all the little chubby girls- you can do anything you put your mind to!
See BOOZE BOYS & BROWNIES at Cinequest!
View the trailer!
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Previously posted on Popcorn&Vodka.