EXIT PLAN (Home Cooked Madness) by Eric Terzo

The idea for Exit Plan was first presented to me 6 years ago by the lead actor of the film Pete Volino.  It was a comedy skit about a fed up musician that wanted to blow himself up on stage. At first I thought it was a bit over the top and having just did a comedy skit called "OCD suicide note" that sorta fell on deaf ears I wasn't eager to re-visit the topic of suicide. Around that time I started to want to make a short film, most of my ideas were too involved to get done with my limited resources and Pete's idea started to look like a viable option. Pete, my wife and I started throwing around ideas, I started to visualize the style of the movie and the dialog, the title came to me one day at work when someone was talking about their exit plan from the firm we were both working for at the time.  The Phrase "Exit Plan" just seemed too poetic to be the sequestered to just corporate jargon. Once I had a title I was able to focus on writing the script. I wrote about 3 versions of the script and took it to Pete and his band mates and I taped them rehearsing the script a few times. It was a technique I always read about and wanted to try. I quickly realized that there was a lot more work to be done on the script. Then, life got in the way and work became too busy for me to focus on the script and other more doable projects took the reigns. Pete and I would continue to talk about revisiting the script one day, we made plans, revised those plans, and revised the revised plans and then, something clicked. I re wrote the script a few more times, using more metaphor and imagery and less exposition to try to tell this story.

At the end of the day the script went through about 13 versions and I cut about 10 versions of the film. I have to say I enjoyed the entire process of making this film and learned a ton from my many mistakes. We were a crew of two, my wife and I. Many times we were lighting, audio, camera and director. The cast was comprised of local musicians many of whom never acted in anything but yet were able to take direction and ad-lib like pros. It did help that most of the musicians played together in bands so there was a natural banter. I just needed to be smart enough to get out of my own way. Exit Plan taught me to adapt to a challenging situation, to use what you have at your disposal, to listen to and in many cases employ other people's ideas and suggestions. And, that with the right people and some hard work one could make a pretty solid piece. Now that the film is done and dusted, I am putting together a press kit and looking around at film festivals that might welcome a little home cooked madness.