The romantic comedy Starting from Scratch takes a unique turn with the focus of the film on a one-year-later scenario in a marriage that has not worked. This couple deals with divorce as well as an IRS audit.Photos courtesy of FFF
By Clarissa Crozier
This is the movie that might follow many of the romantic comedies we have all seen. Love. Honeymoon. Marriage. And now, divorce. The film Starting from Scratch makes its appearance April 16 at the Landmark Theatre in Greenwood Village.
In this Film Festival Flix selection, Jake and Ally get married, have a wonderful honeymoon, make a film together and lose their money on the film. They decide that divorce is the answer, but then they are audited in a movie that merges comedy with drama.
Refusing to go through the audit alone, Jake insists Ally help him sort their receipts and justify the expenses. Through the audit they discover where their marriage fell apart. They relive memories as they sort the receipts and gain 20/20 hindsight when it comes to their relationship.
Jake is portrayed by James Huang who wrote, directed and edited the film. Elizabeth Sandy, Huang’s wife, who portrays Ally, was the film’s producer.
Haung and Sandy wed in 2011 and soon after their honeymoon began pre-production work on Starting from Scratch. In fact, the wedding scenes in the film are footage from their real-life wedding.
Haung talks about the film
“Many relationship comedies tend to focus on high-concept situations while story and characters don’t get the chance to truthfully develop because they’re too busy falling into pools and wedding cakes, or contending with some high-stakes bet,” Huang said. “I wanted to tell an honest story that allows the audience to hang out with the characters and get to really know them.
“Just like making new friends, you’ll feel compassion, empathy, and fully relate to who they are and experience something with them. By the end, it’s not about taking sides, winning or losing; for better or worse, it’s about coming to terms with how falling in and out of love affects our behavior.”
The couple says that acting out marriage difficulties in the film has made their marriage stronger.
“Whenever we have a fight, we say it’s just like in the movie,” Sandy said. “Since we’ve already acted out the worst case scenario and survived, we know we can get through it in real life, too!”
Huang, originally from New York City, lives in Los Angeles where he pursues his film and television career. He has worked as an actor in more than 20 TV shows, a dozen feature films, 20 commercials, and countless shorts and webisodes.
Huang has also worked nearly every job behind the camera and is a proficient editor. He won several awards for acting and directing, but says his proudest achievement thus far is completing this film.
Sandy has worked as an actress in film, TV and theater in her homeland, Australia, and the U.S.
An American film, the actors may be recognized by movie goes for noted TV and film work. Starting from Scratch stars Huang, (NCIS, Lost, G-Force, Eagle Eye and Deja Vu), Sandy (Parks & Recreation), Charles Kim (Law & Order), Billy Beck (Strangehold) and Maddy Curley (The Office, Party Down).
Also cast in the film are Sadie Alexandru (Mad Men), Nicole Ghastin (Coyote Ugly), Malerie Grady (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) Shelly Bhalla (Across the Universe), Aaron Takahashi (Yes Man, Community), Sara Mornell (Six Feet Under) and Tom Wright (Crash).
Director of photography is Peter Chad who heralds from a decade of work in Hollywood on a variety of film projects. In addition to serving as cinematographer for Starting from Scratch, Chad recently produced and directed the indie film Apocalypse, CA. He also films the web series Roleplayed.
Elizabeth Sandy and James Huang are happily married in real life, but portray a couple that faces divorce in Starting From Scratch, a movie they not only act in, but directed and produced. The film will screen April 16 at the Landmark Theatre.
New talents produce music score
Original music is featured throughout the film and includes performances by Freedom Fry, Szilva, Sarah ‘Sassy D’ Dokowitz and Sam McTavey.
Freedom Fry are currently producing their debut LP and releasing singles and videos leading up to its release. Marie Seyrat is French and her partner Bruce Driscoll is from New York. Their music blends the singer’s voices and a variety of instruments from autoharp and ukulele to harpsichord and dulcimer. They sing six of the film’s songs.
Szilva is a first-generation Australian with a Hungarian family heritage. She has been writing songs since age 15 and performs throughout southern California. Her singing is featured in seven songs in the film.
Also Austalian, Dokowicz was the 2012 Vocalize U scholarship winner. She sings “With You” in the opening credits. “With You” was written by Cody Wood who is also a singer and actor. Wood regularly performs live with Morgan Paros and his band at The Roxy, The Key Club and The Viper Room.
McTavey performs the soulful ending song for Starting from Scratch, “Crazy World.” This song is also featured on the movie trailer.
Starting from Scratch earned Best Feature at the Disorient Film Festival, Best Comedy at Asians on Film Festival, and both Best Cast and Best Editing at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase in LA. It was named Honorable Mention in the Best Film category at the New Jersey Film Festival and Official Selection at Trenton Art All Night Film Festival, Manhattan Film Festival, and Chinese American Film Festival.
Huang, Sandy slated to attend GV screening
Huang and Sunday will be on hand April 16 for Red Carpet photos, comments before the film and a filmmaker Q&A after the movie. While in the metro area Haung and Sandy also plan to visit the Colorado Film School and share their story and talents with film students there before attending the Greenwood Village screening.
Photos of past Red Carpet interaction with filmmakers and moviegoers may be viewed through the FFF in Denver Facebook page.
The trailer for the film may be viewed at the FFF website. Anyone unable to attend the movie may also download or stream this month’s film as well as previous films from www.filmfestivalflix.com.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |