Books, Beds and Baths
Sometimes, in order to achieve success, we need to make a choice between who we love and what we love. "Books, Beds and Baths" tells the story of two creative people who are in love but whose relationship is severely tested by suspicion and jealousy.
Inclusion StatementWith a sharply intelligent and determined female lead as its protagonist, the film demonstrates the strength and ambition of an accomplished and successful woman who also happens to be 28 years old. It will serve as an example to those aiming for their goals at any age, despite all obstacles.
About The Project
Ashley Dennis, a 28 year old writer of the phenomenal best seller, "The Hidden Agenda," is killing time at The Strand book store in NYC, when she meets Ryan Duncan, an aspiring musician and audio engineer in his 30's. They are immediately attracted to one another and begin a romance that spans six months. During this time, Ryan becomes increasingly envious of Ashley's enormous success and begins to display insecurities and doubts about his own abilities while Ashley has been inadvertently (so she declares) creating a character for her new novel that bears a remarkably strong resemblance to Ryan (named "Brian"). When Ryan realizes this after reading the manuscript, he is furious and accuses Ashley of "stealing his life." Ashley defends herself by explaining how she "borrowed" from his life unconsciously, and that sometimes when she's writing, it's something that just happens. Ryan, however, is not convinced that Ashley's actions were entirely innocent. Now Ashley must choose between her love for Ryan over her artistic integrity. The film explores the choices many of us who are driven to succeed must make when it comes to the balancing act of doing what we love with maintaining relationships with the people we love.
As a writer/director, when beginning a project, I usually start with a question (sometimes more than one). With "Books, Beds and Baths" the main question for me was, should a person have to make a choice between who they love and what they love? In other words, artistic integrity vs. hurting someone's feelings? For an artist, this becomes a slippery slope because we often "borrow" from our own lives as well as everyone we come into contact with when creating something, especially when it comes to writing. So it is almost inevitable that we will create characters based on the lives of people we know. It is also possible that our brutal honesty will break someone's heart and destroy relationships. I believe that's what Faulkner means when he describes a writer as being "completely ruthless if he is a good one." Ashley's actions can be considered ruthless and truth be told, the story does reflect that, but at the same time, she is not malicious. She is using the tools of her trade, what she knows of human nature and particularly, the man in her life she is currently closest to.
My aim with this film is to challenge people, get people to think about artistic integrity and relationships, and the costs of ambition. Ryan might be jealous because, now in his thirties, he hasn't achieved the success he'd hoped for earlier, but there might also be resentment because Ashley is not only younger, but female. Yes, he loves her and is proud of her success but at the same time, we're not shying away from the possibility of a chauvinistic viewpoint on his part. Is Ashley a feminist? Perhaps. I prefer to think of her as a strong, ambitious woman who is driven and passionate about what she loves, which is writing.
I believe the time is right for a story like this, especially because it features an intelligent, determined female lead who can serve as an example to other young women who are driven to succeed, and do not require the approval of a man to do so.
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About This Team
I have been working as an editor for many years specializing in commercials for national brands such as Visa and Scotts/Miracle-Gro. I've created ads for the Super Bowl as well as a documentary with Alicia Keys for her charity, Keep a Child Alive, which won a Webby Award in 2008. I have been nominated for an AICE Award for my work on New York Dept. of Tourisms first post-9/11 "I Love NY" campaign and have won awards for both playwrighting and screen writing ("Acoustic Space," Best Play 2014 Strawberry Festival, 2016 Best Origial Screenplay, Richmond International Film Festival). Other plays I've written and directed include "Another Famous Dead Artist" which performed in three play festivals in 2015 and was a semi-finalist in the New York New Works Festival. The behind-the-scenes video won Best Video Diary in the 2015 Strawberry Festival. I've also directed on stage: Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune," Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" and Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"" in addition to Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Sam" and Neil Simon's "Chapter Two." For more visit www.anthonymarinelli.net
Ashley Dennis will be played by Alison Parks who studied at NYC's Acting Studio and was a lead in "Acoustic Space." Visit http://www.acousticspacefilm.com for more on Alison and to view the trailer.
Gregory Cohan will play Ryan Duncan. Greg works for Seed& Spark and also studied at the Acting Studio. He has worked with Alison on stage several times. Visit his web site for more information. http://www.gregoryjamescohan.com
"Books, Beds and Baths" will be shot by Cinematographer, Joe Ciccarella, who was the DP on my short, "Walt Whitman Never Paid For It." His reel is here: https://vimeo.com/user5116162
Music is by singer/songwriter, Ryan Hobler who's latest album, The Elusive Years, is available on iTunes.