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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

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Paul Brook

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Nearly two years have passed since the production of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and the Big Fat Greek honeymoon period is slowly drawing to a close.
It’s no secret that Greek Wedding was a smashing success, with revenues approaching $241 million, and still increasing as the movie was released on home video recently. Paul Brook, one of the film’s producers, credits part of Greek Wedding’s success to the crew as a whole. “Making a film is always a team effort. Everyone [involved with Greek Wedding] was so terrific.”
Brook has kept little contact with his Canadian crew, citing that they were fully paid at union rates. “They were all industry professionals and very good at what they do. They’re very active in the industry, and I’m sure they’re crashing on.”
While he has not kept close contact with his Greek Wedding crew, he insists he likes to work with the same people repeatedly, but he is also open to a qualified fresh face. “[When choosing who to work with,] we talk it over. We try to be very collaborative, but it has to go through the director.”
When asked about the challenges the crew faced in the making of Greek Wedding, Brook said, “They’re all challenges as you know. Making films as you know is a constant battle. There’s nothing too specific to say there. There are always headaches, and you just try to figure a way around them. When you’ve got a nice, talented crew everything is so much easier.”
His relationship with the “nice, talented” crew varies from film to film, but trust remains key. “The relationship really just depends on trusting the filmmaker, making sure that we all see the film the same way.”
Holding the title for largest grossing independent movie ever, Gold Circle used some of that money to do general, across the board hiring, adding several much-needed employees to their Beverly Hills office. At the same time, Brook is keeping overhead costs at a minimum so they can put all of their money on the screen. Right now they are in the process of finding more films to produce, in search of another Greek Wedding.
Gold Circle Films produces about five films per year, with Poolhall Junkies currently in theaters. Despite the success of Greek Wedding, they have not increased the number of films they will produce in future years. “We are not governed by a specific number of films [to produce in a given year], but by the amount of material we like,” Brook said.
Greek Wedding has now become My Big Fat Greek Life, a new series on CBS. Gold Circle Films no longer controls any part of the idea. Brook doubts any of the crew who worked on Greek Wedding are now working on Greek Life.
Greek Wedding is an example of a phenomena Brook calls the indie multiplex movie. Audiences are changing, and theaters are realizing a relatively inexpensive independent film is just as likely to fill seats as a high budget studio film and are adjusting the pictures they show accordingly. He believes the success enjoyed by Greek Wedding is encouraging to the independent film arena.
Brook says, “We’re just people that love to make movies. We work hard and hope everything goes well.” He reminds all Below the Line readers to “follow the passion that got them there in the first place.”

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