Film clip, above, from For Lovers Only
The Polish brothers—director Michael Polish (Art BFA 92) with his twin brother and fellow filmmaker Mark Polish—recently took a break from big-budget features such as 2006‘s The Astronaut Farmer and 2009’s Stay Cool to work on a smaller-scale project. A project without a budget, in fact.
For Lovers Only, their latest film, which was directed by Michael and stars Mark and Stana Katic, was created with no dollars allotted to production, marketing or advertising.
The film tells the story of an American photographer who runs into an old flame while on assignment in Paris.
The romance was shot over a 12-day period in Paris and various locations throughout Europe from a script that was more than a decade old. (Their hotels and some meals were comped.) Armed only with an SLR camera, and without using any artificial lighting in any scenes (except for Michael’s iPhone light), the filmmakers made do with only the equipment they had previously acquired. In addition, Katic worked without pay, and the film was promoted without an advertising budget via Twitter and Facebook.
It appears that the Polish brothers’ no-budget approach has paid off. On July 11, it ranked number 2 on the iTunes Store romance movies chart and was among the Top 100 in all movie rental and downloads. Within the first few weeks of its release, the film made over $200,000 and received good reviews on iTunes. It remains on the iTunes bestseller list.
Among the other CalArts alums involved in the project are film composer Kubilay Uner (Music MFA 91) and studio musicians Dan Rosenboom (Music MFA 07) and Derek Stein (Music MFA 10).