do these movies have in common? They all
started out as popular books. Going Down In LA-LA Land,
which is premiering at this yearís
Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in
Miami, is based on the book of the same
name by Andy Zeffer. As with any movie
adapted from a book, there are always going to be specific
details and nuances left out; but that doesnít mean itís not
worthwhile to sit back and enjoy the film. Will seeing this
movie make you want to pick up the book for those juicy details?
ďAbsolutely,Ē says author Andy Zeffer. He recently caught up
with Markís List to talk about his thoughts on the book-to-movie
endeavor; his mixed feelings; the movieís star,
Matthew Ludwinski; and director
Going Down in LA-LA Land has its
world premiere as the closing night film at the
Miami Gay & Lesbian Film
Festival on May 1st. Are you excited to finally see your
book as a movie?
Well this whole experience has kind of left
me with mixed feelings. Itís a little bittersweet seeing the
movie come out. Writing the book was very labor intensive, and I
hoped it would lead to more in my careeróa job writing for Page
Six or something like that. But Iím excited about the movie, and
I hope it brings a new audience to the book.
Have you seen the movie?
The filmmaker [Casper Andreas] would not let
me see it. He told me he wanted me to see it
as part of the audience. Iíve only seen the
trailer, but from what Iíve seen it looks great.
Did you ever think that a movie would
come to fruition?
It seems like itís been so long and so much
has happened between when I wrote it and now. The filmmaker
[Casper Andreas] was involved with many different projects and
kind of put this one on the shelf for a while.
When did you find out they were
interested in making a movie?
Iíve known Casper
for years and I brought the book to his attention to see if he
would be interested in it. I think he really
identified with it, because he is an actor himself. Itís an
independent film and getting them made is a real struggle. So it
was in the works for a while.
(Matthew Ludwinski from Going Down in LA-LA Land)
do you think about the casting choice of Matthew Ludwinski?
Who did you ultimately envision playing the lead?
I think heís gorgeous. Heís young and, at
the time I moved to LA, I was around his age. It seems like the
perfect fit. It was really funny when he arrived in LA and first
started looking for work. I was talking with
the other day about it and itís eerily similar to the character
in my book. I honestly thought an unknown actor would do the
best job. I couldnít really think of any
well-known actors out there who could pull off the vulnerability
needed for this role. But for the female lead I wanted someone
like Anna Farris.
Did you work with
Casper on the script?
I had started doing the script but had never
really done one before. Itís hard because you
have to take so much out of the book to fit within the amount of
time for the movie. Iím hoping to re-publish the book on Amazon
so audiences can get all of the details. But I do think the
movie captured all of the great stuff. The ending is different
than the bookís ending, but I think the script captured the
essence of the bookóthe friendship between the gay character and
his straight, female roommate; and trying to make it out there
and survive when you really donít know your head from a hole in
For those who havenít already read the
book, do you think they will get the same experience from the
I think after seeing the film itís going to
make people want to read the book even more.
There is so much hilarious stuff in the book that couldnít make
it in the movie. Thereís a chapter in the book about the ďA
ListĒ group of guys in LA who drive all the hottest cars and
have the newest cell phones and a lot of other fun things. I
hope the movie will make people want to read the book even more.
Iím also hoping the movie will open doors for everyone involved
in the project and be a stepping stone to do other great things.
Will you be at the Miami Film Festival?
Iím not sure yet. I have a lot of different
things going on right now, but Iím really going to try.
What do you ultimately want the audience
to take away from the story?
I hope people will love the movie
and get a kick out of it. There is a really
great friendship story throughout the movie thatís really
touching and important.
More about the film: