“Burbank Director Injects Cancer Tale With Comedy” From San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Burbank Director Injects Cancer Tale With Comedy
FILM: ‘Quality Problems’ portrays the disease’s effect on quirky family. By Mark Madler Monday, August 10, 2015
Independent filmmaker Brooke Purdy wants to get some laughs out of a serious topic – cancer.
The Burbank resident is in the midst of filming “Quality Problems,” a feature-length comedy about the aftermath of her breast cancer diagnosis seven years ago. Purdy, a former radio copywriter turned playwright, had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery in 2008 and has been cancer-free since then.
But while dealing with the disease, Purdy said she was determined not to let cancer get in the way of living. And though it sometimes felt like an insurmountable event in her life, she found that approaching it with a sense of humor made it bearable.
“You cannot walk around in a state of devastation,” Purdy said. “You have to function.”
She hopes to get that attitude across in her film. She has invested $10,000 in the project and is looking to raise $80,000 to $100,000 in additional capital to complete the filming and post-production work.
She plans to start a fundraising campaign Aug. 15 on Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding platform specifically tailored to filmmakers.
Purdy started filming in her home over three weekends in July, using her husband Doug, son Max and daughter Scout to portray the fictional Poster family. The film’s storyline revolves around how Bailey Poster deals with her cancer, a relative with Alzheimer’s and her daughter’s birthday party – all at once.
“It appeals to those who like ‘Juno’ or ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ with a more twisted sense of humor,” said Purdy. “It is a comedy and we are ridiculous ourselves. We wanted to bring that to life for others.”
She plans to incorporate video she shot in 2008, during her own treatment, and use it for flashback scenes in “Quality Problems.”
Colette Freedman, a co-producer who plays a role in the film, said that Purdy brings a strong perspective to the script that makes it witty and sharp.
“You can cry at one scene and then laugh at another,” said Freedman, who has published two novels and a play.
Purdy has yet to work out how to get “Quality Problems” before audiences but said she has gotten some interest from distributors. And with industry business models changing, she noted, there are multiple options including cable, online, theatrical and direct-to-video.