West Hartford native David H. Steinberg is excited about the prospect of debuting his newest project at the Bow-Tie Cinemas in Blue Back Square on March 7.
The theatrical release of the film is taking place in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, as well as West Hartford, Steinberg said, through Tugg, a new distribution channel which allows movies to be screened at local theaters without the obligation of renting the entire theater. A certain number of tickets need to be reserved in advance, but ticket holders are not charged unless the sales reach the required threshold for the screening.
"The thing about comedy, is it's a shared experience," said Steinberg, who hopes enough people will sign up in advance at http://www.tugg.com/go/y7va8e to guarantee the West Hartford screening. Although the film will also be released on DVD and through Netflix, Steinberg said that it was filmed in widescreen, and will look much better in the theater and sound better with the Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
This is the first feature film that Steinberg has directed, and he is hoping to personally attend the West Hartford screening.
According to a news release, "In the heartfelt romantic comedy, 'Miss Dial,' Erica is a consumer affairs rep who deals with irate customers calling about everything from the availability period of the 'limited edition' cheddar cheese to whether it’s safe for dogs to drink the blue toilet water. One day she decides to play hooky from work by calling random strangers in order to reconnect with the world outside her apartment.
“Miss Dial” stars Robinne Lee (“Hitch”), Sam Jaeger (“Parenthood”), Jon Huertas (“Castle”), Sara Rue (“Malibu Country”), Gabrielle Union (“Being Mary Jane”), Dulé Hill (“Psych”), Hill Harper (“CSI NY”), and Samm Levine (“Freaks and Geeks”). The film does not have an official MPAA rating, but Steinberg said it is PG-13.
"Miss Dial" was written to be a low-budget production, and although it appears to have 43 different locations (one for each actor), it was really shot in only four locations, Steinberg said.
"We had a great house, and could use every nook and cranny. It's a little big of movie magic," Steinberg said about the primary filming location. His own home appears in the film as well, as does Henry, his bearded collie, who plays Sam Jaeger's dog. "All you had to do is pull him in the right direction," Steinberg said of Henry's film debut.
The longest part of the process, he said, was getting the film distributed.
Steinberg, a 1987 graduate of Hall High School, was in the local news last April when he held a book signing for his first novel, "Last Stop This Town," at Barnes & Noble in Blue Back Square. He said the book has done really well, and he's hoping to find time to finish his next novel.
Steinberg is best known as a Hollywood screenwriter and director. His credits as a writer include the sequel to “American Pie,” “American Pie: Book of Love,” and “Slackers,” as well as the G-rated animated film “Puss in Boots.”
The Hall graduate (whose West Hartford schooling also included Bugbee and Kingswood Oxford), actually left town at age 16 to attend Yale, then continued “a typical West Hartford track” and got his J.D. at Duke Law School. Four years later, he realized he didn’t like what he was doing, and secretly applied the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC.
Steinberg lives in Santa Monica, CA, with his wife Keetgi Kogan (a producer, with whom he has collaborated on several projects), his children Max and Hannah, and bearded collie Henry.
Steinberg’s parents, Lewis and Paula Steinberg, still live in West Hartford, as does his sister Laurie Kaufman and her family.
His future projects include "a lot of TV work" Steinberg said.
"Miss Dial" will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on March 7. To order tickets visit http://www.tugg.com/go/y7va8e