Fine Cut

Crushed


About the Film

When the big one hits L.A., a failing marriage finally finds a way to come together as the world around them falls apart.


Writer/Producer's Statement


"My inspiration for Crushed came from my own experience watching my parents' relationship as a young child. At the time my parents separated they had been together for over 20 years and I still have trouble understanding what keeps two people together that long and what lets it all fall apart. I think the answer to that question is "a lot of things," but for Crushed I chose to focus on the memories that two people who have been together that long share. Memories of being in love are some of the most powerful in their hold over us, whether you're remembering the good times to cope with the bad or remembering them to mourn the loss of a loved one. Anniversaries are days we set aside once a year to remember what kept you together that long, whether it's one year or fifty. Aimee and Miles were at that point when they needed to remember the good times to reconnect, but, as happens all too often, their lives were busy and they forgot they needed to leave time for one another. They didn't leave time to reminisce, but circumstances made time. One of the glorious things about tragedies is they remind us not to take our good graces for granted. This applies not only to lovers, but friends and family just the same. I hope that Crushed reminds people to appreciate their loved ones in the moment, to continue creating those powerful memories of being in love, because if something were to happen to them you are going to want to have those memories. " -- L. Warren Thompson

About the Writer/Producer

Portrait of L. Warren ThompsonL. Warren Thompson was born and raised in Southeast Louisiana in a small suburb of New Orleans. After dodging hurricanes and wading through floodwaters, he graduated from Louisiana State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He immediately moved to Los Angeles where he began designing railroads by day and producing shorts and web--‐ series in his free time. Producing a web--‐series on this scale also meant he was the editor, gaffer, grip, and website designer. The first short film he produced was the UCLA thesis film Grand Cru starring the now famous Hailee Steinfeld. In 2009, Warren was accepted into the Peter Stark Producing Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Seeing this as his best opportunity to take a stab at a professional film career, he graciously accepted. In his time there, he got his first taste of screenwriting with the short film Crushed and began pursuing a career as a TV writer and producer. While attending Stark, he made inroads into the television industry interning for Michael Seitzman's Pictures and the Mark Gordon Company. Warren is currently the assistant to Al Gough and Miles Millar of Smallville fame and currently the showrunners for the latest incarnation of the illustrious Charlie's Angels franchise on ABC.

Director's Statement

"I got into filmmaking because I'd like to tell stories that resonate with who I am and what I've experienced. While I've never been crushed by an earthquake, I can deeply relate to the emotional journeys that Miles and Aimee go through in our seven minutes with them. Like Miles, the girl who crushed me was named Amy and she bears an uncanny resemblance to Amy Chaffee, the wonderful actress who plays Aimee in our film. In this production, things like that just sort of fell into place. As the director I didn't plan for them, but before I knew it, it didn't feel like I was telling the story, it felt like the story was telling me. For that reason, I guess this statement should be more an expression of thanks than anything else. So, to everyone involved, thank you for allowing me to helm such an amazing, brutally painful, and ultimately cathartic experience. I won't soon forget it." -- Max Epstein


To our wonderful DP Brook Turner and Editor Michael Harkins, thanks for going
above and beyond what you signed on to do. To Joe Reitman, our amazing lead actor, thank you for bringing so much of yourself to Miles. No one else could have played that role the way you did. It was perfect. To Amy Chaffee, thank you for your patience and your willingness to share in such a personal role. You too were perfect. Lastly, and most importantly, I'd like to thank writer/producer L. Warren Thompson. You wrote this story and you gave me the opportunity to help you tell it. I know that the road wasn't easy but I'm very glad and honored that you allowed me to travel it with you. So, again, thank you my friend.

About the Director

In 2008, Max Epstein graduated from Arizona State University's Barrett, The Honors College with concurrent bachelor's degrees in political science and religious studies. During his time at Arizona State, he also spent a year abroad at the prestigious Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he focused his studies on the Arab‐Israeli conflict.


For his undergraduate honor's thesis he wrote, directed and produced his first film,
Ru'ach, a 20‐minute fictional narrative about a young man coping with the death of his best friend. It was not well received, but he graduated and was offered another job because of it. Au Bon Goût: The Life and Times of Robert Bishop was a 30‐ minute documentary about a southern California artist. While being very well liked by the subject, it has yet to find distribution.

In 2009, after a short stint marketing AC Power Sources in Shanghai, China, Max was
accepted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts' Peter Stark Producing Program where he took classes in everything from script analysis and directing to film marketing and finance. He also had the opportunity to intern at companies like MGM, ICM, and Handsomecharlie Films. He graduated in May of 2011 with an MFA in film producing.

He currently works in the feature film development department of a Chinese media
conglomerate in Beijing, China.


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