Quest for a date with Drew is box-office hit

For the past 15 months, My Date With Drew has been doing the rounds at film festivals in north America, not making much money but winning prizes, drawing rave reviews - and at least once creating enough buzz to send its website crashing from a surfeit of hits.

But now the big-time beckons. The film opens at mainstream cinemas in New York, Los Angeles and three other cities at the end of next week - with more to follow if it turns into a surprise summer success. Not bad for a film made with a video camera and a budget of $1,100 (£630).

My Date With Drew is a film whose theme is only too familiar to every teenager who stuck the picture of a film star on his or her bedroom wall. Mr Herzlinger, as he acknowledges, has had a crush on Ms Barrymore since he first set eyes on her as a seven-year-old child star playing Gertie in Steven Spielberg's 1982 film ET.

Mr Herzlinger says he is no stalker, and his main worry when shooting the film was to avoid coming across as a lunatic obsessive. "It's all about my following a harmless crush." And the tale of the film's making is a Hollywood favourite, of an uphill struggle with a happy ending. Along with Brett Winn and Jon Gunn, two friends from film school, Mr Herzlinger went to Los Angeles to become a director. But selling a project to the studios proved all but impossible - so when Mr Herzlinger won $1,100 on a game show, he decided to use it to finance his own independent film.

As Mr Winn tells it on the website: "Brian and I were sitting together having dinner. We were thinking, 'Why aren't we making feature films?' The answer was simple: We don't have millions of dollars." But they had noticed ads for an electronics shop which was promoting a 30-day return policy. "I figured if we got a digital video camera that would give us 30 days to shoot before we had to give it back. So we decided to make a movie."

As for Mr Herzlinger, he had 30 days to get his date with the actor. "The best-case scenario was that Brian would get a date," says Mr Winn. "The worst case was it would be a great chance for us three to work together."

The pursuit of the date is the essence of the film, as it turns into a trial of the "six degrees of separation" theory of life: that no more than six layers of friends, and friends of friends separate one individual from every other on earth. The team pursue every possible avenue to their quarry. At one point, Mr Herzlinger gatecrashes the premiere of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle with a forged ticket.

"This is not about Drew Barrymore," Mr Gunn told The Hollywood Reporter. "Brian wears his heart on his sleeve. It's a real passion for him. People respond to him putting a month aside to pursue a dream."

Shot with a digital video camera, My Date With Drew was edited on a laptop computer. Like most films, it suffered from considerable financial overruns. The production ultimately cost some $40,000, while the distributors have paid $300,000 on clearing music rights and making theatre-quality prints. "As a film-maker this movie lets people see who I am, and perhaps that will help me get the pitch meetings I could never get before," Mr Herzlinger told the Los Angeles Times.

The advance buzz suggests that pitch meetings will no longer be a problem. And the soon to be famous director-cum-film star will surely have no trouble getting a real dinner date with Drew. That is, if he hasn't had one already.

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform