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
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones