Romey & Jules is the story of a forbidden romance between a Clown and a Mime. Jules, set to wed Cappy the Mime in a marriage arranged by her upper crust family, met and fell in love with Romey, a lowly clown who tended the garden at her family's estate. Romey, forced to leave town after their secret romance was revealed, pined for his Jules and vowed to return and rescue her from the fate of marrying a mime she did not love. Our story finds the lovers in the midst of their escape, holed up in a seedy Motel in Clowntown, USA. Unbeknownst to them, Cappy has enlisted the services of Ty Baltimore, a relentless, battle-scarred private detective to help track down Jules and bring her home, by any means necessary. Will Romey and Jules live happily ever or will their love end in tragedy?
With four perfectly-cast actors and a dedicated crew of 30, this script came to life in two nights of marathon filming in a seedy downtown Phoenix motel. Every few months, the Arizona Screenwriters Association (AZSA) runs Scene Challenge events in which writers are challenged to write a 5-page script that has to include certain elements. Andy Putman-Nelson, the president of the Arizona Screenwriters Association, decided to run this Scene Challenge with the winning prize designated as having the script produced by local filmmakers. He approached Julie Holman, co-executive director of the Phoenix Film Project, and they recruited local DP and editor Webb Pickersgill of Bassline Digital to help them produce the winning script. The three of them came up with some very odd and challenging requirements and the contest was on its way. The Scene Challenge scripts had to include the following:
1) up to 4 characters
2) either bubble wrap or anti-fungal cream
3) either a tuxedo or a pair of clown shoes
4) a car that must drive up and park with no dialogue until the engine is shut off
5) it must take place in both the interior and exterior of a Seedy Motel
That was it. Writers A. William Quirk and Douglas Passon entered the challenge with their script Romey & Jules, their first collaboration together, and won, beating out eleven other entries. Julie found crew members through the Phoenix Film Project and Andy decided to direct it. The producers cast it, expanded upon the script, came up with the look, and after two months of pre-production, they shot the film. The rest, as they say, is history.