“After writing a concept album called “Colma: The Musical” as a birthday present for his childhood friend, he reunited with film school classmate Richard Wong, who had just finished working on the television show, Arrested Development and was looking for a script to direct. When Wong listened to a track from Mendoza’s concept album, he asked Mendoza how long it would take to turn it into a script. After seven days, a first draft was born, Mendoza flew from Philadelphia to San Francisco and the plans were set in motion. After 18 days of shooting and several months of editing, a feature film was made for a budget of roughly $15,000. The film, called “an itty-bitty movie with a great big heart” by The New York Times went on to win three Special Jury Prizes on the film festival circuit and was acquired by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate Entertainment.”
It was exciting to experience a number of things during the distribution process of Colma: The Musical.
1) Hearing the Moviefone guy say “You have selected Colma: The Musical – RATED R!”
2) Seeing the trailer for Colma playing in 35mm before another film.
3) Getting the DVD and seeing the Lionsgate logo before the film.
If you get a chance to see the DVD, listen to the commentary so you can hear me and Rich talking about the good old days when we were just shooting a simple script I wrote about friends parting ways. There’s a glum tone to the commentary whenever we broach that topic.