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The SCENE Journal
(Nov. 16 - Dec. 10, 2004)

Press Release - November 8, 2004
For more information, contact:

Boston: Andrew Simpson - andrew@1918film.com, or Amy Hamel - amy@1918film.com
NYC: Jonann Brady - jonann@1918film.com - (917) 687-2739
General: Jay Burke - info@1918film.com

For more information on the film “1918,” visit:

The Road to “1918”
Fantasy and reality converge during shoot of Red Sox fan film,
to be released in December

Back in 2001, when writer/director Jay Burke started work on his upcoming short film, “1918,” the premise – two lifelong Boston Red Sox fans trying to score tickets to the World Series – seemed like complete fantasy.

Like all avowed members of Red Sox Nation, Burke was used to disappointment and heartbreak.

But as casting began in the summer of 2004, the Red Sox were fighting their way toward an American League Wild Card slot.

When cameras began rolling in early October 2004, the team was on the brink of overcoming a three-game deficit to beat the villainous New York Yankees for the AL pennant, shocking the world with the biggest comeback in sports history.

And on the day he finished shooting, October 25, 2004, the Red Sox boarded a plane for St. Louis, where, two days later, they would win the World Series for the first time since… 1918.

“Shooting when we did was a pretty crazy coincidence,” said Burke, 33, who grew up in Dartmouth, Mass. “We’d shoot for 12 to 14 hours during the day – trying to get everything we needed and stay on budget, then I’d drag myself home to catch the game every night, then get up at 5 a.m. to shoot again. We all did it. We kept waiting for someone to collapse, but it never happened. We had a phenomenal cast and crew. The absolute best.”

“1918,” which is Burke’s thesis project for his M.F.A. degree from Columbia University, will be due for screening in late December.

While the Red Sox World Series victory added excitement and authenticity to the shoot, “1918” is essentially a story about friendship and loyalty, says Burke. “I think in a lot of ways being a Sox fan is shorthand for life here in New England. We tend to wear our hearts on our sleeve, and tell it like it is. Being a Red Sox fan - at least up until now - has been about always being true to your principles, and never giving up, no matter what.”

“1918” stars Michael Cuddire as Tim, the emotional center of the story, and Jeremy Brothers, a standout comedian from Boston’s Improv Asylum as his bumbling but hilarious sidekick, Petey. The movie also features Joey Vacchio as Joe and Michael Mazzeo, who recently played the lead role in the Rhode Island feature film "The Tournament," as Tony. For more information on the cast and crew, please visit the web site, www.1918film.com.

Burke dismisses any comparisons to the upcoming Farrelly brothers’ film, “Fever Pitch,” another film about the Red Sox and their fans. Burke points out that most of the cast (including the two main characters) and crew of “1918” are from Massachusetts, while “Fever Pitch” stars New Yorker Jimmy Fallon and Hollywood-reared Drew Barrymore. Further, "1918" was written as an original movie about Sox fans, while "Fever Pitch" is a remake of an English movie about soccer fans.

"The Farrelly's are a huge talent, and I own DVDs for every one of their films. In fact, I think one of the Farrelly's went to Columbia himself. But, and I hope they won't come after me for this, I think our film more represents the true spirit of the Sox fan," Burke says.

Before abandoning the corporate path to pursue a film career, Burke worked for six years as a consultant for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Boston, Chicago and Sydney, Australia.

He caught the film bug while attending the University of Notre Dame, when Tri-Star Pictures came to the campus to shoot “Rudy,” about a pint-sized but dedicated football player who inspires his team. On a whim, Burke signed up to become an extra.

The film was Burke’s first insight into the mechanics of filmmaking – and he was impressed. “My appreciation for film didn’t come from any fascination for movie stars – it came from watching it get done and seeing how everything fits together,” he said. “Observing the process and then the end result, it all made perfect sense to me. Working on ‘Rudy’ really had a big effect on me.”

He also went on to work on “While You Were Sleeping,” “I Love Trouble,” and the re-make of “Miracle on 34th Street.”

While Burke finishes editing “1918,” he’s also looking ahead to other projects, including a feature-length film he wrote called, “Whaling City,” which is set in New Bedford, Mass. and tells the story of a struggling fishing-boat captain and a beautiful scientist who work together to resuscitate the dying fishing industry and community.

Burke understands that making it in the film business is an uphill battle, but isn’t about to throw in the towel. “If the Sox can win the World Series, anything can happen,” he joked.


The Scene Journal
(Nov. 16 - Dec 10, 2004)

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1918 - the film
Based on a true story
Written and Directed by Jay Burke

Congratulations 2004 Boston Red Sox - World Series Champions!