Filmmakers Turn Their Lens to Our City
JENNIFER CRESCENZO 32, Columbia Heights
Documentary: "Ready to Play" (2007), a thoroughly absorbing look at the changing Glover Park neighborhood as seen through the prism of the Glover Park Co-Ed Softball League and the man who founded it, the filmmaker's father.
When did you start making films?
I began making films as an undergraduate at Notre Dame. I actually aspired to be a print journalist. But I ended up taking a film theory class. . . . I started out thinking I was interested in film theory and then discovered that I was more interested in practice than theory.
What was the first movie you made about?
In film school, my first 16mm short film was called "Full Frontal," and it was a meditation on gender and sexuality based in part on my experiences working as an artist's model.
Why did you decide to make a movie about your dad's softball league?
Whenever I mentioned the Glover Park softball league, people were always really curious about it. I would mention a funny story about a player or a team, and people would always ask questions and want to hear more stories. So eventually I hit on the idea of making a film about Glover Park using the softball league as a "lens" through which to see the community.
What was your budget?
Wow . . . the most difficult question! I can tell you that I raised about $35,000 for hard costs like paying a cinematographer, editor, sound designer. . . . If I had to estimate, based on what I raised and in-kind donations, I'd guess the real cost to make the film was between $75,000 and $100,000.
You played for your dad. What's the best advice he gave you as a player?
Hmmm. My dad doesn't give advice so much as he yells it. He has a tendency to give you some piece of advice about where you should hit the ball right before you step up to the plate, and that can be a little distracting. I've had at-bats when I was thinking so hard about placing the ball where my dad wanted it that I just popped it right up!
Do you miss the Glover Park you lived in as a kid?