Persevering to make film

`Sinsitivity's' Moir didn't let obstacles block his path

November 25, 2003|By Julia Furlong | Julia Furlong,SUN STAFF

As with any truly independent film, the conflicts associated with Kim Moir's Sinsitivity, which premieres tonight for one showing only at the Senator Theatre, are hardly limited to those on the screen.

"I was really trying to create a classic conflict, a story that everyone could relate to," says Moir. Most of us surely can relate to the hurdles he faced in the four years it took to finish the film: a money crunch, illness, relocations, even being handed the wrong keys for a shoot. Oh, and the inferiority complex of his own town.

Sinsitivity tells the story of a minister's son, Trent Lundy (Ryan Sands), an ambitious TV reporter climbing the ranks of Baltimore's top-rated newscast. At a friend's bachelor party, he meets the beautiful Sinnamon (Paige Carter), an exotic dancer. As the attraction deepens, Lundy puts his career and relationship with his father at risk.

It's the universal theme of sacrifice, Moir says: "What you will put on the line."

Moir certainly is familiar with this notion, as the premiere of Sinsitivity represents another step in the long years of following his dream of filmmaking.

He worked for Maryland Public Television as a videographer for 19 years, believing it an easy way into a film career. Stymied, he decided that "the only way to get into film would be to write a great screenplay myself."

In 1997, Moir's Killing the Memory won the Arena Players and WMAR-TV's Annual Dramatic Competition, and aired in February 1997 on Channel 2.

"It was a wonderful opportunity," he remembers, "not only in terms of visibility. I saw that if I applied myself, good things happened. ... It's vindication."

For his acceptance speech, he told the audience he'd be back in a few years with Sinsitivity. "And I'm the type of person," Moir says, "that if I say it, then it's going to happen."

Moir says his hometown could use some of that self-confidence. "We tend to look at things coming from Baltimore as if they aren't good enough for, say, New York or L.A.," he says. "I fight against that mindset constantly."

And Sinsitivity faced other obstacles: actors dropped out or didn't show up, film crew members moved across towns, states - even across the country. "It was hard to keep the continuity and shoot everyone's scene before they left," he says.

Moir also admits that most of the film was shot guerrilla-style, without permits. Because of shows like Homicide being filmed, "even policemen would stop to ask questions and flirt with the actresses, and all the while not knowing that we were essentially breaking the law."

On one occasion, a friend offered the key to his house to shoot a scene there. "I turned the key in the lock, and nothing happened, with a whole crew behind me," he remembers. Fortunately, another home was available, and the shoot went on.

Also complicating the process was the health of Moir's mother, who at the start of production was a "healthy, vibrant woman" and now is in a nursing home. Then Moir contracted Lyme disease ("shut me down for a month and a half").

Moir also estimates that a lack of funds stopped production "around 15 times." (He puts the film's budget in the ballpark of $25,000.)

Moir is negotiating to bring the film to video stores by spring 2004, unless it ends up in theaters first. "We didn't initially think that the film had a theatrical future," Moir says, explaining that he has been getting calls of interest from theaters from D.C. to Richmond.

Wherever the film ends up, Moir believes that "even to get it seen is a blessing."

He recalls that during a test screening at the Senator, the ushers stopped sweeping and cleaning to watch. "That's the type of experience that I want people to have," he says. "I'm not making it for myself. ... I want it to entertain people."


What: Reception and premiere

Where: Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road

When: 7 tonight

Tickets: $20

Call: 410-281-1699

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.