About the Film

the story

Racing across Los Angeles in one, unwieldy day, documentary filmmakers Bella and Milo must race from Beverly Hills to Watts — and places in between — in order to get Milo’s brother Leo from jail to rehab before 8pm, or Leo goes to prison for three years. A story inspired by true events, the trio documents their trip from a suburban police station in Calabasas through mansions in Beverly Hills, East LA chopshops, rural wastelands, and housing projects in Watts as they attempt to raise the $5,000 required to get Leo into the rehab clinic. Along the way they encounter dozens of colorful characters, each with their own anomalous perspective on Leo’s larger-than-life personality and style, and each with their own excuse for why they cannot help out. In the end, it may take the desperate irony of a drug deal to get the necessary funds to send Leo to rehab.

directors statement

FIX is inspired by a true story: My brother, a very charming, larger than life character in real life, was struggling with drug addiction. The law caught up with him, and he was offered a deal by the judge: if he didn’t check himself into rehab in 10 days, he would be sent to prison for 3 years. On the 8th day, he was arrested again, for something else. His lawyer called me, while I was working on a documentary in San Francisco, and said, “If someone doesn’t bail him out of jail and get him to rehab by 8pm tomorrow, he is going to prison for 3 years.” So I drove overnight to bail him out and soon found out that the rehab wouldn’t accept him without a non-refundable $5000 deposit. Since we didn’t have the money, the day turned into a race to get the funds before the 8 o’clock deadline.

4 Years later, my wife Olivia and I had the idea of turning this premise into my first narrative feature film. I knew it was time for me to move into scripted features and I was also dying to work with Olivia, who was developing into an incredible actress. We always joked that while we had gotten married after only knowing each other for 6 months, the real commitment (and risk) it takes to make a film together required 4 years.

Given my background in guerilla style documentary filmmaking, I wanted to use the language I had developed in that medium and apply it to my first narrative project. In that way, I hoped to get the best of both worlds: the immediacy and realism of documentary and the structure and story arc of scripted, fictional work. Given advances in digital media, I was also excited by the fact that we could do this without sacrificing my love of photography and “cinematic” imagery.

The process and result turned out to be more gratifying than I ever could have imagined. Seeing Shawn bring his own vision and spirit to the Leo character was delightful. Shooting was adventurous and fun, and bringing the film to festivals around the world and seeing how the film touched people from so many walks of life was more than I ever dreamed of. I am excited for the film to now reach an even larger audience with this fall’s release.

synopsis

One of the most engaging race-against-time films of recent memory. Fix follows the 15-hour journey that Milo, who is filming the entire day, and his reluctantly-involved girlfriend Bella have as they pick up Milo’s brother Leo from jail. The trio have until 8 PM to get him to drug rehab or he’ll be forced to serve a lengthy prison sentence. Very much a road movie that uses Los Angeles and its geography as a character, Fix is manically paced, as Leo has countless small and large tasks to take care of before he gets to rehab, including visits to virtually all parts of LA with virtually every type of LA denizen. Coupled with his strict deadline, Leo must also come up with the funds to pay for rehab or he won’t be admitted. Although faced with time and financial targets, Leo somehow manages to make the most of his final 15 hours of freedom.

What keeps the film on a relentlessly exciting and engaging trajectory is not only the speedy performance of Shawn Andrews as Leo, but the cast of characters he, Milo and Bella meet along the way, including married women, crazed lawyers, spiritual friends, unsavory mechanics and understanding police. Add to this mix classic cars, a slobbering dog, as well as Bella’s initial distaste for the task at hand, and Fix is a completely satisfying movie. From its interesting shooting style of the entire story being filmed by Milo (director Tao Ruspoli in a terrific dual role) to its touching conclusion, this is a feature film that signals a wonderful new voice in American independent feature filmmaking.

cast

Shawn Andrews :: “LEO” :: made his feature film debut as the umber cool Kevin Pickford in Richard Linklater’s indie megahit DAZED AND CONFUSED. Since then, he has committed his career to provocative character work. Including, among others, his role as Simon in the melodic festival favorite AFTER THE FLOOD, as the beautiful loser, Robbie, in Matt Dillon directed CITY OF GHOSTS, and in BIG HEART CITY starring opposite Academy Award Nominee Seymor Cassel.

Olivia Wilde :: “BELLA” :: Equally successful in film and television, the beautiful and talented Olivia Wilde has starred in an array of comedic and dramatic roles. Wilde previously starred opposite Bruce Willis, Emile Hirsch and Justin Timberlake in the Universal film ALPHA DOG, based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood. Wilde joined the ensemble in John Stockwell’s TURISTAS, opposite Josh Duhamel and Melissa George, which was released by Fox Atomic. She has completed two independent features including BICKFORD SCHMECKLER’S COOL IDEAS, in which she won Best Actress at the Aspen Film Festival, as well as CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN, opposite Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckert. In the summer of 2007, Wilde starred in Epic Theatre Center’s Off-Broadway production of BEAUTY ON THE VINE. Wilde also starred opposite Jonathan Tucker in NBC’s drama THE BLACK DONNELLYS, written by Paul Haggis. Wilde’s television breakout role was in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced series, Skin for FOX, but is perhaps better known for her recurring role on the critically acclaimed FOX series, THE O.C. Wilde can currently be seen in FOX’s hit Emmy-nominated drama HOUSE opposite Hugh Laurie. She also plays Mia in IN NORTHWOOD, and as Princess Inanna in YEAR ONE with Jack Black and Michael Cera. Wilde is also currently filming TRON 2.0, a movie by Walt Disney Productions, which is scheduled to be released in 2011.

Tao Ruspoli :: “MILO” (Director, Actor, Writer, Director of Photography) :: is an Italian- American filmmaker and photographer. He is the son of Italian actor and aristocrat Prince Dado Ruspoli and American actress Debra Berger. Tao was born in Bangkok, Thailand and raised in Rome and Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Ruspoli’s other most recent work is the documentary, BEHIND THE WHEEL. Behind the Wheel follows a group of driven artists, filmmakers, musicians, and american citizens, in search of change within the United States. His most well-known piece is the documentary JUST SAY KNOW, a personal discussion of his family’s drug addiction. His other films include FLAMENCO: A PERSONAL JOURNEY, a feature length documentary about the flamenco way of life as it is lived by Gypsies in the south of Spain. He has directed a number of other short documentaries, including EL CABLE (also about Flamenco), and THIS FILM NEEDS NO TITLE: A PORTRAIT OF RAYMOND SMULLYAN (a portrait of the renowned logician, mathematician and concert pianist Raymond Smullyan). Tao founded LAFCO in 2000. The Los Angeles Film-makers Cooperative, is a bohemian collective of film- makers and musicians who work out of a converted school bus. His producing credits include the feature film CAMJACKERS, which he also acted in and co-edited. Camjackers won the best editing award at the 44th Ann Arbor Film Festival. Tao is an accomplished flamenco guitar player, and his first CD, Flamenco, was released on Mapleshade Records in 2005. He is married to actress Olivia Wilde. He currently lives and works in Venice, California

Megalyn Echikunwoke :: “CARMEN” :: is an American actress. The daughter of a Nigerian father and a white American mother, she and her brothers were raised by their mother on the Navajo Indian reservation in Chinle, Arizona. In addition to FIX Echikunwoke can be seen in WHO DO YOU LOVE, released in 2008, as Dr. Tara Price in CSI: MIAMI, and on the TV series RAISING THE BAR. She is also known for playing Nicole Palmer in the first season of 24 and Isabelle Tyler in The 4400.

filmmakers

Directed by
Tao Ruspoli
Starring
Shawn Andrews
Olivia Wilde
Megalyn Echikunwoke
Tao Ruspoli
Dedee Pfeiffer
Written by
Tao Ruspoli
Jeremy Fels
Produced by
Nat Dinga
Photographed by
Christopher Gallo
Tao Ruspoli
Edited by
Paul Forte
Production Design by
Erin Eagleton
Sarah Osborne
Casting by
David Rapaport
Lindsey Kroeger
Original music by
Isaac Sprintis
Music by
Dead Prez
Ima Robot
Simon Dawes
Beautiful Girls
Nico Stai
Contact
William Morris Independent