LAKE PLACID - Fans of filmmaker Kirk Sullivan turned out in force for Wednesday night's world premiere of "The Come Up."
The 10-minute action comedy, a rapid-fire story about a scheme to steal a large amount of cash from a Hollywood movie set, drew a rousing standing ovation from the crowd at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Sullivan, 30, is a Saranac Lake native who now lives and works in Los Angeles.
"It went amazingly well," he told the Enterprise during a reception after the movie. "The turnout was a who's-who list of my entire life, many of whom I haven't seen for years."
Ricky Sullivan, right, congratulates his brother Kirk after the premiere of Kirk’s new short film, “The Come Up,” at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on Wednesday.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Morris)
The film starred Patrick Adams as a production assistant for a major Hollywood producer, played by Michael Pare, as well as Troian Bellisario, who played an assistant higher up on the food chain than Adams. The film's heist sequence played out over multiple movie sets, often interrupting other shoots, eventually ending in the streets of Hollywood.
No spoilers here, but know this: In its 10-minutes, the film has all the style and flair of a Hollywood blockbuster. During a question-and-answer session afterward, Sullivan said he hopes the film will serve as his calling card.
"I want it to show what I'm capable of," he said.
The movie's budget was between $20,000 and $30,000 - $15,000 of which came from supporters who contributed through an online Kickstarter campaign. All of those contributors were listed in the credits.
Sullivan said he learned some important lessons while crafting "The Come Up."
"I called in every favor I could," he said. "I learned that if you need something, sometimes you just have to ask for it."
Sullivan, himself a production assistant for a major producer, said he's also learned a lot about the politics of working in Hollywood.
Mark Wilson of Saranac Lake asked Sullivan what his next steps will be. Sullivan said he plans to submit it to more than 30 film festivals nationally and internationally.
"I'm going to send it to everybody I've met basically ever," he joked.
One observant viewer noted that Sullivan incorporated one of his father's old film reels into the movie. Fred Sullivan, who passed away unexpectedly in 1996, was a filmmaker, too. His best known works include "The Beer Drinker's Guide to Fitness and Filmmaking" and "Cold River."
Sullivan explained that the movie's title, "The Come Up," is a term often used in hip-hop culture to describe a person's ascent. In the movie's case, the thieves are trying to better their lot in life financially. For Sullivan, the term describes his efforts to reach his goal: to make a living out of making movies.
Sullivan's sister, Katie, and mother, Polly, were all smiles after the show.
"I'm very proud," Katie said. "He deserves this."
"I loved it," Polly added. "I felt some nerves (beforehand). I had no idea until yesterday it was just 10 minutes."
C.J. Williams, a lifelong friend of Sullivan, had a hand in reading the script and offering feedback as the movie was being produced. He said the final product was sharp.
"It was executed really well," Williams said, "and I love these premieres. It's fun to see something for the first time."
Another longtime friend of Sullivan, Tim Burke, said he was impressed with the film.
"I was shocked by what he could do in a 10-minute time frame," Burke said. "Kirk's been making films since high school. It's really cool to see him keep after it."