Herzlinger is probably still best known for his debut feature, as the man who bought a camera with the intention of returning it within 30 days in order to make a documentary about the pursuit of a date with his childhood crush, Drew Barrymore. My Date With Drew cost $1,100, which helped to make it the fourth most profitable film made. He as followed that initial success up with a wide variety of projects, including being an on-air correspondent for "The Tonight Show," hosting, directing, and writing with childhood friend Jay Black. Herzlinger may have first come into the public's eye with My Date With Drew, but he had already put a great deal of work into the film industry prior to this debut, working in a variety of different positions in both production and post-production. It should come as no surprise that this versatile filmmaker would boldly go where few other directors are willing to venture, into the world of film musicals.
|Joe Piscopo and Paul Sorvino|
|Joe Piscopo as Jack Cosmo|
|Jay Black and Brian Herzlinger|
B.H.: My parents are seeing How Sweet It Is right now! They’re going to see it on Mother’s Day and Joe Piscopo is taking his mother to see it today as well. Where do I care about it opening? I was born in Brooklyn, New York, my childhood was all in Jersey and I’ve been in L.A. since ’97, so I care about all three. At least, that’s the fairest answer I can give. But if the thing opens in Pacoima, I would care about them as much as anybody else. It’s an interesting experience when you put yourself out there creatively. The only thing you can do is make a movie for yourself and the movie you would want to see. Because you can try and please everybody else and you’re just going to end up getting disappointed. It’s always about having a story to tell and being able to do that in the way you think the story should be told. That’s what I do, and if somebody doesn’t like it, that’s fine. That’s absolutely fine. You don’t have to like it. I made a movie called Baby on Board. There are things I would do differently with that film, but I still enjoy watching that movie. There are scenes in there that make me laugh out loud.. And the film had mixed reviews. I think it’s all about creating voices the audience can tap into, and hopefully what you are doing, the people who are giving their hard earned money are going to like it.
Q: So, having made a documentary, tackled comedy and now having completed your first musical, what is next?
B.H.: I'm very excited about a few projects I have coming up. My first project is called "The Death House." Jay Black and I wrote the script, Rick Finkelstein and Steven Chase, who produced How Sweet It Is, are producing along with Tony Oppedisano and Michael Guarnera. It's an awesome project that we describe as The Expendables of horror, with a multitude of iconic horror actors attached, including Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street), Doug Bradley (Pinhead from Hellraiser), Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects, House of 1,000 Corpses), Dee Wallace (The Howling, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond), Danny Trejo (Machete, Planet Terror) and many more. I'm as big a fan of horror as I am of musicals, so I'm excited to get into production this summer!