“Thanks to everyone for coming and enjoy the rest of the party.” This was the first sentence director Ed Burns directed toward the bourgeois at the date-night themed after-party for his film, “Doggy Bags” earlier this week. The first half of the speech and the party itself were spent thanking and jumping through hoops for American Express, the corporate sponsor of the event and addressing those of the crowd who had a reputation for their large wallets and small inhibitions.
Indeed the party was heavy on Amex paraphernalia, the only thing to imply that it was not just an Amex promo was the last television, all the way in the rear of AOA Bar and Grill on which an hour-long film on the making of the 14-minute feature was playing.
There was a very lethargic air to the party, many guests did not see the film and were unable to even identify the actors until pictures were taken. “I don’t really know about it, I just thought it would be fun to come,” says guest Susanne Williams, 23, with a shrug, “I guess those are the film people, they are sitting at a reserved table.”
Matt Bush, 26, was definitely the ideal choice for a, “polite guy.” He is unimposing and shy with a slight build, his words are friendly but soft-spoken and he conveys authenticity and interest when he speaks. “I started with commercials six or seven years ago,” says Bush, “I went to school for business, a small college called Rowan University in Jersey and I just kind of dropped out.
The cast and crew were apparently not very well associated on a personal level, to the obvious chagrin of actress Daniella Pineda, who was sure to introduce Burns to her boyfriend, mother and father and give a thorough overview and evaluation of each; leading to some impatient foot tapping from Burns’ wife, Christy Turlington.
The screenplay for “Doggy Bags,” is listed on the TribeCa Film Festival’s site as written by director Ed Burns, however, in actuality no name screenwriter , Susan Brennan, supplied the script via a promotional contest held by American Express. “He is very relaxed, very easy going,” Brennan says of Burns, “He is really great.”
Party goer Frank Lincoln, summarized the event thus, “Doggy Bags? Yeah, they are alright, but hey there is free wine and crab cakes here, so who’s complaining?”