Taylor Green is so nice. Too nice. She keeps getting engaged in conversation.

My Photo
Location: Akron, Ohio, United States

No, that is not a drawing of me. I am the writer, director and producer of "The Bride and the Grooms," a romantic comedy movie that will be shot in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in July.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Irish sweepstakes ... almost

Google carefully.

I Googled "bride grooms butch maier" Saturday night. Not because I like reading about myself. It was a way to check up on the movie's online presence. I need to make sure theaters put the poster image and movie info on their Web sites. I need to make sure press releases are reaching their intended audiences.

In order, here's what I found:

-- The Bride & The Grooms MySpace page.
-- The Bride & The Grooms trailer in a Radio Free Charleston episode.
-- The Bride & The Grooms listed on
-- The Bride & The Grooms trailer on YouTube.
-- The Bride & The Grooms crew bios on the movie's official Web site.
-- The Bride & The Grooms official Web site About page.
-- The Bride & The Grooms show times for a Dublin theater.


I live in Ohio, but I don't remember talking to a theater owner in Dublin, Ohio, but I was thankful to have the movie in another theater.

Until I realized it was a theater in Dublin, Ireland.

(I'm all for having the movie seen internationally. It just would be nice to know about it ahead of time.)


What?! But ... how?! Why?! I couldn't believe it. I. Just. Could. Not. Believe. It. This couldn't be real. But there it was on The movie poster I designed with Ryan Dawson. My name listed as director. My actors' names. My name listed as producer. It says "A BUTCH MAIER PICTURE" on the poster. It was mine ... but had been taken away. I thought I had been careful enough (Read: paranoid) by only sending out low-res screeners with scene gaps and warning labels throughout. To make it watchable, someone would have to go to a lot of trouble.

Apparently, someone had.

There it was, alongside 22 commercial films at Movies@Dundrum in a Dublin mall. It was listed right after Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire. There were five show times for TBATG: Sunday at 11 a.m. and Monday through Thursday at 1:10 p.m. (Check it out here -- -- though the Sunday and Monday show times are gone now)

A lot of thoughts rushed through my head.

1. Who stole my movie?
2. How did they steal my movie?
3. What do I do first? Get a lawyer? Call the police? Contact "Dateline: NBC"?
4. I am going to sue, and then I am going to get paid.
5. Couldn't they pick better show times?

Admittedly, I thought to myself, "This will be great publicity!" Struggling indie filmmaker has movie stolen and shipped to Ireland. Film at 11. Yes, film at 11. MY film. At 11 A.M. Who goes to a movie theater in Dublin at 11 a.m.?

Then my mind switched back to how hard this process had been. That I had spent two years in a zombie-like state getting this picture made -- sacrificing time with family, time with friends, money, a life. And ... gone.

Around 3 a.m., I was brainstorming. Who do I know in Ireland? (Answer: no one.) Who do I know who might know someone in Ireland? Who might know about the movie business in Ireland? Then it hit me.

Our film critic at The PD is Irish and reviews international movies. He might know someone. There was hope, I reasoned, to reclaim what was mine. U2 could write an anthem about it: "Bride (In the Name of Love)."

(While we're on the subject of puns, here's my favorite Irish joke:

Q: Why is Ireland the richest country in the world?
A: Because the capital is always Dublin.)

Onward ...

I can't call the theater because then they'll get rid of the movie and claim it never happened. A lawsuit would be expensive, and the theater probably has nothing to do with it. It's just some guy who makes his living off of movie piracy and can never be found. Then I thought to call "Dateline: NBC," but would they scrap their plans to do an expose on child trafficking to track down my Little Movie With Big Dreams? Uh, no.

So I will call our local TV affiliate. No, I need to contact my paper first. Not that flying to Dublin is in our budget. Maybe we could do a newspaper exchange. The Irish Times could do an investigative piece on how my movie made its way to a Dublin theater, and we could do a piece on whose agenda keeps the University of Notre Dame and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School using the stereotypical term "Fighting" in their Irish nicknames.

I'll contact both movie critics at The PD. They could do a double-byline story. I could fly to Dublin and wear a hidden camera. I would buy a ticket to my movie and sit in the theater. After the movie, I would pose as a distributor. I would infiltrate the tangled Web of movie piracy. Or at least get an invite into the manager's office.

Then, reality bit.

The Web site I had found was not the Dublin mall's Web site. It was simply a link site, where movies showing in Dublin were linked.

So I Googled Movies@Dundrum, the theater's name.

And there it was.

A movie with the exact show times as my movie.

"Bride Wars," starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson.

The link site had posted the wrong poster with the wrong movie information.

My movie's not in Dublin. People in Dublin might be looking at my poster, but my movie's not there.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Launch is served

My movie's official Web site,, has been launched! Check it out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I have a daydream

"OK, kids, here's tonight's top 10 list." *


"Here are the top 10 rejected titles for the upcoming romantic comedy movie, 'The Bride & The Grooms.' I tell ya, Paul, this is quite the wacky concept. Wacky. Just wacky. Nuts, I tell ya."

(Paul laughs.)

"Wacky ... concept," Paul says.

"Wacky," Dave says. "Wacky concept."

"What's it about?" Paul asks.

"You don't know?" Dave asks.


"But you were calling it a wacky concept."

"I was calling it a wacky concept because you were calling it a wacky concept."

"Paul, if you don't know what it's about, don't act like you know what it's about."

"I'm sorry. Truly sorry."

"No, you're not."

(Paul laughs. Audience laughs.)

"Dave, from the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry. ... So what's it about?"

"I forget."

(Loud laughter.)

"No, I remember," Dave says. "It's about a woman who accidentally gets engaged to four men at the same time."



"How is that even possible?"

"I don't know. That's ... (snapping his fingers) the hook, the big tease, the, the, the ..."

"Wacky concept."

"Exactly. Wacky concept."


"Yes, Dave?"

"Has anyone you know ever been engaged to four men at the same time?"

(Paul smirks.)

"Never mind."

(Loud laughter.)

"OK, here we go:"

"Number 10 ... 'More Than A Few Good Men.' "

"Number 9 ... 'Dude, Where's My Bride?' "

"Number 8 ... 'May the Four Be With You.' "

"Number 7 ... 'Four to One, She Doesn't Get Married.' "

"Number 6 ... 'Here Comes the Bride ... Who is the Groom?' "

"Number 5 ... 'Taylor's Mate.' "

"I don't get that one," Paul says.

"Well, obviously, Taylor is the bride's name. Played by ... let's see (checking note cards) ... played by a young, up-and-coming actress named Jacilyn Ledford."


"No, Paul. Listen. There's an 'I' in there. Jacilyn. Don't embarrass me. She's going to be out here in three minutes. Don't embarrass me by mispronouncing her name."

"I will say it correctly, sir. Jacilyn."


"Jacilyn. ... Wait, who are the four guys?"

"I dunno ... let's see. Shaphan David Seiders, Michael Wendt, Christopher Leabu and Oliver Gray."

"Is Michael Wendt related to George Wendt?" Paul asks.

"I dunno, let's ask them. George Wendt and Michael Wendt!"

(Audience applauds. George Wendt -- Norm from 'Cheers' -- walks out with up-and-coming actor Michael Wendt.)

"So, are you two related?"

In unison, George and Michael Wendt say, "Nope."

"George Wendt and Michael Wendt -- not related!"

(George and Michael Wendt leave to applause.)

"Where were we?" Dave asks. "Oh, yes. 'Taylor's Mate.' "

"Wait, why can't Taylor be the groom's name?" Paul asks. "There are men named Taylor."

"Yes, of course there are, Paul. But if it's a guy named Taylor, that's giving away the ending if the groom is named Taylor and the title is 'Taylor's Mate.' "

"Ah, you're right. Sorry. A thousand apologies."

"Shall we go on?"


"Number 4 ... 'The Ring 4' "

"Number 3 ... 'Engaged in Conversation.' "

"Number 2 .... Two words: 'Prenuptual Disagreement.' "

"And the Number 1 rejected title for the upcoming romantic comedy movie, 'The Bride & The Grooms' -- which will be in theaters around the country April 24-26 -- is ...

"Aisle: Be Sure."

(Cue the band. Audience applauds. Snap out of daydream.)

* I put these words in quotes because this is what happened in my daydream. In no way am I implying actual people named Dave and Paul said them.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Movie poster

This is the version of the poster that will be on the front page of the movie Web site later this month. The trailer will be posted online today. Photographs by Meia Jones of Keepin' The Faith Photography. Design by Ryan Dawson. Toning by Doug Brumley.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hollywood paper trail

We got a front-page story about the movie in the West Side Leader:

... and that story, plus other online info, turned into a story on Film Stew:

... and that story was put on Yahoo! Movie News, and now Hollywood people are talking about "The Bride and the Grooms." Which is a good thing.

I'll let you know more when I can.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

The Shoot, Day 3: No stunt doubles

Wednesday, July 16, was the third day of "The Bride and the Grooms" shoot, but it really was the first leg of a 12-day marathon sprint. We had 12 straight days of shooting, and they were long, crazy days.

The first scene of the marathon sprint involved the use of an empty house, secured by realtor Ali Whitley of Cutler Real Estate. She got the owner, who was trying to sell the house in West Akron, to give us permission to use the home one afternoon. An odd request, sure, but that's what you have to do when you make an indie. We didn't have the money to rent out a home of our choosing. We had to work a deal where a realtor and realty company get publicity, a homeowner gets free advertising and we get our location.

In the scene, Taylor Green, the lead character, jumps into the arms of her eventual boyfriend, Rich King, and he ends up on the floor. Fortunately, actor Shaphan David Seiders, who was portraying Rich, has camera experience, so we were able to get a shot from his perspective on the floor by handing him the camera. The people on our set are versatile and wear many hats (and not just because the University of Charleston supplied us with some).

Later in the scene, Taylor slides across the floor and bumps her head on a wall. In a studio film, there would be a stunt double brought in who would resemble lead actress Jacilyn Ledford. In our indie, we would need to use trick camera angles to make it look as though Jaci's head was hitting the wall.

Or, as was the case on set, Jaci would decide to ram her head into a wall three times.

On purpose.

For the sake of the take.

Our scene reached a conclusion, and she received a contusion.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Shoot, Day 2

Thursday, July 10, was the second day of the shoot for "The Bride and the Grooms," our feature-length romantic comedy. The first had been in February.

At this rate, the movie will be done in 2024.

These, actually, were bonus days. A way to get ahead. We had a rough stretch ahead of us, so I scheduled this second day a week ahead of our marathon run. We could knock out some small scenes, one big scene and make our day, giving us confidence.

We started with a scene outside of Bath United Church of Christ in Bath Township, Ohio. We had two Panasonic DVX100 cameras, three cameramen, a sound guy, five actors (Jacilyn Ledford as Taylor Green, Oliver Gray as T.J. Teodoro, Sara Rouse as Elizabeth Green, Steve Ryan as Mr. Green and Linda Ryan as Mrs. Green) two extras and myself, and everyone was well-rested, on time and ready to go.

We knocked out the quick scene and moved inside to the beautiful sanctuary, where Director of Photography Christopher Gresham gave me a glimpse of the magic we would discover the rest of the month. A shot required a pastor (T.J.) to look at his congregation and notice a woman (Taylor), his longtime friend.

Problem was, our congregation was comprised of eight people.

We found a way to make eight people fill the frame, and Gresham created a shot where T.J. turned and Taylor was framed under his chin and next to his neck. Just as he turned, she smiled.

I asked Gresham if he was proud of himself. He said no.

He should have been.

It's a possible trailer shot.

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