Former Vail resident brings film to Vail festival
========VAIL, Colorado -Filmmaker, writer, title designer, and one-time busboy at Vail’s Gasthof Gramshammer Richie Adams isn’t afraid to dream big, and his first feature film, “Inventing Adam,” which premieres at the Vail Film Festival this week showcases his spirit of adventure, whimsy, and courage. The film features a lively cast of characters (including one called simply “Wetballs”) and features lush locations from urban cityscapes to the forests and plantations of the deep south. “Inventing Adam” poses the question “What if someone didn’t follow their dream?” – though it is difficult to believe Adams knows anything about that. A former Vail resident and graduate of CU Boulder, Adams has been working in the film industry for years – designing lively and imaginative main title sequences for films like “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Babel,” and “Ladder 49.”Having upgraded his dreams and now completed his first feature film, Adams is on an upward trajectory that not even the lack of (the almighty) budget could stop. We caught up with Adams to talk about his inspiration and dreams as well as his foundational years in Vail. 1. Vail Daily: What was your role in this your first feature film? Richie Adams: This being my first film, I definitely wore a lot of hats. I wrote the screenplay, directed and produced (alongside my friend and producer Jarred Coates) the movie, along with designing and producing the bulk of the visual effects. That said, I was very fortunate to be surrounded by several talented filmmakers who supported me in the effort, which ultimately made my job a much easier one.2. VD: What is your connection to Vail, Colorado? RA: My family had always vacationed here in the winter for ski trips, so I fell in love with ski country and applied to CU Boulder. I attended Boulder from ’94-’98 and during that time, Vail was my home snowboard mountain. My parents actually moved to Vail shortly after my time at CU, and have lived in the Vail Valley for the past 13 years. Also, prior to my first year at Boulder, I lived in East Vail for a summer and bussed tables at Gasthof Gramshammer in Vail Village … many fond memories of that time spent with chef Peter Franke and the rest of the gang at Pepi’s. 3. VD: How did you get into the film business? RA: Following my time at CU, I moved to Los Angeles and started working at an advertising agency called Ogilvy & Mather. It was there that I saw someone working in motion graphic design, and thought ‘that’s it, that’s what I want to do,’ but more specifically, I wanted to do it for feature films. I set my sights on that goal, and was given my first shot in the business four years later by veteran title designer, Richard Greenberg (“Superman” [the original], “The Untouchables,” “The Matrix”), on a movie called “Star Trek: Nemesis.” I continued working with Richard for several years before moving home to Louisiana to pursue my directorial career.4. VD: What was the inspiration for your screenplay and movie? RA: Well, briefly before moving to Los Angeles, I lived in San Francisco for a bit and was struggling with what I wanted to do with my life from a career standpoint. I mentioned the aha moment I had in Los Angeles, so I thought “what if someone didn’t follow their dream? What would their life be like then?” A friend (Matt Johnson) and I came up with the original story, and “Inventing Adam” was partly based on our respective time spent in San Francisco. We wanted to tell a story that involved “coming home,” given that he was from a small town in Northern California, and I from the smallish town of Baton Rouge, LA. The interesting thing is that I wrote the story while living in Los Angeles, and after several trips home to Baton Rouge, remembered what I loved about the south and decided to move home … similar to Adam’s journey in the story.5. VD: What were your greatest challenges in making “Inventing Adam”? RA: Definitely the budget … or lack thereof. Not unlike many independent films, we had almost no budget, and the true challenge for an independent filmmaker is to demonstrate what you can do with essentially no money. Then, if you pull it off, someone down the road might trust you to make a bigger film. “Inventing Adam” was shot in a mere 16 days … our budget being the determining factor of that equation.6. VD: What are you most proud of about the film? RA: Well, I think it’s a great story. it makes you laugh, it takes you for a ride, and literally folks of all ages can relate to it … and for such a small film to have so much production value, including wonderful locations,I’m most proud of the fact the we [our entire crew of filmmakers] actually pulled it off.7. VD: Who is someone in Hollywood that you really admire? RA: Well, he’s gone now, but Alfred Hitchcock. Many people don’t know this, but he started his career in film as a title designer and obviously went on to direct some of the greatest films of our time – I’d like to follow in his rather large footsteps.