‘Keep shooting no matter what’?Arie Posin on fighting his way through ‘The Chumscrubber’

Rejection at every turn, finding and fighting with investors, and the determination to make “The Chumscrubber” despite all odds is what Arie Posin told filmmakers at Facets Multi-Media prior to the screening of his debut feature that opened here Aug. 26.

“The Chumscrubber” is a dark suburban satire about troubled teens and their oblivious parents, with an ensemble cast that includes Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes, and Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot”).

Here’s what Posen had to say about the agony and the ecstasy of getting his film made. IFP/Chicago’s Elizabeth Donius moderated.

Initiating the project was the easy part

Arie Posin: This is my first feature. I’d been writing scripts for a long time, and after a while I realized that I hadn’t been on a set in seven years. I had this crisis, I needed to stop writing and start shooting. My short “Over My Dead Body” did the festival circuit a couple years ago.

I met [“Chumscrubber” screenwriter] Zac Stanford at a festival. He had the darkest short I’d ever seen [“Marked”]. He said I had the funniest short I’d ever seen. We realized that both of our favorite movies were ones that walked that line.

The quest for producers

Posin: We were going to just make the movie our own, shoot it on DV and put it on my credit cards like I’d done with my shorts. At the last minute before we were going to start shooting, my girlfriend said “at least make a list of five producers and send it to them. If they pass on it, go make the movie.”

We made our list, and at the top was Lawrence Bender. He produced all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies. Tarantino has a strong, idiosyncratic vision and he’s stuck with Lawrence through all their success, so I figured Lawrence must be a filmmaker-friendly producer. Plus he has a social consciousness, as you can see in the movies he’s produced without Quentin, like “Fresh” and “Innocent Voices.”

We sent the “Chumscrubber” script to Lawrence. It worked its way up to him and three weeks later he called me and said “I love the script, who the hell are you?” He said, “I’m in, but I want a partner.” He called his agent Mike Simpson, who said, “Bonnie Curtis [“A.I.”] is one of the best producers in town and she’s looking for something like this to do.”