Using a film as marriage proposal? Why not, it works

When it comes to changing beliefs or persuasion, filmmaking has always been a powerful tool. But has a movie ever been created to propose spending a lifetime together?

In short, yes.

Leigh Jones’ BoomThrift produced and Justin Hayward , a commercial and narrative director helmed the short, “Tiny’s New Home.” It was originally commissioned as a way for Chad Munger, Mammoth Distilling owner, to propose to his longtime girlfriend, interior designer, Tracy Hickman.

The charming six-minute short features local child actors, Nikki Tortorella and Tristan Coppola and tells the story of Tiny, a lone goldfish, who keeps jumping out of his bowl.

Despite his owner’s (Tortorella) escalating attempts to make his home more hospitable, Tiny just won’t stay. Out of ideas, she turns to her best friend (Coppola) for help. Together they set out to find the fish a new a place to live.

“Chad’s desire to do something special and untraditional for Tracy was an honor and a special challenge that we all went into with great respect and excitement,” Hayward explains.

Leigh Jones notes that Munger wasn’t in the film business, but was an old friend of producer Laura Ward, who had worked for years for Harold Ramis. “Chad didn’t know what he wanted to do, but he realized it needed to be different.”

The production company reached out to Chicago/LA writing team, Terry and Larry Ziegelman to craft the story.

As Larry Ziegelman explains. “Chad didn’t want a ‘proposal-themed movie.’ He said it could be about change, or about dogs, or something that she relates to, anything. So our theme for that film idea was — life is better with a co-pilot.”

Brother Terry chimed in, “We had like fifteen other ideas ranging from an actual proposal to a dog dying to a guy finding Jesus on the side of a dumpster.”

Once a story was chosen, the twins set off to write the script with director Hayward. It shot over three days on Red cameras in a Logan Square house and exteriors throughout the city.

For “Tiny’s New Home, Munger rented the Logan theatre for a private cast and crew screening at the Logan Theater. After the film ended Munger casually leaned over and asked Hickman if she would marry him, saying film was his gift to her.

Hickman tearfully answered “yes.”

“Tiny’s New Home” this April will make its debut at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival Kids, the world’s largest children’s film festival. Director Hayward, Jones and Ward plan.

As for Munger and Hickman, they continue to run their new distillery and plan to marry later this year.

LA-based Colin Costello, who still calls Chicago home,” is a working screenwriter whose credits include the 2016 family film, “Traveling Without Moving.” He can be reached at