Award winning director, screenplay writer, producer, and a host of many other creative endeavors, David McAbee is about to release the dramatic, tender, and hopeful film, “For The Love of Jessee” on May 1, 2020. Having already won the Los Angeles Film Award for “Best Dramatic Screenplay”, the digital unveiling will be a riveting and inspiring addition to the film climate.
No stranger to production and direction McAbee has worked with networks including The Cooking Channel, The Travel Channel, ABC, ESPN, Fox Sports and The Food Network. David’s very first short, “Night Terrors” starring accomplished actress and scream queen, Laurene Landon, guided him to a successful festival run, winning several awards for “Best Shorts.”
Being immediately and unconditionally impressed with the trailer of “For The Love of Jessee”, I felt compelled to have a conversation with David regarding the film and his career…..
I absolutely love the film, did you write the screenplay?
Thank you very much. I did write it. I was hired to write it. Our executive producer Curta Schlarbaum had the story and she hired me to write it.
Was it a true story?
Not a true story. I think it was just something she was sitting on, an idea. She was a nurse in another lifetime, and I think she probably pulled from a lot of true life experiences.
You’ve done a bunch of movies before this? One of them was “Dive.”
I was an executive producer on Dive, and that’s how I met Curta. After Dive didn’t go anywhere, she called and pitched me the idea for Jessee.
What message are you hoping the audience perceives after watching this movie, if any?
With what we are going through right now it’s kind of just a good story. It’s a happy story
with a happy ending. It’s true that the film is full of drama, a lot of real-life drama, a lot of heartache, but there’s a happy ending. We need a little uplifting news right now because with the news and everything around us, we’re constantly bombarded with bad news. I think people need to take a break from that and spend 90 minutes watching our movie, and then go hug someone (as long as you live with them).
I hate to bring it up but how are you using all of your free time?
I’m writing everyday. I’d be silly not to take advantage of the time that we are given, being forced to stay home. If I’m not writing, then I’m not doing what I should be doing on this earth. I’m trying to stay busy by writing and promoting the movie as much as possible. I’ve gotten two scripts finished and shopping those around once the world is back on its feet.
Tell me a little about David?
I was a child of the 80’s and 90’s. I loved watching horror and action films. “Jessee” is kind of a departure for me. My first short, “Night Terrors” with Laurene Landon was a short horror film…in one of my new scripts I’ve added in a part for Laurene because I want to work with her again…. But who am I, I am a writer. I’ve been creating since my early 20s. I was a radio DJ, producer and a touring musician. Then I moved to LA 10 years ago and quickly started producing Travel channels, Food Network, ESPN type shows. Then in 2016 I wrote and directed “Night Terrors. Thanks to the cast of that it, won a whole bunch of awards, for writing and directing, Best Short, Best Horror…. from that I got hired to write “Jessee”… and here we are.
What inspired you to start a career in such a tough business?
I’m not good at anything else. I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess. That’s how I got through school. Instead of writing a 10-page paper on Abe Lincoln I asked if I could make a movie instead. Being creative is how I stay sane and not drive my fiancé crazy.
If you could say anything to your fans and followers or give them any advice about the movie business what would you say?
If you’ve got the itch scratch it! Don’t wait. I feel like I waited too long before taking the leap of faith. Just do it. There’s no reason not to. When I grew up you had to borrow a video camera and go get tapes, charge batteries, now you can shoot and edit a film on your phone. So, there is nothing stopping you, other than yourself.
Do you recall a single moment in life that changed the whole trajectory of yours?
I think I’m still waiting for that moment. I think it’s just putting one foot in front of the other. As you know it’s a hustle to try and make it. Not even to make it but just try to make a living doing what we do. You just have to keep hustling.
If you could have me ask you any question what would it be?
Maybe like what is my dream gig?
Ok what’s your ultimate stage fantasy?
My Ultimate, my agent calls me saying that the CEO of Hollywood is on the line and they want to know what I want o make next…I tell them I want to write and direct the “Quantum Leap” miniseries. I would give it an ending that the fans wanted and room for a spin off. So til then I’m waiting for the call from Jeff Bader and Don Bellisario.
….OMG, I’d kill it!!!
Watch the “For The Love Of Jessee” Trailer here:
“For The Love Of Jessee” will be available on May 1, 2020 on the following platforms:
Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudi, Comcast On Demand, CBD.com, ChristianCinema.com, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
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Interview by Eileen Shapiro