Some people know Jarret Liotta as a Westport News writer. Others know him as a parent volunteer, with Staples Players and Coleytown Middle School. Some even recall him as a former teacher at Saugatuck Elementary School.
But the Staples High School Class of 1983 graduate is at heart a movie maker. It is, he says, “what I do best.”
And though he’s proud of his 2 feature-length films — “How Clean is My Laundry” (shot in Westport in 2002) and “The Acting Bug” (Los Angeles, 2009) — he has never been more passionate about a project than his current one.
Called “Home Movie,” it draws on lessons learned in L.A., where Liotta worked for several years at Fox Searchlight.
The main character is based on Liotta’s mother. He calls her “a larger-than-life alcoholic narcissist that some people in Westport will certainly remember — fondly, I hope.”
He futzed around with the idea for 2 years. Finally this spring, he wrote a script that he’s thrilled with.
“Home Movie” is about a young woman who comes home after her father’s death. When she arrives — in a town not unlike Westport — she begins to suspect that her mother may actually have killed him.
It’s a comedy, but a dark one that he hopes shows some heart. It lies somewhere among “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Fargo,” with fun twists and a surprise ending.
Liotta plans to shoot in Westport, with plenty of community involvement.
Westport’s own Cynthia Gibb — a Staples grad, film and TV star, and the writer’s first choice to play the mom– loves the script. She is interested in doing “Home Movie,” if possible.
But first things first. And high on that list: financing.
Liotta has organized an Indiegogo campaign. His goal is $250,000.
Some Westporters are already involved. Liotta hopes for more. “It’s very exciting to make a real movie. It begins locally, but will develop into something quite special,” he says.
“I hope people take a little leap of faith and fly with this,” he adds. “I’m taking a big leap to follow my dream. But as the man said, you’ll never fly if you don’t jump off!”
(To contribute to Jarret Liotta’s Indiegogo fundraising campaign, click here.)