Indie’s ‘Dirty’ trick

Duo to turn tome into laffer

A correction was made to this article on Sept. 1, 2006.

The influence of Harvey Weinstein and Robert Redford on the indie film scene provided the intrigue in Peter Biskind’s 2004 “Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film.” Now, helmer Ken Bowser and scribe Dean Craig are hoping the behind-the-scenes drama can provide enough fodder for a laffer.

Pair has teamed with Palm-Star Entertainment to develop Biskind’s “Down and Dirty Pictures” into a feature-length comedy, with Bowser aboard to direct and Craig signed to adapt.

Palm-Star CEO and co-founder Kevin Frakes is producing. Palm-Star chairman and co-founder Stephan Paternot will executive produce with the shingle’s Sriram Das and Tiwary Entertainment Group’s Gary Kaplan.

Bowser directed a 2003 docu based on Biskind’s book “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood.” He describes “Down and Dirty Pictures” as “outrageous” and “insane.”

Tome tracks the rise of independent film starting in the 1990s thanks to such films as “Pulp Fiction” and “sex, lies, and videotape.” Weinstein and Redford, who figure prominently throughout the book, are credited with playing a key part in the success of the genre, though both are criticized for their personal dealings. A rep for Weinstein at the Weinstein Co. had no comment Tuesday.

” ‘Down and Dirty Pictures’ was so obviously a movie that I was a little amazed when we managed to snatch up the rights before the studios moved in,” Bowser said. “You couldn’t make these guys up. They’re like offensive linemen rampaging across the fields of Sundance sacking anyone who gets in their way, while the handsome movie star owner of the stadium smiles benevolently down on his charges. If that’s not a movie, I don’t know what is.”

Bowser has also done some work for “Saturday Night Live,” including helming “Saturday Night Live in the 80s: Lost & Found.” More recently, he wrote and produced a John Ford/John Wayne episode of “American Masters.” Craig wrote pics “Caffeine” and “Death at a Funeral.”

Palm-Star opened shop last year. Shingle’s early credits include Theo Avgerinos’ “Fifty Pills,” which bowed at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and Pete Chatmon’s “Premium.”

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