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MAY 24 & 25
“If you can’t make coffee on time, you can’t make your movie.” So declares Dov S-S Simens, owner, operator, and star of the boldly named “Two-Day Film School.” His point is twofold. First, the most important aspect of any production is keeping the crew happy, i.e., well fed. But the comment also exemplifies Simens’ filmmaking philosophy, which he has distilled into 16 no-nonsense hours filled with the kind of off-the-rate-card numbers and true lies that really drive the business called show. Making a movie is a simple matter of writing 38 checks. Production? Follow the “one fusebox” rule. You could spend tens of thousands of dollars and several years attending NYU or USC’s film school, but you would graduate with only a diploma and the ability to verbally deconstruct Eisenstein. On the other hand, Spike and Quentin have famously credited Simens with kick-starting their careers. Even self-described “cynical dick” Joe Queenan admitted that Dov was the real deal. “What I most enjoyed about Simens’ course was his ability to demystify the filmmaking process completely,” he wrote in his snide book about making a low-budget flick, The Unkindest Cut. Do not be fooled by the above photograph into thinking that Simens is some genial PBS host. His class is two days of brutal honesty, and he tolerates no interruptions for questions about art. From 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at American University’s Ward Building, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. $389. For reservations call (800) 933-3456. (Dave Nuttycombe)