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And for his next Trick ... how Jim Fall, the out director of the sexy gay comedy Trick, went to work for Disney to make the family-friendly Lizzie McGuire Movie. (film).

At first, Disney's decision to hire out director Jim Fall to helm The Lizzie McGuire Movie might seem a bit unusual. The PG-rated film, opening May 2, crowns a three-season run of the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire, which follows the junior high exploits of a 'tween girl (Hilary Duff). Fall's previous film is Trick, the low-budget, R-rated romantic comedy about two New York City gay boys searching all night for a place to hook up.

Fall, though, wasn't worried. "Both movies end in a kiss, both movies have musical numbers, both movies have cute boys," Fall says with a laugh, "so it was sort of a good match."

After Trick made a sizable splash at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, Fall moved from New York City to Hollywood and started pitching his own projects, most of them gay-related. Perhaps not surprisingly, he found few takers.

"It's been hard getting the next gig," says Fall, 40. "To get [a gay] movie made, you have to write something simple enough to be shot for no money, and that's frustrating." While pitching his own projects, he also pushed himself for studio films.

"I mean, my sensibilities are very mainstream," he says. "I think Trick is a very mainstream comedy; it's just set in a very specific gay world, which is what Disney, luckily, realized."

Luckily, indeed. Both Fall and Disney wanted to keep the movie from looking and feeling like a TV show, so the studio supported his creative decisions, like filming the sitcom's cast in wide-screen.

"This was a real opportunity to make a big, stylish Hollywood movie," he says, citing its $15 million budget and monthlong location shoot in Italy. "It was beautiful," Fall says, beaming. "I mean, the crew was so beautiful."

The genial Fall proudly labels himself "more emotional than cool," but that didn't keep him from being concerned about his career. "I did wonder at the beginning, How am I going to feel about being a director for hire? But I'm just as attached to this movie as I was to Trick. I put so much effort and time and heart and soul and sweat into this movie. It means a lot to me."

Not only that, he got a boyfriend out of the deal too. Fall met Greg, a business analyst, last fall in Vancouver, Canada, during Lizzie's production there. "I never go to bars, and he never goes to bars, but that night we both went out to a bar," Fall recalls with a grin. "He asked me, 'What was the best part of making this movie?' I said, 'Meeting you.'"

Vary also writes for Entertainment Weekly and Alternative Press.
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Author:Vary, Adam B.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 13, 2003
Words:445
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