VINO VERITAS began standing on the first tee of a golf course just off US-23 in Tyrone Township, Michigan. Twice a year, I would meet a friend of mine there, halfway between our houses. Theoretically, we were there to golf, but what we were really there to do was talk. We all have various family members, friends, and acquaintances that we deal with in various ways. Some people know us reasonably well; while others only know the version of ourselves we create for them. If we’re very lucky, we find one or two people in our lives with whom we can actually be absolutely open and truthful.
It was just such a friend I was standing with when a man came strolling up to us and said, “Hey, I’m a single. Mind if I join you?” And my friend smiled and said, “No, you go on ahead of us. We’re going to be talking about things that you would find very disturbing.” Now, we had no idea what we would be talking about, but what my friend knew was that having a stranger with us would have completely changed what we talked about and the way we would talk about it.
Based on that brief incident, I began to obsess about the idea of a film in which people would speak openly and candidly to one another. Not merely personal secrets and revelations, but the kinds of thoughts and truths that bubble up from the mother crocodile inside all of us. For all of the trappings of civilization, we’re still animals driven by our most basic fears and desires, whether we admit to them or not. The result of my desire to write a script featuring characters facing the truth about themselves and one another was VINO VERITAS.
Soon after completing the screenplay, Sarah Knight and I met in New York and discussed the prospects of turning the screenplay into a film. It was immediately apparent that she’s bright and funny and very passionate about what she does. She gave me two of her films to watch and when I did, I knew I wanted to work with her on VINO VERITAS for the very simple reason that she’s an extremely talented filmmaker.
That is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The film is almost precisely as I pictured it when I wrote the screenplay–two couples convinced they know themselves and one another until layer after layer is peeled back to reveal who they really are. The cinematography, set design, sound, editing, and the performances of the actors all come together to create a dark, funny, and often searingly poignant film.
From the moment I wrote the words FADE IN: on page one, it has been my privilege to witness the film being created through the talent and dedication of everyone associated with this project. It’s been quite a ride. And if you haven’t seen the film yet, now it’s your turn. Just be sure to fasten yourself in. Things might get a little bumpy.
David MacGregor – Screenwriter