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Filming on "Lil' Balzac" began on the cold morning of October 2nd, 2015, with the park bench wakeup and phone call, the parking garage (vomit) scene, the 'Gotta Fight' montage, and the tent sequence.

Most of the film's scenes were shot quickly in the first month of production, and things seemed on-track for a completion and release in December of that year. Certain scenes and shots became sticking points that slowed the rapid pace, and for better or worse those delays forced a patient consideration of what the film really needed before it could be put in front of an audience. Scenes were reshot, rewritten, reconceived. A planned animation sequence during the final fight took on added importance when the actor playing Balzac's opponent quit the film. A production that began as flippantly as its subject matter became, as the months turned into years, a meta-joke of unrelenting professional effort absurdly squandered on an undeservingly silly premise. 

But little by little, the promise of the film started to show through. The strong characterization and performance of Balzac by Alex Passino was at its center, giving integrity and justification to all the production elements that were added. Problems became opportunities; weaknesses became strengths, and as the film neared completion in early 2018, the test screenings we held confirmed our hopes that the film was working, and moreover was something unexpectedly special and delightful. 

The world premiere was held on April 6th, 2018; two years, six months, and four days from the start of filming. The Latchis Theatre was the perfect venue, as not only had several key scenes been filmed in that same building, but the character of Lil' Balzac himself had been conceived in the lobby in conversations between Austin and Alex during their work hours selling tickets and concessions. 

Premiere photos by Irshad Mustafa

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