An interview with Stuart Acher, director of "Stu Plus Who?"


Stu Plus Who? is the story of a young filmmaker crashed Emmy and Globes parties with borrowed Emmy in hand providing entry to find a lady to join him in trip to Jamaica won on TV game show.

Stuart Acher, director of Stu Plus Who?,  directs commercials for clients such as Phillips, UGO, and his most notable spot “Super Absorbant,” starring supermodel Shalom Harlow. Stuart has also helmed music videos for the band “Powder” that was recently picked up on MTV, marking the first spec music video in history to air on the network. The video was also recently voted #1 on the Much Music Network. The project stars Jay Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob, Clerks, Dogma), and Ahmet Zappa. Stuart has just completed his first feature film entitled, Stu Plus Who?  and is working on his next feature entitled “Abducted,” of which Roger Ebert wrote recently in his Chicago Sun-times column.

Bijan Tehrani:  How did you come up with the idea of “Stu Plus Who?”
Stuart Acher: It’s quite an ironic tale. I was in the middle of raising independent financing for my first feature film, and basically tried every avenue I could conjur. I approached friends and family, I shot a Trailer, even launched a donation-accepting website called Then, on one random day, I bumped into my high school prom date in a coffee shop. She told me how she was just a contestant on a game show called STARFACE hosted by Danny Boneduce, and that she could get me on. I tried everything else, why couldn’t I win the budget for my movie on a game show? Well, I ended up winning the grand prize, only it didn’t involve any cash. I won a free trip to Jamaica for two. There was only one problem, I was single — no wife, no girlfriend, and still no movie. One night I grabbed some Chinese food with my best friend Eric Goldfarb, also a filmmaker. He and I had been talking about making a project together for some time. That’s when he asked, So Stu, who are you going to take to Jamaica? We looked at each other, and instantly knew. Finding a girl to take to Jamaica would be our first feature film. And we weren’t going to need a million dollars to pull it off, just a crack-shot cameraman — Goldfarb got the job, despite his inability to find the power button. Thus born, Stu Plus Who?

BT: This is a very different kind of film comparing it to the main stream Hollywood films, what is your target audience? Do you think film fans that are sick of 3D and all effects film will welcome “Stu Plus Who?”
SA: Our target audience is anyone who could ever relate to the quest for love, the fear of rejection, the pursuit of your dreams, and the search for oneself. Truthfully, our film does not subscribe solely to a specific type of audience. It’s universal. But the college kids do love it. As for the film fans fed up with 3D and “sequelitis” Hollywood seems to be ailing from, we feel Stu Plus Who could be the remedy. It’s different, by balancing the antics of two crazy guys willing to crash the Emmy awards in search for a date, with the transformation I actually went through in my real life, looking for love.

BT: How did you go about casting your film?
BT: Our casting director was… fate. Making a documentary, you are 100% reliant on what the universe will put in front of you. If I never bumped into my high school prom date, this movie wouldn’t exist. If Goldfarb wasn’t my best friend, this movie wouldn’t exist. It’s being able to recognize the magic when it presents itself, that’s a tool we both sharpened throughout this 3 year process.

BT:  How do you define the visual style of your film?
BT: Crappy to great. And I can say this because he’s my best friend, but just because Goldfarb is a three-time Emmy award winning editor, doesn’t me he knows a damn thing about how to work a camera. But I think that’s the charm of the film. As the journey continues, the visual style actually improves. Goldfarb is literally learning how to shoot before our eyes. It’s real life, and the visual beauty really presents itself later in the film, as he gets better at it. We could have just as easily cut around all the poorly shot footage, but we wanted to preserve that because it’s a documentary about two guys making a documentary… it’s honest — not to mention hysterically funny.

BT: Most of the films made in Hollywood, have nothing to do with real ordinary people and real life issues, how different is “Stu Plus Who?” in that manner?
BT: Naturally, ours is a documentary. But what makes it especially unique and interesting is the unlikely footage that we were able to capture. Breaking into the Emmy awards past tons of security, using an Emmy statue to sneak into the Golden Globes, the Katherine Heigl incident, the Paul Abdul situation, the Steven Spielberg happening. Countless times we thought to ourselves, we can’t write this shit. I was there, and even I don’t believe it.

BT: What are your future projects?
BT: Goldfarb is currently editing the Amazing Race, and developing feature film projects as well. And as for myself (Stuart Acher), I am working on my next feature film (a narrative) set to shoot early next year, as well as Directing a web-series entitled “Talent” for Alloy Entertainment, producers of Gossip Girl, and Vampire Diaries.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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