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The Making of Cannibal! The Musical, by Jason McHugh


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Chapter 5 - Moira, Moira, Moira
Moira Kelly

Moira Kelly's attachment to our film had become a definite factor in the weeks before pre-production. We had been proudly telling potential investors about our STAR actress and her involvement with our project.

In December I met with her in Los Angeles. We discussed the script, Trey's directing style, and potential logistics concerning our schedules. Things looked good! Moira was completely down-to-earth and professional.

In fact, she turned out to be too professional to work with thrashers like us. A few weeks after I met with Ms. Kelly in Los Angeles, the Sundance Film Festival took place, and Trey, Matt, Ian, and Alex all decided they would check out the scene. They were there for maybe three days, and managed to sneak into a couple of parties and make a few connections.

During this time they passed out less than five copies of our three-page "Project Synopsis." In this synopsis, Moira's name appeared in BIG LETTERS as playing the leading role.

Somehow one of these few copies managed to appear on the desk of Moira's manager/lawyer, and since he had yet to hear about our low-budget musical, he was less than thrilled to discover that his client, Moira Kelly, was attached to play the lead.

Moira probably filled him in on how she was psyched to be helping a friend, and how she'd get to both sing and dance, and how it would be one of the very few low-budget musical comedy cannibal films that she'd get a chance to take part in. Her agent quickly buried Moira's attachment to the project with a big, big shovel.

Moira Kelly - The Dropout

There were some heated words exchanged by phone between the agent and Ian/Alex about this "Project Synopsis" that we'd been circulating. The agent was pissed off because we had gone around him, and added Moira's name to the top of the cast list without his permission. And we were pissed because he was terminating her involvement with our project, and there was nothing we could do to keep him from doing so.

In the end Moira decided not to work with us, due to the fact that "Alferd Packer: The Musical" would sabotage and effectively ruin her career in Hollywood. I was hopeful that if our film could actually ruin her career, then maybe it could make ours! A few friendly advisors told us we might be able to file suit against Moira; but we were more interested in making a movie than in suing a slutty twenty-two year old actress with brass-balled representatives who would fuck their mother for a dime. So with no hard feelings, our quest to make our musical continued!

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