About "The Universe"
The Universe of Scotch and Haagen-Dazs is a story- one of an infinite number of stories- about Dan Levy. When our hero goes to get his snoring, pregnant wife a glass of water, he meets an alternate version of himself who has an offer this Dan might not be able to refuse.
"The Universe of Scotch and Haagen-Dazs" began life as a short story. Inspired, in part, by a birthday epiphany* and captivated by the idea of the multi-verse, an infinite universe implying parallel versions of yourself and your world and your decisions (I think Wolverine invented it), I dug into the story of a guy who was offered the opportunity to switch places with a different version of himself. For the hell of it, I adapted it into a screenplay, one that started incorporating my wife's pregnancy and the terror that grips everyone about to have their first child. Still, I assumed making the film would be far beyond the capabilities of a first-time director, what with an actor talking to himself in numerous shots.
My future DP Gabriel Frye-Behar convinced me otherwise. I believe the words were "Yeah, that's easy, it's no big deal!", words that were both very true and, in a few instances, very very not true. Staring down a looming baby due date (and the fact that the baby would make it harder to be "quiet on the set"), we gathered some wonderfully creative people to put on a show on a cold NYC day in February.
Editing during late nights while mother and brand-new-baby slept peacefully (and sometimes not so peacefully) in the other room, I'm deeply proud of the final product, not just because I was able to do something without passing out. The Universe of Scotch and Haagen-Dazs isn't so much a science fiction/comedy film as it was a challenge to myself to confront choices I've made and to make- not better ones- but happier ones for myself and my family.
And yeah. I wish I were taller. But I'm choosing to not worry about it.
*Full disclosure, because we're friends: So I went to go see Maleficent, by myself, because that's the kind of thing I did before I had a daughter, and the first reel was a mess. Out of sync, out of focus. Then it stopped completely. An hour later, the movie still not on, I stormed out of the theater to go yell at customer service. Mid-complaint, it hit me that I was a grown-ass man yelling at some young woman making a lousy salary for something she had nothing to do with, for something that happens sometimes and really isn't a big deal. I apologized to her (though I still feel really bad), and walked out realizing that I could just choose to not be upset. It felt so much nicer. I also walked out with a free pass, so what the hell was I so pissed about? This would be the universe where I'd choose to be happier.