Mike Cram

Jeremy Renner

There’s a scene in Ingenious where Sam, the seat-of-his-pants flying salesman, convinces Matt, the quirk-filled inventor, to gamble away the money they have to re-invest in their novelty gift business at the dog track. His brilliant can’t-lose method? Bet large on the dog that drops a deuce before getting into the gate. It’s slightly less than scientific, but there’s a good chance that writer/producer Mike Cram was feeling a blend of what Matt and Sam felt at the track when he and director Jeff Balsmeyer emerged from the festival circuit without any viable distribution offers. There were deals on the table, but nothing close to ideal, meaning Cram and company were about to take a massive gamble. It’s a position that thousands of filmmakers find themselves in every year, but Ingenious was different in one specific way: the guy playing the slick co-lead had just been nominated for an Oscar after bursting onto the national scene. The movie had (by a standard business measure) crapped out during its festival run, but Jeremy Renner (and a firm belief in the quality of the film) gave the production team good reason to bet on themselves to win.

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published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015

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