Hollywood kicks off the new year in movies this Friday with the release of Texas Chainsaw 3D. The horror sequel stars 26-year-old actress Alexandra Daddario in her first major studio lead role, a gig that came a decade into a career that began with a regular stint on the soap opera All My Children. Since then she played many supporting parts on the big and small screen (as well as on the web) before landing the job playing Annabeth Chase, one of the main demigod characters of the Percy Jackson movies (the second of which opens in August). However, Texas Chainsaw 3D actually marks her second time playing the lead in a slasher film, the first being in the indie flick Bereavement, shot in 2007 but not released in theaters until last year.
Even before that, Daddario appeared in a short film, as many young actors now do when starting out. And while she’s really only in Pitch for literally half a minute, I think it’s always interesting to see what actors were doing early on, in this case, seven years ago. But I also thought I’d share this film because it deals with the movie business. Written and produced and co-starring Jason Fuchs (who co-wrote this year’s Ice Age: Continental Drift) and directed by Ian Gelfand (an associate producer on the great 2011 doc A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt), the short is about two hotshot NYU film school grads (Fuchs and Another Earth’s Robin Taylor) who try to sell a new action movie idea to Warner Bros.
Pitch isn’t just filled with then-unknown players like Daddario and Fuchs. Dylan Baker shows up as a screenwriting professor who mentors the young men, Zak Orth is an exec at the studio who takes the first meeting with them, and John Shea appears as a “white man.” Shea’s part is more significant than that, but it’s a surprise, and even though it’s a very predictable reveal, his role is sort of the film’s punchline if there is one.
Watch Pitch and learn how not to sell your virus-heist thriller to a Hollywood studio in full below: