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THE SCOOP] lifestyles


Let’s Make a Movie


Former Princeton star Sean Hartofi lis followed a dream to L.A. and back, a journey culminating in the January release of “Beach Pillows”


I


n a two-week span earlier this year, Sean Hartofi lis was named among the top 25 players in Princeton lacrosse history over the last 25 years, and the budding writer/director released his fi rst feature fi lm “Beach Pillows.”


Hartofi lis, who ranks third all-time


in Tigers history with 126 goals, has pursued the Hollywood dream — to L.A. and back — since graduating from Princeton in 2003. (Editor’s note: “Beach Pillows,” available on iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo and On Demand cable providers in the U.S. and Canada, is unrated and contains content that’s not suitable for children.)


Where did your interest in moviemaking come from? I took fi lm classes in college, which was kind of tough with our lacrosse schedule. There were only a few majors that you could work around. I was a politics major, but we had fi lm production classes that we could take. I think it ticked off Coach T [Bill Tierney] a little bit, because I remember being late for Thursday practices my junior and senior year. But that’s when I started turning things I had written into shorts and movies. After I graduated, I started writing the thing I thought I wanted to be my fi rst movie, at my parents place. I drove out to L.A. with a buddy (former Bucknell player Dennis Geraghty,


30 LACROSSE MAGAZINE April 2014>>


Hartofi lis’ high school teammate at St. Anthony’s in New York) and fi nished it. It was exciting that people responded to it pretty well, but that was met with equal disappointment throughout the struggle of getting it made. It’s been a long haul, over 10 years.


Ten years is a long time. What else were you doing during that time? I was pretty single-minded about keeping the ball moving


in the right direction for ‘Beach Pillows.’ But in order for me to sustain myself and also learn and make relationships, I worked for a producer and a director as an assistant. I played in MLL for a summer with the L.A. Riptide. I coached at Loyola High in downtown Los Angeles, which was a lot of fun. And I coached some camps, spreading the gospel of lacrosse up and down the West Coast. Eventually, I came back with my eventual wife. We live in Astoria, Queens, now. I worked in TV in New York, mostly production on reality shows. I continued to make short fi lms and write other scripts and eventually packaged this, raised the money for it and made it.


How did you fundraise to get “Beach Pillows” made?


I had initially wanted to go the more classic route to package it through the agencies or the studios and make a studio fi lm. But there were compromises inherent in that process. It’s a just a tougher road for a fi rst-time fi lmmaker. If I could just attach the actors and make it real to an investor, some bankable components, I could raise the money. It wouldn’t cost a lot to make, because it’s kind of a personal story about where I’m from. We could use a lot of real locations. So I attached Geoffrey Arend (“Super


Troopers”) pretty quickly. He read it on his phone. I had seen “Super Troopers” in college, and that fi rst scene is just an insane ride. You


A Publication of US Lacrosse


©SEAN HARTOFILIS


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