movies that I make, including "Bachelorman", I consider
to be the genuine definition of Independent cinema in America today. They
start with a script that someone is passionate about and then the filmmaker,
or in this case the writer, spends the next 5 to 10 years trying to find
the money to make the film. With a shoestring budget and years of toil
already logged, the experience automatically becomes communal and full
of good-hearted support by all who decide to become involved. This was
the case with "Bachelorman."
The term Independent Film has lost its uniqueness over the last decade. This is evidenced by smaller distributors having one great hit, then operating in the higher budget, corporate field and losing sight of the art form of movie making. Story and character are inevitably discarded in favor of dollars and cents. And the best actors for the roles are systematically passed over in favor of celebrities who will guarantee to put butts in seats. A dangerous practice in my opinion, because the film itself is now playing second fiddle to the personality plastered on the marquee. Audiences will always grow tired of personalities, but never good stories.
We cast the best actors for the roles, I hired my talented crew whom I've had great experiences with in the past, and we were fortunate enough to have a hands-off executive producer who trusted us to deliver a highly polished gem at a cut-rate price.
Films like these always resonate in my memory. And I look back on them with great appreciation and pride. 1) Because in this kind of environment people (including myself) tend to do their best uninhibited work. And 2) Because the film is made with great skill for very little money. A novel idea that Hollywood should take note of.
Putch made his television debut in 1976 when he appeared in a guest-starring role in an episode of ONE DAY AT A TIME. His role of Bob Morton, the awkward and shy friend of Barbara Cooper (series star Valerie Bertinelli) was reprised in some 16 episodes over a 6 year period. John's respectable television and film career has seen him in such notable productions as ANGEL DUSTED, THE WAVE, THE SURE THING, MEN AT WORK, STAR TREK tng, COPROCK and FAMILY TIES.
As a director, one of John's recent films, VALERIE FLAKE, premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and was also nominated for an INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD in the Best Female Lead catagory.
After that, John directed PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, starring indie favorite Frank Whaley, Annabeth Gish and Amy Jo Johnson. Just completed, the Hi-Def comedy BACHELORMAN and Fox's GROUNDED FOR LIFE.
On the documentary front John wrote, produced and directed THIS IS MY FATHER about his producer/director father William Putch who for 30 years owned and operated a summer stock theater deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania.