“Hypothetically” Directing


Director Peter Zinn and DP Patrick Reis set up the next shot. Photo Credit: Janice Y. Perez

Directing “Hypothetically” was a blast.  I was able to reconnect with Joe and Mickey (I’d directed these two previously on stage) and to work for the first time with the wonderful and hilarious Vincent Pastore.


Director Peter Zinn rehearses with actors Mickey Sumner, Joe Forbrich and Vincent Pastore as 1st AD Jonathan Russo. Photo Credit: Janice Y. Perez

When I first read Geoffrey’s script, I was immediately drawn to its quirky, comedic, danger. It reminded me a little of the coffee shop scenes in Martin Scorcese’s “After Hours” so we went in that direction in terms of tone and mood. Because there are some big unanswered questions in story, we needed to come up with a juicy back story in rehearsal so the actors knew exactly what they were talking about even though the audience didn’t. We decided that the story was that a local wise guy had slipped Mayor Bloomberg’s daughter “a roofie” at a local club in “a certain neighborhood” and taken her home with him. As a result, city officials were working indirectly with the mob to place a hit on the guy who did it. Because this hit was more or less coming from the Mayor of New York City – it needed to be extra “hush hush” which meant that no one could come even remotely close to saying what they were actually saying and everything needed to be “hypothetical”. Mobsters had been advised by their crooked legal counsel to always use the term “hypothetically” as extra protection to prevent any recorded statements from holding up in court.


Director Peter Zinn sets up the shot with DP Patrick Reis. Photo credit: Janice Y. Perez

The result was this tennis match where the two men carefully volley the word back and forth in their negotiations and then Mickey’s character unknowingly finds herself caught in the match as well when she was simply trying to take their order. When we came to the day of the shoot this work gave us a nice tool box of specific actions to play with during different takes.



  1. Gede Prama · · Reply

    Very interested, Have a wonderful day friend 🙂

  2. Fascinating — thanks for sharing your experience! 🙂 Thought you might be interested in my short film Death Is No Bad Friend about Robert Louis Stevenson in San Francisco: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/diZs9?psid=8a92a66f127f49cfb6392f16277ad433 Best regards, G. E

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a film blog by Daniel Quitério

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