"Did I Say Thousand Island?" is a love story set in the restaurant industry and was premiered in Summit County Colorado 10 years ago and continues to be seen.
Online PR News – 25-January-2017 – Denver, Colorado – It's not just a job. It's a lifestyle.
That's one of the tag lines for the movie that finally celebrates life in the restaurant industry. The resort community of Summit County Colorado is where "Did I Say Thousand Island?" was filmed in the summer of 2005 and premiered in January of 2007. It was Indie guerrilla filming at its best. The talent volunteered their time and resources because they either believed in the project or just thought it would be fun to be in a movie. It was.
Patti DiVita, who wrote, directed, produced, shot, edited and the list goes on... says, "a few times I even had to send a cast member out to grab someone off the street to be in the movie because someone didn't show up, or we just needed more people."
DiVita never wanted to make a movie, but felt called to do this and after committing to the project, everything fell into place. The result is a movie with something that makes people still want to watch it and tell their friends about it 10 years later. It currently has been seen in 211 countries and territories, and continues to grow. "I didn't make the movie to make money, but I wanted to get a message out, so yes, the movie is a big success." states DiVita. (Interviews and articles, like USA Today and the whole movie are at http://www.didisaythousandisland.com)
What was the message? There's nothing wrong with being in the restaurant industry and it's about relationships. Treat others as you want to be treated, be good at your work and be respectful; on both sides of the table. One friend of DiVita's, Paul Paz, a career waiter who runs the Waiters World website, and stays busy with restaurant consulting work agrees. "Your title doesn't define you, it's if you're good at it and proud of what you do that matters. Good servers are smart, articulate and intelligent and often we uplift humanity. Dining out can be an escape from life's difficulties."
Yet many people still look at waiting tables as less than a real job, and servers negatively. "Why don't you get a real job" or "I wish you were doing something else" or "You're smarter than this." are sentiments many of us hear; especially as we get older and are still in the "black and whites". Recently, Paz was in Phoenix, Arizona helping with the opening of a new restaurant. Speaking to the staff about pride in the industry and being good at your craft, he then was recounting the experiences of his father's displeasure of his choice of career, when he became overwhelmed with emotion. "The room got still. Then they started applauding. It was so unexpected and they started coming up to me saying how they couldn't thank me enough for the message."
It's a message that DiVita knows should be shared with even a greater number of people. Over the years, many people have told her how much they enjoyed the movie and that it should be remade with the slickness that "Hollywood" can give it. Her idea that it could be used as a benefit movie for water awareness has subsided and to have it remade just for enjoyment and fun has stepped into the picture. As one viewer at the premier was leaving, she shouted, "Hey thanks for making a movie about me Patti. See ya later." Years later, when discussing her comment and the idea for a remake, she said: "It's simple and everyone can relate. Throw in the mountains, the horses and cute men: what more do you want?"
DiVIta says, "Yes, everyone can relate. Everyone goes out to eat. Besides, there are approximately 14.4 million employees in the industry today with 1 in 3 people starting their working life in restaurants and 1 in 2 Americans having worked in the business at some point in their lives. Pretty big market for a fun movie."
David Malsch, of The Black Point Film Festival reviewed the movie. "Did I Say Thousand Island? is a film about the business and love of food service told from the point of view of those in the middle of it....There have been plenty of films made about this profession but rarely do they embrace the people or the job quite like this film does.....Make no mistake that this is an independent, low-budget film with un-seasoned actors at the helm but it has more heart and gusto than any big budget mainstream film about the hospitality business.... I enjoyed this film for that reason......This industry is a tough one but it is also a rewarding one and Did I Say Thousand Island? reflects that wonderfully."
Going out to eat brings people together and watching a movie about going out to eat does the same. DiVita says, "I recently watched the movie with new friends and we ended up talking about restaurant experiences for almost an hour. Because eating out or working in restaurants is such a common human experience, this movie brings people together in a fun way. An email I received states: 'Thank you for an enjoyable evening last night and the warm, friendly feeling that lingers when I think about the film.'"
We need more movies that leave you with a good feeling and this one certainly does.