While attending the Sundance Film Festival in 1994, director Brian Sloan ran into a classmate from his days at NYU's graduate film school, Lane Janger. Brian was screening his thesis film "Pool Days" and Lane was screening one of his student shorts, in fact, the first short Brian had crewed on at film school. It was a fortuitous meeting as Brian handed Lane the screenplay for his first feature, a screwball comedy about a gay couple at a straight couple's wedding. Lane, having just produced Darnell Martin's feature debut, I Like It Like That, was looking for his next project, and this seemed to fit the bill.

Two years later, after rejections from major studios and private investors, financing was found in one of the most unlikely places... an art gallery. New York gallery owner Rob Miller, who'd helped finance Brian's short "Pool Days," signed on as an executive producer, along with theatrical producer Daryl Roth (How I Learned To Drive, Three Tall Women). With the involvement of Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans at Strand Releasing as executive producers guaranteeing the film's distribution, the project was ready to go.

Casting for the film began in May of 1996 at Sauce Entertainment, a commercial/video production company which Lane had helped found. Casting director Stephanie Corsalini (previously Meg Simon's associate on HBO's World Trade Center thriller Path To Paradise and The Preacher's Wife) started looking for an ensemble cast of seven friends/roommates. It was not easy, but not for the lack of talent. The challenge was pairing the actors up, not just romantically, but also in the context of their relationships to each other as housemates.

"I didn't want the cast to look like the show Friends," says Sloan. "I had conceived of this group as a sort of human version of the Island of Misfit Toys from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Each of them represented a certain stereotype of a college social group-like the stoner, the party girl, the frat boy - but they were all misfits in their own cliques, which is to say they were real characters living contradictory lives; the party girl is secretly conservative, the stoner surprisingly smart, the frat boy is gay. That's where the drama and, of course, the comedy of the film would come from."

Three months later, with production a few weeks away, the "frat boy" was the one part that proved hardest to cast. For a whole week, Stephanie auditioned actors exclusively for this crucial role. On the last day of the "Brendan Marathon," Christian Maelen came into the production office, but not for the audition. He was there as a messenger making a delivery to Sauce. A friend of his working at Sauce suggested he go downstairs for an audition. And Christian, literally the last person to audition, got the part.

Initially, the plan was to shoot the film in and around Washington, DC, where the director grew up and where he had shot his last film, "Pool Days." But, given the film's tight budget, housing the cast and crew for almost a month would have been prohibitive. So the greatest challenge of the production became shooting a film that was supposed to take place in Washington DC in the TriState area. Location scouts looked mainly in the burbs and found towns and streets in Long Island, New Jersey, and even Brooklyn that passed DC muster.

There were even a couple of locations in highly urban and distinct Manhattan, such as the Westside Highway (passing for the Arlington Memorial Bridge) and an East Village club, The Bank (passing for DC's infamous Tracks). The company also ended up sharing the same location (Manhattan's Surrogate Court Building) as the Mel Gibson/Julia Roberts' thriller Conspiracy Theory, even getting a glimpse of Mel while scouting. (He's really quite short).

Production began at the Secaucus Holiday Inn on October 2, 1996. As the director pulled up to the hotel, he noticed a number of large trucks and thought there was a convention going on at the same time of the shoot. "I was told by the AD that these were our trucks," he said. "That's when I realized I was no longer at film school, that this was the real thing."

The first few days on the set, Brian had some trouble getting used to the way a film set was run in "the real world." After a shot was over, he would start moving light stands around, getting ready for the next shot. "The crew thought I was some sort of a freak," he remembers. "Lane finally took me aside and said that they appreciated my efforts to help, but weren't crazy about me touching their equipment."

Over the course of 25 shooting days, there were the usual unusual mishaps - production cars hitting other production cars, a vicious Nor'Easter on the day shooting was set for the coast of 'Long Island, actors who couldn't drive, cars that wouldn't drive, and an irate New Jersey sheriff who nearly arrested Brian for violating the terms of a film permit.

Along the way, there was also some incredible ingenuity and daring by the crew - turning the lift on the back of a U-Haul into a camera crane, transforming a Brooklyn street into a winter wonderland in mid-October, and creating a swanky wedding reception at a Long Island estate (one of the locations for the original Sabrina) that needed extensive renovations.

The filming ended where it was supposed to begin, in Washington, DC. The cast and a skeletal crew went down on an Amtrak train to steal some scenes which Amtrak was not willing to let them get for under $30,000. On arrival in DC, their "Mission Impossible" accomplished, the company spent the next 36 hours acting like frenzied tourists with very large cameras as they tore about town, trying to literally take in all the sights.

Scenes were filmed on location at all the major monuments and memorials and public buildings in the city, as well as the beautifully restored Union Station, where the film's romantic climax takes place. The production ended October 30th with the popping of champagne as the crew took an impromptu dip in the Columbus Fountain in front of Union Station.

Five weeks were spent with editor Francois Keraudren, a fellow NYU classmate, working on the AVID system to trim the 1000 minutes of footage into a 95 minute film. It was the first time that Brian had worked with non-linear editing, and considering the short editing schedule, it worked out very well. "Now that the technology has pretty much caught up with how fast you think, I can't imagine going back to the old splice and tape system."

A cut of the film was done by mid-December, just in time for the production to run out of funds. After a two month hiatus, executive producer Robert Miller was so impressed by the final AVID cut that he helped to bring the film to it's completed form. On June 20th, playing to a sold-out, opening night crowd at the 21st International San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the film had the audience in the Castro laughing out loud.

When asked if the film turned out the way he'd imagined it, Brian answers with a happy no. "The excitement of filmmaking is that I never know how it's gonna turn out until it's over," he says. "I start with a vision of the film in my mind, but what's so amazing about the process of film is how the input of so many other talented people, from the actors to the art department, takes that vision and makes it real in ways I never could have imagined. I'm very grateful to them for their hard work and inspired ideas which have made this idea a reality."