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Coming out… of the freezer

Never Been Thawed creator moves into new projects

 by Si Robins
 published on Thursday, September 14, 2006


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Frozen food thaws in the desert, unless, of course, you are a Hungry Man-junkie with multiple freezers in your apartment.

Following the success of last year's "Never Been Thawed" (a movie about fictitious frozen food collectors), local screenwriter Sean Anders has taken on a whole new role: highly sought-after comedic writer.

Since NBT, as it is known to fans, Anders has gotten representation in Hollywood. This Mesa resident is now a full-time writer and hopes to return to the director's chair in the future. He questions whether or not he'll act again, although he says he'd like to.

Anders' new film, a romantic comedy entitled She's Out of My League, takes place in the Valley. Anders and partner John Morris recently sold the script to DreamWorks.

Anders also says he and Morris recently sold a pitch for a network television show, but it's still a long way from ending up on the small screen.

The team also received a development deal from Comedy Central to do a weekly series on NBT's "Christian bad boy" band, The Christers. But Anders did not like Comedy Central's ideas for the show, though the Christers remain in his future.

"If I wasn't so busy with other projects, I'd love to do something [with the Christers]," Anders says. He says a Christers movie is not out of the question in the future.

Meanwhile, the Christers are making a long due return to the Valley.

"We're working to set up a Christers gig in Phoenix for the end of September or October," he says.

Anders encourages fans to check the film's Web site, neverbeenthawed.com, for more information as it becomes available.

While Anders has several new projects in the making, NBT was his claim to fame.

NBT was the brainchild of Anders and co-writer Morris. The film chronicles the lives of the fictitious and ludicrous Mesa Frozen Entrée Enthusiasts' Club (MFEEC). It is just what the name suggests — a group of people with a rabid passion for collecting frozen entrees.

Anders' inspiration for NBT was simple — the desire to create a unique film. With no previous film experience, he co-wrote, directed, and starred in Never Been Thawed.

"We figured since we didn't have any experience with any of it [writing or directing] we should just do something really silly," says Anders. "It just seemed a little bit funnier to have people collecting frozen things in the middle of the desert."

Originally planned as a short film, Anders kept compiling ideas to incorporate into the story. Thus, a full-length feature was born.

Filmed in 2005 on a shoestring budget in Phoenix and Tempe using friends as cast members, NBT features several fictitious locales.

In the movie, regularly scheduled MFEEC meetings are held at the No Choice Café, an "anti-abortion-themed Christian café and eatery," which is of course located across the street from an abortion clinic. Others include the Downtown Mesa Convention Super-Center and Klown Kutz, a hair salon operated by clowns.

Anders says he couldn't have made the film without the support of Phoenix and Tempe.

"They, in general, were really supportive of us and of the movie, which made a big difference as far as this leading to a career for us."

Anders credits a grassroots promotion of the movie as the catalyst for its nationwide success.

"If not for people's willingness to see our little film, we [Anders and Morris] wouldn't be doing what we're doing now," he says.

Reach the reporter at: si.robins@asu.edu.



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