Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Legendary in Chapel Hill for generations of coed misadventures

"Matarazzo & Ward in the 'Pink'; 'Dollhouse' and 'Titus' Stars Square Off in Coed Comedy," Business Wire, 7/24/01

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--July 24, 2001

Actors Heather Matarazzo and Zack Ward began principal photography here Monday on the feature film "The Pink House." The college comedy is helmed by writer-director Ian Williams, and co-director/producer Tessa Blake.

Best known for her hilarious and poignant portrayal of supergeek Dawn Weiner in "Welcome to the Dollhouse," Heather Matarazzo stars as the evil sorority queen Charlotte. Her performance in Todd Solondz's 1995 black comedy garnered an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut. She can currently be seen in Disney's "Princess Diaries."

Ward stars as graduate student Murray, whose 48-hour, rushed Masters thesis on "The Ten Archetypes of Americans in their 20s" forms the backbone of the film's plot. The role represents a departure for the handsome actor, who can be seen weekly in Fox's hit sitcom "Titus" as dimwitted Dave, stepbrother of star Christopher Titus.

"We're thrilled to have Heather and Zack on the project," said producer Penny Franks. "Casting these two roles was key, and both just nailed it from the first reading. Who knew a Canadian guy and a New Yorker would be such natural Southerners?"

Franks, an LA-based commercial producer, returns to film work for the first time since actor-director Geoffrey Nauffts's award-winning "Baby Steps," a short costarring Kathy Bates.

"The Pink House" is the tale of five misfit graduate students sharing a house in Chapel Hill while attending the fictional Carolina Baptist College. The University of North Carolina stands in for the college, and a real life pink Victorian, legendary in Chapel Hill for generations of coed misadventures, doubles for its fictitious counterpart.

The Filmmakers

There is more than a hint of autobiography in Ian Williams's creation of Murray. Williams lived in the real Pink House during his undergrad days in Chapel Hill, and went on to co-author the seminal bestseller on Generation X, "13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail" (Random House, 1993).

Since that time, Williams has written cover stories for Washington Post Magazine and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Atlantic Monthly. He has appeared on "Oprah" and been interviewed by CNN. He previously directed the short "The Rescue of Autumn," a featured selection at Atombomb.com.

Producer and co-director Tessa Blake is no stranger to filmmaking. She directed the festival favorite "Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me," which was selected for the 2000 Outstanding Contemporary Documentary series by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The comic documentary, distributed theatrically by Castle Hill, is a bittersweet portrait of her Houston millionaire father and his many Texas Exes. Last year, Blake shot the award-winning short "Project ALS," which profiles the efforts of three sisters racing against time to save one of them from the ravages of Lou Gehrig's disease.

Executive Producer Gill Holland's many credits include Morgan J. Freeman's 1997 Sundance triple winner "Hurricane Streets," the 1999 American Film Institute award winner "Bobby G. Can't Swim," and Tim Kirkman's comic open letter to North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, "Dear Jesse." Prior to forming his own production company, cineBLAST!, he worked for October Films, The Independent Feature Project and the French Film Office. He is an adjunct professor at the prestigious New York University Graduate Film School, an Indie Spirit Award nominee, and has served as a juror at film festivals from Sundance to Scandinavia. Like Tessa Blake, Holland was a recipient of the prestigious Morehead Scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

The 'Carolina Connection'

Williams, Blake and Holland met when all were students at UNC in the late 1980s. The Carolina connection is evident throughout the "Pink House" crew sheet. Holland's fellow Executive Producer, Patrick Long, is also an alumnus, as are crewmembers from cinematographer to music supervisor (the film features local favorite band the Squirrel Nut Zippers).

Ian Williams and Tessa Blake also share the distinction of having worked on the University's student-produced soap opera, "General College." The show was at that time syndicated on cable systems across the country by the now-defunct National College Television network. Blake appeared opposite then-unknowns Billy Crudup and Dan Cortese on the serial, while Williams hammered out plots behind the scenes. The two tapped several other alumni of the campy serial to fill the "Pink House" cast and crew.

Among the "Pink House" actors who call Carolina alma mater is Fred Weller, who plays arrogant Student Body President Pritchard. He recently portrayed singer-songwriter Brian Wilson in ABC's movie-of-the-week "The Beach Boys: An American Family." Previous credits include the feature film "Stonewall," the television series "Missing Persons," and the Broadway revival of Lillian Hellman's "Little Foxes" with Stockard Channing.

Even Canadian Zack Ward can play Six Degrees of Carolina. Last year, he played the Legendary Red Dog in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous." His costar was none other than Carolina's own Billy Crudup, who used to costar with Tessa in General College

"The Pink House" continues principal photography through August 11. It will be edited for a Spring, 2002 festival tour, and a subsequent theatrical release the following Fall.

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