Thursday, May 26, 2005

Qwest for fame

By day, Brian and Dean Ronalds occupy cubicles at Qwest Communications International Inc. in Phoenix.

At night and on weekends, the brothers are on a quest for Hollywood fame and fortune.

The Ronaldses are filmmakers who have their own production company, JuSpan Productions. And they apparently are pretty good at it. They have done seven short films and were recently named 2005 Arizona Filmmakers of the Year by the Phoenix Film Festival.

Last weekend, they filmed their eighth short, Little Victim, in a parking garage along Central Avenue. The stars: Robert Wagner, perhaps best known for the Hart to Hart TV series that ran from 1979 to 1984, and Lori Singer, who played the preacher's daughter in the movie Footloose.

"It took persistence to get them," said Brian, who acts in Little Victim and is the producer. "And we paid them a lot of money."

He said they were lucky to land Wagner because he has had a career resurgence since his role as Number Two in the three Austin Powers movies.

"They don't have to do this," Brian said. "They gave us a break. And they had a great time."

The nine-minute film, to be completed within a month, was directed by Dean Ronalds, written by Bruce Dellis and funded by executive producer Kevin Berman, a Phoenix cardiologist. Brian said it is about two men in a parking garage and something bad in the trunk of a car, "and it is really funny."

The Ronaldses, who are married and have children, next are working on a feature film, but they have no plans to quit their day jobs (Dean is an engineer and Brian is a business-development specialist).

"It's hard to go from being on camera on Sunday to being in your cubicle on Monday," Brian said. "But having families keeps us grounded and very level-headed."

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