Major Dude

August 15, 2013
BY Simone Ellin
Brian Levin, second from right, is currently in production for his new feature film, “Flock of Dudes.” (Provided)

Brian Levin, second from right, is currently in production for his new feature film, “Flock of Dudes.” (Provided)

On a recent visit to Baltimore, Brian Levin, a Westminster native, sat in Starbucks at Pikesville’s Festival of Woodholme discussing his upcoming film, “Flock of Dudes.”

The film, Levin’s first feature, is a comedy about a 30-something man who decides to “break up” with his buddies so he can become a full-fledged adult. Although it takes place in New York City, the film’s theme and its Baltimore-born writer/producer bring to mind filmmaker Barry Levinson and a 21st-century incarnation of “Diner.”

In fact, Levin, 32, a McDonogh School graduate, said he and project partners, Bob Castrone (writer/director) and Jason Zumwalt (writer), referenced “Diner” in their planning discussions.

“There are a couple of diner scenes in “Flock of Dudes” where characters hash out the details of their breakup,” said Levin, who is one of the film’s writers and producers.

After high school, Levin earned a bachelor’s degree from Towson University and then received a master’s degree in visual media from American University. After he graduated, Levin headed to New York City, where he, Castrone and Zumwalt began work on “The Post Show,” an online sketch-comedy program that aired on Super Deluxe, Turner Broadcasting System’s online comedy website.

In 2010, the team’s television pilot, “Playing with Guns,” was green-lighted by Spike TV, and in 2011, Comedy Central shot a second pilot for “Playing with Guns.” Additionally, Levin, Castrone and Zumwalt are developing a sketch-comedy show for Disney XD.

“Flock of Dudes,” due out in spring 2014, has an impressive cast including Ray Liotta, Hilary Duff, Skylar Astin, Bryan Greenberg, Marc Maron, Jeff Ross, Hannah Simone and Jamie Chung. Levin admitted the film is based on real-life experiences.

“It’s definitely steeped in truth,” said Levin. “In New York, we’d go out and there would be like 12 guys going from bar to bar or party to party.”

What’s more, Levin admitted that although he is now engaged, he and his pals haven’t “broken up” yet.

“We never pulled the trigger, because we realized if we did, we’d have nothing,” he joked.

“Women executives have taken a particular interest in the film because it finally gives women insight into the ‘world of the dude.’ You see us in our element — as we truly are,” he said.

Although he currently resides in Los Angeles, Levin, whose parents, Phil and Marilyn, still reside in Westminster and who has family in Pikesville, hopes to return to Baltimore soon.

“Ideally, I’d like to shoot films and cast people here. I think there’s a uniqueness [in Baltimore] that fits with the films I want to make,” said Levin.

Simone Ellin is JT senior features reporter — sellin@jewishtimes.com.

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