Sure-Fire | Crime Comedy Short Film | New York, NY

The feature crime comedy, SURE-FIRE, is about a New York City con man having a mid-life crisis who stumbles into becoming a movie producer to pay off gangsters threatening to kill him. SURE-FIRE was born out of director/co-writer Michael Goldburg’s own experience of having been conned – er, hired – by a shady hustler/producer in New York City to develop a script for him. When it turned out the “producer” wanted to pay him (literally) in pizza, Michael knew the job wouldn’t work out but that the “producer” would make a better character in a story of Michael’s own creation. Thus the seeds of SURE-FIRE were born…

One of Michael’s central aims with SURE-FIRE was to create a heartfelt, universal comedy about how anyone, even a con man, can get a second chance in life, in the unlikeliest of ways and against the most impossible of odds. And having grown up on the films of Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, Michael also wanted to make a quintessential New York City film, one buzzing with the energy, humor, character, and grit of the city. Initially, Michael brought on Steve Wisniewski, a Nicholl Fellowships finalist, and Dave Chan, winner of the Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition, to collaborate on the feature screenplay for SURE-FIRE with him. Having co-produced Michael’s acclaimed short comedy, “What’s Eating Dad?,” Dave also came on board as a producer of SURE-FIRE.

With the feature script finished, Michael and Dave partnered with Jonathan Gray’s law firm (GKSSD) as production counsel (the Oscar-winning “Moonlight”) as well as Legacy Pictures (the Oscar-nominated “Beyond the Lights”) on the feature. When several collaborators suggested making a proof of concept short film of SURE-FIRE to attract further industry attention, Michael saw it as both a strategic and creative way to explore the world of the film. Thus the SURE-FIRE short film was born…

Ultimately, Michael strove to deliver a short, self-contained film that could be enjoyed on its own terms while also establishing the three main characters and the tone and style of the feature. To that end, Michael, Dave and their team assembled an amazing cast, led by the hilarious PJ Marshall (“Luke Cage,” “American Horror Story”), and a stellar crew, including Emmy award-winning composer Michael Whalen, costume designer Emily Gunshor (“Halloween” 2018), emerging director of photography Diana Matos, and production designer Kate Rance, whose films have won SXSW and the LA Film Festival and been nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

The SURE-FIRE short film has now screened in 25 film festivals and won or been nominated for multiple awards, including Best Comedy, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. The short film also garnered industry attention, including from Sony Pictures Classics who loved the short and is tracking the feature. The filmmakers are currently working with producers on securing talent and financing for the feature and aim to go into production in Summer 2019.


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