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NORWICH, Conn. (AP) - It’s no exaggeration to say that Richard Switzer is on the filmmaking fast-track.
Consider this supersonic time frame: Six months ago, he was graduating from Robert E. Fitch Senior High School in Groton. Today, at age 18, he’s producing a Lifetime movie starring Eric Roberts and Tracy Nelson.
His first feature film as a producer, “A Fatal Obsession,” is in the midst of a 12-day shoot in southeastern Connecticut.
Switzer has nurtured the project from the beginning. He put an ad on a Craigslist-like site about wanting to develop a Lifetime-like movie and got a response from George P. Saunders, who has written 30 screenplays, including seven that became Lifetime films. They came up with a plot that Switzer describes variously as “a little ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’” and “like a scary ‘Mrs. Doubtfire.’”
Specifically, a woman named Christie and her teenage daughter escape from Christie’s abusive husband. He then undergoes plastic surgery and insinuates himself back into their lives. Nelson plays Christie. Roberts plays the pre-surgery husband, with David Winning as the later version.
Switzer says his first day on set “was amazing. I sat behind the camera and watched the screen. Honestly, it’s better than I pictured. … Tracy and Eric are so talented that they deliver better than I could think of.”
Roberts, who has wrapped filming, earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for “Runaway Train” and Golden Globe nods for his performances in “King of the Gypsies” and “Star 80.”
Nelson has acted in movies including “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and in TV shows ranging from a starring role on “The Father Dowling Mysteries” to a guest shot on “Seinfeld.” She had previously worked on two of the Lifetime movies Saunders had written, and he suggested her for “A Fatal Obsession.”
In his job as a “Fatal Obsession” producer, Switzer developed the project, gathered the cast and supervises the filming. Once the movie is finished and edited, he will get it distributed.
The diminutive, youthful Switzer doesn’t fit the part of a staid producer. Instead, he’s a live wire, joking and chatting people up.
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