Subject of Seattle film talks about the movie that almost destroyed him

Jun 22, 2012, 12:37 PM | Updated: 9:16 pm
"You need to do something for 20 years before you're good at it," said Grant Cogswell. While the lighting and cinematography were splendid, it was the directing, the writing and the acting that were the problems.

It derailed his life and he was eating out of foodbanks
for three years.

Grant Cogswell is the subject of “Grassroots,”
opening this weekend at the Harvard Exit in Seattle
His campaign inspired the as-told-by-tale by campaign
manager Phil Campbell’s book, “Zioncheck for President: A
True Story of Idealism and Madness in American Politics,”
that then became a movie.

Cogswell wasn’t involved in much of the film. He said he
probably would have only been humored if he had made many
suggestions to the filmmakers, including director Steven
Gyllenhaal. But, this wasn’t the poet-writer-former
candidate for city council’s first foray into film.

In 2005, there was a lot of money floating around the
area, he told TBTL. And as he wrote in The
, there were many people in the area that
wanted to see Seattle film made by Seattle people.

The film failed. “Cthulhu” was, according to Variety, the
lowest performing film from the lowest performing
distributor when it came out. Cogswell had invested all of
his own personal assets in the film, and the assets of
many others. The project, which was filmed in Seattle and
along the Oregon coast, cost $1 million to make. But it
looked like it only cost a quarter of that.

“You need to do something for 20 years before you’re good
at it,” said Cogswell. While the lighting and
cinematography were splendid, it was the directing, the
writing, and the acting that were the problems.

The folks that were excited enough about the Seattle film
believed that Cogswell and his co-writer and the director
knew what they were doing. Were relationships irrevocably
damaged by the film – the need for money and the ultimate
realization that the movie wouldn’t make a dime? “Moving
on,” Cogswell replied.

While the cash was flowing in 2005, by the time the movie
was released, the economy was in the toilet.

Cogswell had sold his condo in anticipation that his film
would be good enough to at least recoup the money spent,
but just two years later, he was pushing all of his
possessions in a shopping cart across the San Fernando
Valley. He would ultimately sell that for $7.

“I was basically homeless, but I never slept outside.” He
bounced from place to place, from couch to couch, and ate
most of his meals at food banks.

Then, with only $1,000 in his pocket and a backpack, he
moved to Mexico City in 2009.

He owns the metropolis’ only independent English language
bookstore. He loves the city, his girlfriend, and his job.
He also loves the climate.

Are there regrets? “If you can regret anything? Of
course.” He asked Luke, “Are you sorry you’re who you are?
Are you sorry you’re where you are?”

He’s happy in Mexico City, he has one book out, “Dream of
the Cold War: Poems 1998-2008,” and another one on the
way, that will include the story of “Cthulhu.” So maybe
Cogswell’s life will eventually appear on the silver
screen when a Hollywood director decides they want to turn
the making of “Cthulhu” into a movie.

Listen to Luke’s full interview with Grant Cogswell on
TBTL Weekends

Local News

police pursuit...
Matt Markovich

Source of pursuit deaths updates controversial data

Stats used by legislators to consider changing police pursuit laws may be in question.
18 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

‘Recycle, don’t throw out’ the message of new King County initiative

King County has launched a new initiative to get people to recycle or reuse items before automatically throwing them out.
18 hours ago
Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
18 hours ago
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Pedestrian hit by train in Belltown, police investigate

Seattle Police are investigating after a man was hit by a train near Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood Thursday night.
18 hours ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
18 hours ago
snohomish bus...
Bill Kaczaraba

Snohomish Community Transit proposes new connections to light rail, more frequent bus service

Community Transit is proposing changes for 2024 and beyond that would increase local bus service and include connections to light rail in Snohomish County.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Subject of Seattle film talks about the movie that almost destroyed him