In his quest for Hollywood success, actor Steve J. Sandvoss ’02 is turning to a source of ideas that the film industry often ignores: college screenwriters.
With his brother Peter, Sandvoss has started a unique production company called Beep Box Productions. They have started a campaign to recruit scripts from college students by visiting college campuses and taking submissions at their website, “getmymoviemade.com.”
“Things are changing here [in Hollywood],” Sandvoss says. “It’s not gonna be only the big studio bosses who will be making decisions. It’s smart people with access to money, and that’s who we are.”
Although the company has not come to Harvard, Sandvoss says they plan to do so in the near future.
The Sandvoss brothers say they’re looking for pieces with “a strong central male role, age 18-30,” not coincidentally the age range in which Sandvoss is usually cast. He says they’re particularly interested in horror, psychological thriller, and science-fiction scripts that can be made for under $5 million.
Sandvoss says that Beep Box has already optioned a few scripts and is “shopping around for a psychological thriller with some heat on it.”
As for their genre choices, Sandvoss says that they are a combination of the types of movies he wants to star in and the genres that have the potential to be low-budget successes.
“You can sell a horror movie with a couple of visceral images, a couple of jiggling breasts, a couple of piercing screams,” he says. “Reese Witherspoon might not want to be in a $1.5 million horror movie, but there are a lot of jiggling breasts who do.”
MILKING A BEEFCAKE PAST
Sex has already been a major part of Sandvoss’s nascent career. A Google image search for “Steve Sandvoss” yields an eyeful of sexually-charged photos, featuring the actor bathing, shirtless, or with his pants undone. A number of gay webmasters have established digital shrines to the 25-year-old actor since his 2004 breakout role in the indie film “Latter Days,” in which he played a Mormon missionary who has a passionate—and explicit—affair with a Hollywood party boy.
But the heterosexual Sandvoss describes his beefcake-photo Google hits as a relic from some early-career modeling work.
However, he admits that the sites have been more than a little helpful for his career. “It’s inevitable that you’re going to be objectified...using it to work to your advantage is something you do if you’re smart.”
RUMORS OF FAILURE, PRICES OF SUCCESS
While working with Beep Box, Sandvoss has also keeps busy on the screen. He most recently appeared in a small role in the Jennifer Aniston vehicle “Rumor Has It” and is currently filming another indie pic.
“It was fluff...good fluff,” Sandvoss says of his role in “Rumor,” a romantic comedy with the improbable premise that the story behind “The Graduate” was real, and that Aniston is the granddaughter of the original Mrs. Robinson.
Sandvoss portrayed the fiancé of Aniston’s character’s sister, played by Mena Suvari. “I had to play a likeably clueless rich guy. There wasn’t much to work with,” he says.
In his next film, “Price to Pay,” produced by Brad Wyman (“Monster”), Sandvoss gets to play a hard-partying druggie in late 80s L.A.
“I play the hero’s best friend and worst influence—it’s awesome. I’m the guy who buys the coke, the guy who fucks the strippers. It’s the actor’s dream role,” he says.
—Staff writer Michael A. Mohammed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.