SIRK Produced a Feature Documentary to Promote The Sopranos Sessions, a Book Diving into HBO’s Iconic Series.
The story of how Abrams Books got its first movie made.
By. Adrian Padarath | January 9, 2018
Originally Abrams Books approached SIRK for 2-3 minute promo videos for social media, teasing what readers could expect from their new book, The Sopranos Sessions. Authored by TV critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall, the book is a collection of recaps, conversations, and critical essays covering every episode of the show.
What if we had Seitz and Sepinwall reunite at the New Jersey diner Holsten’s, which was the location for the show’s incredibly controversial final scene? Better yet, what if they sat at the same booth and we mimicked the shot angles in the series finale. With a 6-person film crew, we traveled to the location, enjoyed some of their famous onion rings and got to work, capturing a wide-ranging conversation, covering television, movies, psychiatry, gangsterism, their 20-year friendship, and their work at the Newark Star-Ledger.
As true experts on The Sopranos, Seitz and Sepinwall provided us with hours of conversational gold, leaving us with much more material than we could squeeze into a few promo videos. “I think we have a film,” director Kristian Fraga presented to the teams. Why not evolve a promo video for a book into a promo feature film? And so, “A Book on Film” was born, giving greater depth and appreciation for the concepts, conversations, and relationship of the authors behind the book.
Inspired by the 1981 American film, My Dinner with Andre, which stars Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn having a conversation at Café des Artistes, Kristian Fraga titled this “Book on Film,” My Dinner with Alan: A Sopranos Session. Essentially, it’s a feature length conversation.
Our film was picked up by “The Sopranos Film Festival,” a weeklong tribute to the 20th anniversary of David Chase’s groundbreaking HBO series, consisting of five straight days of live events at IFC Center in West Village, NY. After a sold out event, additional screenings by Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and The Film Society of Summit were scheduled, with the promise of more to come across the US.
Because the film is about The Sopranos Sessions, it gave Abrams Books their first movie. Where book signings and points of sales were often limited to bookstores, school gyms, and coffee shops, this was a groundbreaking development in the book publishing industry. They would now be able to partner with multiple theaters, screen their film, have panel discussions and signings with the authors, increasing book sales in a way that’s never been done before.
SIRK has tag-teamed with Abrams Books on a variety of promotional trailers, microsites, and animations for popular titles such as Mad Men, Star Wars, The Simpsons, Myron Mixon, The Grand Budapest Hotel and more. For more information on My Dinner with Alan: A Sopranos Session, click here.