In the summer of 2008, Adam Bowers was a UF class of 2007 telecommunication graduate stuck in Gainesville. With the help of some friends, $2,000 and about five weeks to kill, he made a movie. "New Low" isn't just any movie, though; it is his creation.
He wrote, directed, produced, edited and starred in the fiction film, loosely based on his life, that eventually earned him critical acclaim at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
"New Low" follows unambitious twenty-something Wendell, played by Bower, as he struggles deciding between two girls and, ultimately, two different versions of himself.
Wendell's first love interest in the film, Vicky, fits the neurotic mold. This dumpster-diving chick isn't exactly the most emotionally healthy human being, but that doesn't keep Wendell away.
After what can only be described as a wacky one-night stand, they start a relationship in which the most refined activity they partake in is attending art gallery openings for free food.
Things get messy when Wendell realizes he is interested in another girl. She is the opposite of Vicky. Joanna is educated, nice, selfless, fun and really likes Wendell and wants to help him. Not too tough of a choice, right? Not for Wendell.
Bowers commented on the overarching theme of this subtly romantic comedy: "Why is it so easy to date these girls who I think are such train wrecks, but I can't date this one girl who I think is amazing? Like we don't have anything in common?"
Most of the actors in the film were friends he made through UF's Theatre Strike Force, a club he joined during his last semester at UF.
"New Low" was made and set in Gainesville. Mother's Pub & Grill is featured prominently, as well as Paramount Grill and the Hippodrome State Theatre, and many scenes are set on West University Avenue.
Submitted to the Sundance Film Festival per the urging of his filmmaker friend, Bowers was ready to put "New Low" behind him.
"I drove my submission to their office on the very last day, and I then just forgot about it cause I assumed it was a waste of $100. And then they called," Bowers said. His film was chosen to premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
"New Low" is now available for digital download on iTunes, viewing on Hulu or for purchase through the movie's website at www.newlowmovie.com.
"People either like it a lot, or they can't get into it. But I am totally OK with that," Bowers said of his deadpan, Woody Allen-esque romantic comedy.
Bowers lives in L.A. where he is producing a new movie — the traditional way this time. He is in a happy, healthy relationship.
He attributes this success to being not as much of a wreck.