STORY WRITTEN BY BARBARA ORMSBY
For Digital First Media
Moviegoers in Delaware County who are anxiously waiting to see the movie “Bad Boys, Crazy Girls,” which was filmed at various locations in the county about 18 months ago, take note.
The movie has a new title. It is now called “Slow Learners.”
“When we were making the film, we were hearing from some people that ‘Bad Boys, Crazy Girls’ just didn’t sound right,” said Tammy Tiehel-Stedman, a Ridley Park native and co-producer of the film.
“Slow Learners,” is a romantic comedy about a high school guidance counselor and a school librarian looking for love in all the right places, with the two main characters over the course of the summer vacation trying to see if they will have better luck if they change their persona.
“My sister, Amy, had known the writer and had read the script six years ago,” Tiehel-Stedman said. “It had a male and a female lead. Some romantic comedies are only from the female perspective.”
At the time Tiehel-Stedman read the script, it was optioned by another producer in Los Angeles. When that producer did not follow through, it was optioned by the current producers.
Filmed in Media, Ridley High School, Ridley Park and Swarthmore, the film has a running time of 96 minutes, and first opened last April at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It premiered recently for a two-week run in Philadelphia at the Roxy Theater and most recently at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.
“We had sold-out screenings at both places,” Tiehel-Stedman said.
Other cities where the film played include Houston, Seattle, San Diego, Hartford, Conn., the IFC Center in New York, and Corvalis, Ore. It has now been released to cable on demand, iTunes and Amazon.
Tiehel-Stedman won an Academy Award in 2000 as producer of “My Mother Dreams the Satan Disciples in New York,” voted the best live-action short film that year. Since that time, she been doing some fundraising films in the region, opting to put full-time producing on the back burner while rearing her three children, Sophie, 15, Annabelle, 13 and Carter, 10. Husband Bill Stedman is associated with a health-benefits company. The family lives in Malvern.
“So, this is my first major production since winning the Academy Award, which is sad, since that was 15 years ago,” Tiehel-Stedman said.
In addition to Tiehel-Stedman, the producing team of the “Slow Learners” includes Delaware Countains Tommy Joyner of Rose Valley and Brian O’Connor of Haverford, and Jamie Lokoff of Philadelphia. Joyner and Lokoff are also partners in the MilkBoy recording studio in Philadelphia. Co-directors are Don Argortt and Sheena M. Joyce, also from Delaware County.
Tiehel-Stedman said she likes filming in the Philadelphia area because people are so welcoming and the Philadelphian Film Office is very helpful.
“We applied for and were granted a Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit that essentially gives you back 25 percent of what you spend in the state,” Tiehel-Stedman said.
Tiehel-Stedman majored in international relations at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., with a minor in German. She once joked that she always thought she would do government work for the CIA.
“But I had one film class and went bonkers over it,” she laughingly recalled.
That one film class led her to the American Film Institute in Hollywood, one of the top four film schools in the country. She graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts. While at the AFI, she co-produced with Barbara Schock the 30-minute Academy Award-winning best live action film “My Mother Dreams the Satan Disciples in New York,” based on Schock’s experience with having as her neighbor the Hell’s Angels clubhouse.
So, what’s next for the producing team of “Slow Learners?”
“That’s a good question,” Tiehel-Stedman said. “We’ve been so busy with ‘Slow Learners.’ We wanted to focus on that. We are going to get together and talk about what might be out there for us. We worked so hard on this film, we feel that we could put into practice what we learned on this one.”