When Brett Ratner was growing up in Miami Beach, he hung out on the set of Scarface. In the inaugural issue of Tablet’s print magazine, the director writes that this was a “transformative experience,” one that played a part in inspiring his own career:
When you’re a kid and you watch a movie, you don’t really understand how it is made. But gaining the privilege of watching those great actors and De Palma and the crew make Scarface and then watching the movie connection all the dots for me, because I had been right there watching them make it. Every time I saw a movie after that, I was able to figure out in my mind how they did it.
I also began making little films with all the old Jews that lived in the building or my grandparents or my mom or whoever was able to give me a few minutes of their time. I still have those films, which looking back on my career definitely seems like some of my best work. The style was kung fu meets blaxploitation meets gangster movies, starring my friends like George Perez and Joey Krutel and featuring old Jews in my building—and me, of course, when no one else was available.
And now, we present a never-before-seen short film by Brett Ratner:
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.