Wayne Kramer identifies with the karmically challenged hero of his sleek new movie, "The Cooler." Bernie Lootz (William H. Macy) has bad luck so contagious, a Las Vegas casino employs him to cool down high rollers.
Kramer -- who is hoarse as luck would have it, in an interview -- more than relates.
When producers Sean and Bryan Furst met Wayne Kramer in 2001, just about everyone had rejected his Las Vegas fable, "The Cooler." The screenplay was a hard sell, "because it defies any specific genre," Bryan Furst said. "It's not a mob flick, it's not a comedy or a love story, but all three together."
It didn't help that the inexperienced Kramer wanted to direct, although that hardly bothered the Fursts. With their eight-year-old production company, Furst Films, Sean, 33, and Bryan, 26, have made a name for themselves by discovering previously unknown talent. In 2000, their Sundance picture, "Everything Put Together," introduced filmmaker Marc Forster, who went on to direct the Oscar-winning "Monster's Ball." "Sean has this incredible, risk-taking entrepreneurial spirit," Forster told Variety, which listed the Fursts among 2003 "producers to watch."