Servers’ lives the subject of locally-filmed movie |

Servers’ lives the subject of locally-filmed movie

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

BRECKENRIDGE ” One thing after another has fallen into place for local filmmaker … er waitress turned filmmaker, Patti DiVita.

After shooting for the film at Arapahoe Basin and local watering holes came to an end in the summer of 2005, DiVita suddenly had to move to Denver, and leave her film editor back at Copper Mountain. But it just so happened a friend of hers, who spent much of each month in Alaska, had a place for her to stay. And while there, she just happened to run into some friends with the film editing equipment she needed to continue her project.

She said she could name a “list as long as my body” of things like this happening throughout the process.

“I don’t care what you call it ” synchronicity, the universe putting it in my way, for me it’s God,” DiVita said.

Her story revolves around main character Cathy Dempsey, a woman who rides horse, is kind-hearted and loves waitressing; friends note the similarities between DiVita and Dempsey.

But DiVita never wanted to make a film. In fact when the inspiration first came to her, she had no idea how to write a screenplay.

“The movie was kind of a backward thing. I wrote a movie then learned how to do it.

“I’m a waitress, not a filmmaker,” she said. Yet her inspiration said otherwise. “When I was writing … I felt like an antenna. The movie was already out there and I was the one who got to write it.”

“Did I Say Thousand Island” will premiere at the Speakeasy Movie Theatre in Breckenridge on Monday for cast and crew, and Tuesday for the general public.

DiVita takes an insider’s look at the profession of waitressing to make a point on how to treat people and to clear the good names of servers everywhere.

“I was tired of seeing servers portrayed as morons who spit on people’s food and don’t care about the people,” she said. Yet its message of “treat people as you want to be treated” transcends the serving profession.

“Whether it’s the person behind the counter at Wal-Mart or at the gas station … I wish people would treat each other better,” she said.

DiVita funded the film with her life-savings, but is optimistic, citing she has the next 15 to 20 years to get it back through promotion, and hopefully, wider distribution. But even with the financial risk, DiVita feels good about the experience.

“The movie changed me,” DiVita said. “It taught me a lot of things; whether successful or not, it helped me to grow as a person.”

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