Major League Baseball Backs New Indie 'Landline'

Mar 23, 2017

'Landline' movie poster
Credit Freestyle Digital Media

For all of Bruce Fretts' career, he has been writing about the entertainment industry, but for the first time in his life he will become apart of it. 

Landline, an independent film, that premieres April 4th, on Video On Demand, was written, directed, produced and stars Matthew Aaron. This will be Aaron's third independent film since 2015, but his first that has included a role for Fretts.

"It was a real, kind of mind-blowing experience for me.I have spent my entire career as a journalist talking about movies, spent a lot of time hanging out on movie sets, watching people work, I didn't think I'd ever act in a movie."

Bruce Fretts has been a contributor to the WBGO Journal for nearly two decades, providing in-depth reviews of television series and shows.  His brilliant eye has lead many to watch such mega-hits like Breaking Bad and Mad Men.  Fretts' role in Landline  made him respect the acting profession even more.

“I wasn’t intimidated so much, as I was appreciative for what actors go through. Anyone who has been on a set realizes there is a lot of waiting around that goes on. And a lot of time spent setting up lights and sound, and costume and everything. And the actors are kind of the last thing that needs to be ready, so you kind of are sitting around, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, and then finally when everything’s right, it’s like okay go, you’ve got to act! Right now! So you really have to be on your game.”

Landline, is about Ted Gout, a public relations executive for the Chicago Cubs, who is passed up for a promotion by a college graduate who knows a bit more about technology than him. In protest, Gout decides not to use any recent technology and use strictly a landline telephone. 

Writer-director Matthew Aaron, who also stars as Gout, was granted permission by Major League Baseball and the Cubs to shoot inside Wrigley Field while the team was on the road.  Fretts say MLB really got behind the film when Aaron informed the league the indie film had an LGBTQ theme.

Fretts plays Gout's cousin, K. Hommel, in the film. Hommel who works as a cable guy, stops by Gout's house to install the landline.

“I’m a cable guy, and I’m installing a cable line for him. But I’m also his character’s cousin. So I hang out for a while. I have a couple scenes with him and his friends, and hijinks ensue.”

Landline premieres April 4 on Video on Demand.

Ken Downey Jr. with Bruce Fretts

Click above to hear the Ken Downey Jr.'s WBGO Journal interview with Bruce Fretts.