The Almost Awkward Party

Alan J. Schwarz
3 min readMay 12, 2021

Michael Leffer worked at Traditional Films right after University. He was given a job as Senior Producer and was immediately assigned a major documentary to work on. The fact that he was made a Producer straight out of school didn’t sit very well with a lot of people in the company and there were whispers and rumours as to why and how he got the job. Nobody asked him directly.

When Michael tried to shmooze with Directors, Editors and other members of the production team he was treated politely but not allowed into the inner circle. The feeling was he somehow represented Management.

Michael was in his second year at Traditional Films when he was poached away and offered a higher paying job at a cable network. He didn’t think twice about it, he took the new job and immediately felt comfortable with his decision. Nobody made a big fuss when he announced he was leaving Traditional and when he left it was anti-climatic.

Over the years he would run into people he had worked with at Traditional, but there was never any special warmth or friendliness. He always tried to be friendly but the feelings weren’t reciprocated. It was a mystery.

Traditional Productions was swallowed up by a mega-production company. Many of the people who worked there were absorbed into the new company, The WAFWOT Communications Group.

A few years later one of Michael’s friends told him of a reunion party for people who had worked at Traditional in the early years of the company. Invites were sent out but Michael never received one. Looking on Social Media, the Traditional Reunion became a yearly thing, and people wrote about how much they loved getting together with old friends. Not once did anybody call, ask, email or invite Michael to join them. He felt like a pariah and never understood what he had done to earn their contempt.

Michael had always wanted to do a documentary about ‘’Crazy Mayors’’, people who led cities and were of dubious character. He spent a year on his own filming everything and anything about these Mayors. He edited the film and was delighted with the results. ‘’Crazy Mayors’’ was accepted at Film Festivals and started winning prizes. It was nominated for an Oscar and won, and it was purchased by a streaming service for big money. Agents were knocking on Michael’s…

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.