During the summer of 1997, filmmaker Matthew Leutwyler, working from his original screen play, directed his first feature film, the award winning, Road Kill. The film stars Jennifer Rubin (Screamers, The Doors), Erik Palladino ("ER", "Love & Marriage", U-571), Jon Polito (The Freshman, The Big Labowski), Richard Portnow (Seven, Private Parts), and Brian Vander Ark (lead singer of "The Verve Pipe", Road Kill The Space Between Us).
After principal photography ended, Leutwyler moved back to his hometown of San Francisco to begin editing. Over the months that followed, he noticed how San Francisco had changed during his years in Los Angeles and with Bay Area writer Peter Rudy, began writing the screen play for The Space Between Us at night while simultaneously editing Road Kill during the day.
At the heart of the story is the bond between a group of odd-ball friends heading into their 30's. Leutwyler, worked with Los Angeles casting directors Dan Shaner and Michael Testa to find a group of actors that had the right chemistry to pull off the complexities of the humor and drama. What materialized was an ensemble cast that truly seemed as if they had been friends for their entire lives. To build this bond Leutwyler invited the entire cast to San Francisco for a softball game weekend. Some of the cast and their managers/agents were a bit reluctant about the weekend built around a softball game instead of rehearsal but most agreed, if more out of curiosity than understanding.
The weekend ended up being the perfect jumping off point for the film and a sense of camaraderie developed as everyone got a feel for each other (even if they weren't all the best softball players).
Working under the guidlines of SAG's Low Budget Agreement, principal photography began in and around Leutwyler's hometown of San Francisco on May 26, 1998. The film ran into the usual "independent film" money troubles and while executive producer Jun Tan and producer Scott Leutwyler were balancing the delicate financing, Matthew Leutwyler and his cast and crew were battling El Nino and its unpredictable weather. The shooting schedule was modified regularly and umbrellas were often added to the actors prop lists, but filming finished on time (and under budget) five weeks later.