Thursday, December 29, 2011

Amy DePaola, Actress, Writer and Executive Producer of Greenview Entertainment

A native to the Tri-State area, Amy has produced a number of projects within the film, new media, and fashion and theater industries. Following her graduation from Manhattan College where she received her B.A. in Communications and Media Studies Amy began her professional journey as a fashion publicist with Think Public Relations where she produced numerous runway shows for Hachette Filipacchi Media's STYLE360 during New York City Fashion Week. The realization that the world of fashion was not her calling and the desire to return to her childhood roots of acting led Amy to the New York Film Academy in 2008 where she received a degree in Acting for Film. Amy has worked as an actor and a producer in both New York and Boston. Prior to starting her own entertainment and development banner, Greenview Entertainment, in early 2011, Amy was employed as a Producer with WET Productions, a New York City based 501(c) 3 non-profit production company that was changing the way the world sees women and women see themselves by producing female generated material for the stage and screen as well as an outreach program for New York City teenage girls: The Risk Takers Film Series.

Amy has worked with and employed many of the business's most talented individuals including Debra Messing, Blythe Danner, Carla Gugino, Ron Livingston, Carmen Electra, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Westfeldt, Emmanuelle Chriqui, David Alan Basche, Zachary Quinto, Rachel Dratch and Andre Royo  to name a few. She has studied with Josh Pais and Kristen Johnston, The Atlantic Theater Company, The LABryinth Theater Company, The Moscow Art Theatre and The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.

Amy recently launched her development company, Greenview Entertainment, which show ran the pilot and media venture 617 The Series and Greenview has also recently completed Michael Yebba's "Ordinary Man," which was shot on the Red One in August of 2011 and stars Ethan Embry, Brian Scannell, Jay Gianonne, and Brian S. Goodman.

Amy also employs herself as a freelance writer and has been see on and as well as on her personal Blogs; "The Boston Bucket List" and "Stepping Bostone." She now resides in Boston's North End and is in development on several projects that will be announced in 2012.

What is the current project your working on?

Currently my plate is pretty full. I am in post-production on a short film titled, Ordinary Man, I am in pre-production for a reality based web-series, I was recently cast in an indie feature that shoots in January and I am helming the continuation of episodes on the TV formatted web series, 617 THE SERIES, which is my company's main focus.

What are some of your favorite independent films and shorts?

Last fall I was in L.A. for the Bel Air Film Fest and I really loved this very clever short entitled "WORN," which was inspired by a text message after a disastrous night of partying that resulted in a bad one-night stand. I also am a huge fan of my colleague Michael Yebba's work and his short "BAD BLOOD" engages you to the point where you forget you are watching a short narrative. As an indie film enthusiast I've been quite impressed with some of the younger filmmakers who have come up in the last few years; my friend Alex Amoling is one of them, who recently finished his feature MORIAH. Blurring the line of the phrase "indie film" however, I really love Woody Allen films' like MATCH POINT and VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA. LA VIE EN ROSE sticks out in my mind, mostly for Marion Cotillard's stellar performance. And I can't pay homage to this category without mentioning EMPIRE RECORDS. Damn the man. Save the Empire.

What is the casting process like?

Casting 617 THE SERIES was a unique process for us. Because we were building an ensemble cast we really needed to find a group of six individuals who we felt had the chemistry to convince us that they had been friends for many years. We also were looking for specific personalities. We saw so many talented actors that we loved and would've casted in a heartbeat but the chemistry between the actors was most important to us. We began by casting one role - I won't say who - and built the cast around them. We spent the next three months casting and in fact didn't cast our last of the main six characters in 617 till one week before the first round of production on our pilot episode.

How do you measure success?

Success is measured by the amount of times you can laugh in one given day. If you can manage to laugh and enjoy what you are doing and how you are living your life doing it - than you are successful in my eyes.

How do you handle rejection?

I've gotten quite used to rejection because I am also an actress. I've just learned to always remember that you can only walk into an audition or a situation and be yourself. All the work and preparation has been done, being rejected is just a result of bad timing.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

Yes and no. I grew up wanting to be a performer of sorts; I was in plays and had dreams of being on Broadway, I auditioned relentlessly for films as a child and for a short period of time I thought about sports broadcasting. I've always wanted to be on T.V. and somewhere in college I lost a bit of that and first started my career in Public Relations in Manhattan. I soon left that to pursue an acting career. Since then, I've also begun producing and writing - the whole process of creation with a lens fascinates me - so yea, I guess you can say that now I want to be a filmmaker of sorts.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

When I began producing with WET Productions it was really the work we did with other female filmmakers such as Jen Westfeldt and Gina Prince-Blythewood who came to speak to the girls in the outreach program we ran for high schoolers in New York City that led me to go out and work independently. Ultimately though I have to give credit to my family who have been fueling me with encouragement to entertain since I was a little girl.

What is your opinion of a civil union vs gay marriage?

I believe that marriage is a right, not a privilege and this argument gives people a window to say it is a privilege. I am 100% for gay marriage. And then some.

What is the best thing about being a filmmaker?

Freedom! Freedom to create whatever it is we feel like saying at the moment or time. Recalling or retelling a portion of your opinions or life to share with the world. Also, sometimes we get the freedom to command our own hours - I enjoy the gym at off-peak hours.

What is the worst thing about being one?

I believe about 3% of filmmakers actually make a living on their work.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Between my acting, writing and producing I have been fortunate to be apart of roughly 25 projects over the last four years; whether they were student films, theater productions or films.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

Woody Allen, Darren Arnofsky, Judd Apatow, Nora Ephron and the late Adrienne Shelley

How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

Well, I relocated to Boston to concentrate more on my work, so the biggest change for me was leaving my family, friends and New York behind. It took me awhile to get out of the 9-5 mindset and be comfortable with commanding my own career.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become a filmmaker?

Read a lot, take in everything you possibly can about life and remember to take some time to enjoy yourself and remind yourself that its more about how many times you can make yourself laugh in a day than anything else.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I love fashion. I love getting dressed up, for any occasion.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

I worked in Public Relations in the fashion and lifestyle sector and I also have worked in many, many odd jobs - I worked as a chocolate representative at Whole Foods', bars as a bartender, waitress, coat check girl; I've even done the marketing call center gig.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

Friends, Sex and the City, 30 Rock, Happy Endings and Tell Me You Love Me are some of my favorite shows of recent.

How would you describe your film education?

I went to school mainly for acting. I've studied at the New York Film Academy, The Atlantic Theater Company, The LABryinth Theater Company, the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, The American Repertory Theater as well as individually with Josh Pais and Kristen Johnston and many improv classes. As far as filmmaking goes and screenwriting most of what I've learned is from reading books as well as the trade publications like Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

Up and coming. I think Boston is going to make a huge impact on the film scene. I also see the films changing from focusing so much on the stereotypical Boston crime story. Boston's a tight-knit community and I really enjoy working from here.

What is your favorite Boston landmark and why?

I love The Boston Center for the Arts, my first job (outside of a call center) here in Boston was there.

Can you believe the show "Falling Skies" takes place in Massachusetts, but is filmed in Canada?

Same thing with the film that Zac Efron starred in last year about the brothers from Quincy, what was it called? I'd probably remember if it was shot in Massachusetts....

How has social media changed the film industry?

Yes. Tremendously. All of technology has changed the film industry. It's saturated but can be useful. I sometimes wish it didn't exist but I have been fortunate to make some very valuable connections through it.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think anyone reading this should take a look at our Kickstarter.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Most of the time the storylines aren't as predictable.

Have you seen the webseries "Husbands"?

I hadn't until you just asked me. But I have since. and I'm obsessed.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

Requim for a Dream - because I want to know what Arnofsky said to each of those brilliant actors and

Camp Nowhere - because all those activities at that camp looked like a ton of fun.

What's your favorite quote and why?

And those who were seen dancing were thought insane by those who could not hear the music

- Nietzsche

Why? Because its the best way I can explain to my family and friends about the choices I have made about my life and career.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Remakes should only be done if they are being reimagined, like the Batman franchise has, if they are going to follow the same storyline like Footloose did, then no. Sequels also need to be done right. I don't think you should wait for box offices numbers to decide there should be another one. Know before you start making the films. Back to the Future is hands down my favorite Trilogy.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

It's an interesting process but just because a book is a good book doesn't make it a good movie.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I find that encouragement is the hardest thing for people to find when they want to independently produce or make a film. My best advice is to find anyone to talk to about any of your ideas. Just start talking about them, get your wheels turning and before you know it, if you are committed to your wants and desires they will come into fruition.


Thanks for doing the interview Amy. I'm always happy to do an interview with a fellow Bostonian. I will staying up dated with the goings on at Greenview Entertainment via social media. I wish you all the best with 617 THE SERIES.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Author Wendy Potocki

Wendy Potocki lives and writes in NYC. If that isn't scary enough, she writes in the genre of horror. She feels creating good horror is an art form. She religiously devotes herself to pursuing it over hill and dale … and in the crevices of her keyboard.
She has four self-published novels: The White Lady Murders, The Horns of September, The Man with the Blue Hat, and her latest, Adduné: Part I. The Vampire's Game. Book trailers for many of her works may be found on her official website Her next planned projects are Black Adagio, The Virgin, and the second installment of Adduné entitled The House of Cards. The Adduné saga is a three book series that is as much as an adventure to write as to read. "Many, many hours of research are going into making this a sweeping, exciting tale about love, revenge and the hidden power lying dormant within the soul."

In her spare time, she loves to go for long walks, drink Starbuck's Apple Chai Lattes, make devotional offerings to her cat named Persephone, and be stilled by the grace, beauty and magic of ballet.

What is the current project you are working on?

I’m working on two. The first is Adduné: The House of Cards.The House of Cards is the second in my Adduné vampire trilogy. It’s finished and in the proofing/editing stage. The series is a sweeping adventure about Miranda Perry’s harrowing journey into the dark world of vampires. I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out. The other book is entitled Black Adagio. Black Adagio is my first writing foray into the world of ballet, something near and dear to my heart. Naturally, I had to mix the art form with horror in hopes of producing a grisly, interesting tale. The story concerns a young dancer, Melissa Solange. She’s presented a chance of a lifetime when chosen to be a member of a new ballet company. Her happiness is short-lived due to the inclusion of a sinister ballet into the repertoire. When dancers begin to disappear, the old warning about the work being cursed is taken more seriously. A death worshipping cult called The Innocents is blamed, but she believes they’re a scapegoat for the evil that lives in the woods of Holybrook. She desperately searches for what lurks in the shadows of the old trees before she becomes the next victim of the Danse Macabre. Both these novels are up for grabs as Goodreads giveaways.

How do you define success?

Being at peace with what you do and who you are. It differs for everyone, but I believe this feeling of equanimity is achieved only when the inside matches the outside. Therefore, if what you feel about yourself is wildly divergent from the opinion reflected back by the outside world, there’ll be disconnect and that is never pleasant. It’s much like looking into a mirror, and receiving only a distorted view. However, the distorted view may be the reality, and it may be you that needs to change. Or it could be you see something glorious that the world has yet to recognize. Either way it’s confusing.

How do you handle rejection?

Well, I hope more maturely than when I started this process! The reason I say this is because the traditional method of publishing, beats the aspirant down for the purpose of getting them to act professionally. This includes being able handle harsh criticism in an objective, non-emotional way since what prospective publishers and agents have to say is nothing compared to being in the spotlight’s glare. However, with the wonderful advent of self-publishing, a lot of us have circumvented the Ritual of Eleusis, and haven’t been fully tempered by fire. So it’s incumbent upon independent writers to understand that they have to receive this education in some other way. Of course, not all indie writers fall into this category. Some have been groomed and polished like gems long before they enter the public arena, but for those of us who never entered the bull ring, and don’t know the protocol of what is expected, it’s up to us to learn.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, but it was a big secret. When younger, I would never have dared whisper such a goal. As I got older, I tested the waters, and finally let the cat out of the bag to a few people I considered friends. To say that the idea was dismissed is an understatement. The reactions ranged from stunned silence, to belittling snickering, to blunt suggestions that I was much too dumb to do anything so grand. It was a wake-up call for me to reevaluate my life and figure out why I was choosing to spend time with people who thought so little of me. After much soul-searching, I decided that people that profess to be friends don’t act that way. I knew I didn’t. I’m the one with the cheerleading outfit replete with pompoms, and no, I don’t use it to entertain Charlie Sheen. However, I have used it countless times in support of friends trying something new. Consequently, I broke off contact with those negative individuals, allowing a whole new set of supportive people to enter my life. And by supportive, I don’t mean that they think anything I do is fine, and that if I scribble on a napkin that it’s high art. I just mean supportive in that they understand the concept of someone following their dreams, and aspiring to be more.

What inspired you to become a writer?

For me it was a process. I would start by saying that the decision is rooted in my exploration of religion and trying to find out what enlightenment really is. The whole journey started in the late 80’s, when I had a very mystical experience. What followed was a burst of energy that lasted all through the 90s. I read all sorts of books on topics that some would say aren’t related to religion at all, in order to understand what occurred. I should add here that I still have no idea what happened … or why. I just know it did.

The miraculous religious event triggered a whole upheaval, a personal renaissance. I branched out into other religions, other viewpoints, physics, yoga, tarot reading, dream interpretation, alchemy, and anything else even tangentially involved in self-improvement on an occult level. This included Greek mythology. One book in particular got the pistons firing in my head. The book was The Body of Myth by J. Nigro Sansonese. It’s a brilliant book that set forth the notion that Greek mythology is actually a series of koans designed to explain how the body works. The result of following this wisdom is to lead us into a trancelike state that will allow us to find our way home. And by home, I mean enlightenment. The whole idea totally captured my imagination. I was soon formulating my own theories about Zeus, the pantheon of gods and goddesses, and those elusive muses. By following a blueprint drawn up by me, I seem to have activated Pieria, the area of the brain involved with the arts. Before I knew it, my muse began telling me stories, and I began to write them down.

 What is the best thing about being one?

The best thing is the communing with what I believe is a universal well of knowledge. It’s a beautiful place to be. While some insist that it is the writer who writes, I insist it’s not me, it’s this muse who lives at the foot of Mt. Olympus. Therefore, I’m entertained during the process because I really don’t know what is going to happen. I act as a court reporter, and just transcribe what’s said. I’m as surprised as anyone at the stories I’m told. Writing also allows me the fantastic opportunity of getting to know all my characters in a way that’s not possible in the real world. I know them intimately. All their hopes and fears, their longings and dreams. The level of understanding is astounding. Consequently, I feel very close to them.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Are you talking about my spreading tuchus? Other than my burgeoning butt, I’d say that it’s the constant challenge of being able to translate the stories in vocabulary equal to the ideas. I’d also say that the isolation and lack of validation is difficult. I liken my current circumstance to having a conversation with myself. It’s very unrewarding, but it’s the way it is. I continue to work very hard on becoming better so I can get beyond this stage and develop into something worthy of respectful attention.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Oh, gosh! I have no idea. There are five or six finished movie scripts, plus a few more that I’ve started. Then there are teleplays … all in various stages. And there are many more novels I’m working on. I have another one that’s finished, and I’ve already started on about four or five more projects. I also just got two amazing ideas that I can’t wait to start on. To sum it up, let’s just say, if nothing else, I’m prolific.

Who is your favorite author?

So many. I love Herman Hesse and Camus. Joyce Carol Oates is a favorite as is Anne Perry, Anne Rice and Martha Grimes. Then there’s Agatha Christie, Jack London, Walter Farley, Jack Finney and Jane Austen. Whitley Strieber, Peter Straub, Lovecraft, Clive Barker … and the master of horror, the brilliant, fantastical Stephen King. Oh, gosh, I can’t tell you how much I admire his writing. I’m a real fan.

How has your life changed since you became writer?

It’s changed enormously. Besides what I’ve consciously pursued, there has been an unearthing of a whole series of very painful past remembrances. I truly wonder how people survive, but we do, don’t we? It has been a journey about learning, growing, pushing through boundaries, developing confidence, maturity and becoming happy with what I am.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to be a writer?

Learn, write, grow. Don’t give up, but don’t stay in the same place. The worst thing you can do is not progress. One should never aspire to be a wheel stuck in the mud. Also enjoy the fact that you’re in the privileged position of even deciding to embark on such a pursuit. Always be grateful for that fact alone. Writing is a tremendous privilege no matter what level the staircase step you’re standing upon.

What do you like to do besides writing?

I love ballet. I used to take class, but very recently I became officially too old and decrepit to continue. I started to dabble in dance photography and hope to become more actively involved in capturing the beauty of the discipline of dance. I also love to sketch/draw, go for long walks, and drink Starbucks.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

It’s from Body Heat.

Maddie: “Well, some men, once they get a whiff of it, they trail you like a hound.”

Why? Do I really need to explain? It’s undoubtedly one of the best lines ever spoken on film. So audacious, provocative and unexpected. There were a lot of zingers in that film.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Oh, don’t get me started on this. In general, I hate sequels and remakes! Hate them! People went all crazy about the colorization of classic black and white films and nobody’s thought to picket this present practice that’s about a million times more offensive! And the recyling of original to carbon copy has been reduced to about five years!  See the original and leave it at that.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I’m all for it! It’s very difficult to do, but when you love a novel, it’s what you long to see.

It’s funny how adaptation is so tricky. There are a few successful transitions that spring to mind like Rosemary’s Baby, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Harry Potter series, and Lord of the Rings. I’m sure there are lots more, but those were superlative adaptations.

Anything else?

I suppose I want to tell people beginning anything not to cherry pick too much. Just be open and available for things that come your way. I notice that sometimes people think they’re going to be put on top of the wedding cake without doing the groundwork. Most often success is a gradual process. Of course, it’s fabulous when someone’s first project takes off and becomes insanely successful, but most times it’s just not like that. Take what’s offered and gratefully climb the ladder without complaint.

I’d also love to give my website and a link to my trailer for Black Adagio. And thank you so much for this opportunity. I do appreciate it.

My website

Black Adagio trailer

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Filmmaker Brian Kazmarck

Brian Kazmarck is an award-winning filmmaker whose films have screened across the country. His short "Unaware" won the 2007 Cross Culture Media "Impact the World" Filmmaker's award. "Game Theory," a crime thriller, (2009) was selected to multiple film festivals across the country including the Festivus Film Festival, FirstGlance Philadelphia, and the Bare Bones International Film Festival. His second independent short film, "Dandi Lyon" (2010), a thriller/dark comedy premiered at the 2010 Hoboken International Film Festival and played nationally at several other film festivals. "Terminal Legacy" is his debut feature.

He is the owner of Open Fire Films, LLC

What is the current project your working on?

I'm currently finishing up post-production on my debut feature, "Terminal Legacy." It's an apocalyptic sci-fi/action/horror hybrid with a zombie slant. We've likened it to a cross between the Crazies and I Am Legend, except it's more of a prequel to both of those. It's about the events leading up to the apocalypse, not the aftermath. And, it's about the men responsible, it's not a "survivors on the run" story.

What is the casting process like?

This casting process was quite interesting. Most of the roles were written with specific people in mind and the ones that weren't were narrowed down to a few people we already knew. We did extensive callback-like auditions for those and chose the best person for the role.

How do you measure success?

I suppose success is best defined as doing what you love, doing it well, doing it consistently, and making sure that it's doing good for others. With film, the goal is to entertain, but, you also have the opportunity to affect lives.

How do you handle rejection?

With a lot of drugs and alcohol. No, but seriously, you just take it in stride. You try to learn from it and get back up after you get knocked down. Easier said that done, right?

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

No. I always liked to tell stories. I wrote a lot of shorts stories, drew my own comic books, wrote a novel (more art as therapy), but, it all felt incomplete. Filmmaking is the ultimate realization of storytelling.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Well, I think part of it was that I wanted the stories I told to be seen and heard, rather than read on paper. I think the other half was that I wanted to affect people's lives through it. I think film is a great way to engage the culture we live in; ask questions, get people thinking, make them FEEL something.

What is the best thing about being a filmmaker?

There are lots of good things, it's hard to narrow it down. I'd say there's a sense of accomplishment seeing your labor of love on the big screen. There's also the interaction with your audience...I suppose big Hollywood filmmakers don't get that much, if at all. And then, if you evoke an emotion out of someone, the emotion you were going for...well, that's what you wanted to do.

What is the worst thing about being one?

The stress. There's also the temptation to take too much credit for your accomplishments and bask in your own glory.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

I think I've worked on about 40+ shorts, some of them my own. "Terminal Legacy," was my first feature film set. I'm happy that the first one I worked on was my project.

Who is is your favorite filmmaker?

I actually am equally fond of David Fincher, James Cameron, P.T. Anderson, & Steven Spielberg

How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

Drastically. Too many changes to count. Suffice to say that filmmaking isn't just a job, it's a career that's hard to keep out of your personal life.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become a filmmaker?

It takes a lot of time and dedication. Things do not happen overnight. Be patient and persistent.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I like to people watch, read, be with a few close friends, go for loooong walks (on the beach if possible...hey, the beach is awesome, leave me alone), I like to do active things, but am not a thriller seeker. Hiking, but not bungee jumping. Para-sailing, but not sky-diving. I've been itching to travel more and more. I've yet to see much of the world, and am eager to. I also just enjoy relaxing at home and doing nothing. I'm easily amused like that.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

I worked as a retail sales clerk & manager. I also did real estate before filmmaking.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

In no particular order: Minority Report, 12 Monkeys, Dark City, Aliens, T2, Braveheart, Spider-Man 2, L.A. Confidential, The Fifth Element, The Castle, Casablanca, Rear Window, JFK. Foreign Films - I need to expand my exposure to these, but, I did just recently watch Amelie and quite enjoyed it. Also really liked Let The Right One In. - TV shows? Currently Breaking Bad tops my list, by a wide margin.

How would you describe your film education?

Very hands on. Went to an intensive program where we were thrown into the fire. I think I've also learned a lot (if not more) by working at an acting school, shooting and editing scenes. Plus, every set I work on I typically learn something new. It's really an ongoing learning process.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

New York City is the mecca of indie film. So, there's a huge dirge of talent and competition here.

How has social media changed the film industry?

I think it's helped unite filmmakers across the country. It also increases the chances of exposure as well as being able to directly connect with your audience. That seems to be a growing trend in the indie scene. Not sure where it's leading yet, but, it's leading somewhere.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I hate it, but, it's a genius idea. It has certainly afforded filmmakers more opportunities to make their films on their terms. And as with social media, it serves as a way of connecting directly with your audience as well as promoting the film. We just had a successful kickstarter campaign, and the campaign itself has gained us a ton more exposure than before. Instead of being known to our local community, we're now a blip on the map...a small blip, but, we're out there now.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Well, indie film isn't made by the studios. Filmmakers have much more creative control over their product, which could be good or bad. I think the biggest difference you hear is that, because most indie films are made for much less money, the filmmakers have to be that much more creative in how to tell their story, which is generally true.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

Showgirls. Hah. I don't know, I think I'd be really curious to be on the set of The Abyss.

What's your favorite quote and why?

"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." - Proverbs 17:28. Wise, practical wisdom to live by if you ask me.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

It's give and take. In regards to remakes, if it was a substandard film with a good premise, it might warrant a remake. Otherwise, films are usually best not to be remade. Sequels are tricky; it's a mixed bag really. The Godfather Part II, Aliens, T2, Spider-Man 2 are just a few sequels that are either up to part with the original or exceed it. However, the Matrix & Pirates of the Caribbean sequels were rushed and not very good. I suppose if you have a good and justifiable continuation of the story, a sequel would be warranted. In the case of something like Speed response was, "why?"

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I'm fine with it. I'm of the mind that you shouldn't compare a film to it's source material because they're 2 extremely different mediums. There are exceptional adaptations (L.A. Confidential) and there are substandard ones (The Black Dahlia). But, as it is, L.A. Confidential is just a better film than the Black Dahlia. Consequently, I liked The Black Dahlia novel better than L.A. Confidential.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for the interview. =]


Thank you for doing the interview Brian. I wish you all the best with  your post production. I plan on seeing "Terminal Legacy" when it comes to a film festival near me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hayden Black: Writer/Co-Star/Executive Producer "Goodnight Burbank"

Hailing from Manchester, England, Hayden moved to the US in ’97 because he wanted to better understand the culture that produced 5 different home shopping networks. Hayden once sang with early ‘90’s new wave band The The The – but they only lasted long enough to put out one single, the ill-fated “I’d Love It If You Acknowledged I Exist.” Shoving all those dreams into a bottle and burying it somewhere in the garden, Hayden eventually carved out a career in radio shipping news and has used that talent to catapult him to success here in Los Angeles. Watch Goodnight Burbank at and follow him on twitter at @HaydenBlack or don't - he really doesn't mind.

What is the current project your working on?

I'm writing season two of Goodnight Burbank. Lots of silly stuff in this one; Gordon gets a paraplegic girlfriend who's more active than he is and Whitney gets married to..well, I don't want to give anything away. Oh, and Holly has her baby.

If you could father any "Goodnight Burbank" cast members baby. Who would it be and why?

I would father Cameron Bender's baby as the resulting offspring would be so handsome it would destroy people who gaze at it with its good looks. A weapon of mass-destruction to be used for good.

How do you measure success?

There's so many levels to it. I think for the New Media clique, a good measure is this: if you're not following someone on Facebook and Twitter and you STILL hear about them, then they're doing pretty damn good.

How do you handle rejection?

I eat my feelings. Then cry for dessert.

Did you always want to be work in the entertainment industry?

The first thing I can remember wanting to be was an actor. Or was it Dr. Who. I think it was Dr. Who. So there you go, I initially wanted to work in a space/time machine and fight Daleks.

What inspired you to create "Goodnight Burbank"?

Seeing how powerful the news can be and how it shapes our fears and opinions. I wanted to burst that bubble to show how human and idiotic (read: as normal as you or me) these people are.

What is the best thing about creating a webseries?

Total creative control.

What is the worst thing about creating one?

Total creative control. Oh, and having to worry about shit like craft services.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Goodnight Burbank, Abigail's Teen Diary, The Occulterers and a pilot for The Cabonauts. So that's 8. I wish I was better at math.

Have you ever milked a goat?

I haven't, but I've finger-banged one and it produced something that looked like milk.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

I think Edgar Wright is a genius. Very smart guy. And funny.

How has your life changed since you created "Goodnight Burbank"?

Laura Silverman takes my calls. Not all of them though, which is how I stay grounded.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become a writer?

Write till you're bleeding then keep writing. Re-writing should be your best friend.

What do you like to do besides working on "Goodnight Burbank"?

Taking walks with my dog. Admiring internet porn.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided create your webseries?

I used to work as a promo writer/producer for the networks. Stuck in a windowless edit bay trying to make other people's shitty shows look good. I hear Hitler considered using them in his camps but decided against it as even he had standards.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

I've never been a huge movie fan per se - I enjoy them but I rarely watch them more than once. TV shows on the other hand I love and re-watch. US ones include 30 Rock, Daily Show, Modern Family and my current absolute favorite American Horror Story. Recent UK ones I've loved include Black Mirror, Fresh Meat and Life is Too Short.

Why is "Doctor Who" so awesome?

That's like asking why chocolate milk is so great. It just is.

Have you met any of the "Doctor Who" cast or crew?

I have! Little known fact: when I was still in high school, John Nathan Turner, the producer of Dr Who in the 80s, encouraged me to become a writer after reading some sketches I'd written. In fact he asked if I wanted to write a Dr Who! Sadly it was cancelled before I could. This was in 89.  I've since met Matt Smith and Karen Gillan who are both lovely people.

How would you describe your film education?

Watching films then wondering how they did it.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

I live in Los Angeles which doesn't have a film or TV scene. At least, I haven't found it yet.

How has social media changed the film industry?

It's opened up the doors to distribution so now anyone who wants to be brilliant can be without waiting for anyone else's permission.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think it's great! Haven't used it yet but I think it's a great idea.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Well generally it means there's been less people changing it and it also means less money.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

I'll pick a TV show instead and go with Fawlty Towers. But that includes watching John and Connie write.

What's your favorite quote and why?

"There's a million reasons to say no to something but only one reason to say yes - and that's that you can't think of a million reasons to say no." I love that quote because 1) it's so true and 2) because it's mine.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Do what you want. I don't have to watch it if I don't want to.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

The 11th Commandment states "Thy Shalt Always Produce A Moving Picture of this Granite Hieroglyphic" so I guess they're just following biblical law.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes! I'd like to add Mark Cuban's bank account to my own.

Author Volatalistic Phil

Volatalistic Phil is a 26 year old, male author, currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born, and raised for the most part, in the "Land of Enchantment"--New Mexico. He is a recovering alcoholic/addict. He is currently in college pursuing degrees in Philosophy and English.

Volatalistic Phil has an interest in people and the community around him. He enjoys taking part in experiences that can help enrich his own life as well as the lives of those around him. He is easy going and feels that he would, "hate to be so busy that I couldn't take time to answer some questions for some of my readers."

From Volatalistic Phil:

I'm goofy, random, and cynical at times. I'm sometimes insecure and sometimes needy. I am sometimes courageous and sometimes not. I am perfect at times and less than perfect at other times. I am a human being, no more and no less, I suppose. I love movies and music. Writing is something that I am passionate about and really enjoy doing. Though it is fresh start in a new direction, I am hopeful. I play guitar and bass. I dabble on and off with playing the piano, as I'm attempting to learn that.

I'm interested in: Chinese food, Vietnamese food, books, knowledge,cars, movies, music, school, Dickies, Zebra Cakes, Monster Energy drinks, Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star shoes, Chuck Taylor, the color green, the color blue, names that start with N, J, K, V and M. I'm also interested in black holes and I'd like to someday find where Gotham City is actually located.

Much Love,

Volatalistic Phil

What is the current project you are working on?

I’m working on volume two of the Flash Fiction 40+1 series.

I just released on December 15th. I’m not sure what the second installment will be titled, but I’ll know when I get there. Volume one is called Flash Fiction 40+1: New Mexican Bread Aisle. The other project I’m currently working on is the sequel to my first book, My Mind’s Abyss. The sequel will be tentatively known as MyMind’s Abyss: Relapse.

How do you define success?

I suppose that in a nutshell, and taking an Aristotelian approach to defining success; I define success as being happy. I believe to be successful it takes hard work and dedication. I think by choosing experiences in life and making the choices to take part in those experiences, determine your level of success and in turn, your happiness. If I can be successful with my goals that will bring me to these experiences I have chosen to take part in, then I could be happy. I am sometimes conflicted when trying to think of ways to be both content and happy at the same time. To put it plainly, the sky is the limit—or is it?

How do you handle rejection?

I handle rejection in the most human way possible. I wish that I could tell you that I handle it with grace, but that isn’t always the immediate case. At first, I may trample myself for a moment, but I try to look at rejection as constructive criticism. From there, I think of ways that I can approve upon the said rejection. Rejection isn’t always bad though, I suppose it just depends upon the way you perceive it and what your anticipated reaction was.

Did you always want to be a writer?

After giving this some serious thought, I think that I just wanted to be a liar. Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer, a writer, an actor, a politician or a musician.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I hate to keep getting all philosophical, because I don’t want someone to think I’m egotistical, but fear inspired me. Thomas Hobbes wrote about fear being a motivator of people. I had this great fear, while mostly dealing with the side-effects of withdrawals from alcohol and other substance abuse, as well as emotions and everything that entails, that I was going to die. I had this fear that I was going to die and the world was never going to know that I existed. I had this fear that I was going to die and I hadn’t made any type of significant contribution to the world.

What is the best thing about being one?

Feeling like the color red in a black and white photograph.

What is the worst thing about being one?

I am truly enjoying it, but I would say the very long working hours, though a double-edged sword, and the lack of cheaper healthcare benefits.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

I’m going to omit school writing projects. To the best of my ability to guess the number of writing projects that I’ve worked on, I say about eight or nine.

Who is your favorite author?

J.D. Salinger

How has your life changed since you became writer?

It has enriched and continues to enrich my life. In short, the long hours of being a writer coincide perfectly with my dwindling social life. I am learning a lot about myself and about the world through writing. I am always meeting different types of people and it is a lot of fun to interact with and learn from them. Financially, it has remained about the same. Socially, outside of my immediate stomping ground, it has been somewhat of a bump in social status. It is hard to explain, but people seem to look at me as “a writer” instead of just “a person,” especially at school. At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I feel as though I have this great responsibility to myself, my friends and family, and my community.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to be a writer?

I almost feel inadequate to answer this question, but my advice is to do it. Write about it, do not talk about it. Honest truth, I do not know if I am a good writer or not. Some people may hate my writings, and others may enjoy them, but the point is I’m doing it. I know I was probably a terrible writer growing up, though the first book I ever wrote was a tiny one about a turtle, when I was five years old. So I feel that it’s a process, and I believe that I will continue to improve. Growing up, I was in plenty of remedial English classes that followed me even into college. I am happy to be finally able to say that I am 26 years old and as of yesterday, I received my first overall term grade of an A in English 102. That may have little to say about my actual abilities as a writer, but I think it says something about writing progress and commitment to doing something.

What do you like to do besides writing?

I like to lounge around drinking coffee and observing people. I like cycling. I like playing guitar, listening to music, watching movies, reading, and taking part in good conversations. I also very much enjoy watching the television show The Walking Dead, but they have broken my heart until they return in February.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a writer?

Oh, yeah. I’ve had some jobs. I’ve been a musician, though there was mostly only free beer, food and party favors involved with that, and no money to live off of. I’ve been a security guard, a mechanic, worked at least five fast food jobs, had a newspaper route, worked at least six call center jobs involving selling insurance, mortgages, newspaper subscriptions and being technical support. I’ve owned my own clothing line that was featured in a couple of stores in town. I’ve worked at a few restaurants as a busboy, a dishwasher and a cook. I’ve worked on a farm bagging onions. I’ve worked at a bank, a couple of auto part stores, and worked as a gas station clerk. I’ve also been a dad and a boyfriend, which were two of my favorite jobs. I know there are probably other jobs I’ve worked, but I can’t remember all of them right now.

How would you describe your education?

I describe it as being similar to my job history—all over the place with periods of gaps. I’m currently in college, again, for the third time, but I’ve been going strong and some say the “third is the charm.”

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

In no particular order, American: Step Brothers, The Shawshank Redemption, Donnie Darko, Dawn of the Dead, Robocop (all), No country For Old Men, Terminator (all).

Foreign films: Y Tu Mamá También, Un Chien Andalou, Ikiru (To live, ‘90’s adaptation).

Television shows; The Walking Dead, Scrubs, My Name Is Earl, How I Met Your Mother, American Dad!

How has social media changed the publishing industry?

I think that in some ways it has taken away their drugs and they want them back. I feel like the fat cats of the publishing industry are becoming more creative and are working harder to keep their positions in the hierarchy of things. It really gives me hope that social media could possibly bridge the gap and lead to more synergy. In other ways, I think that it has served as catalyst for the publishing industry, directly or indirectly, and especially for the self-publisher.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Sometimes independent films are almost too real, removing some of the censorship, shocking you. All things considered, I think that the excellent independent film might be a result of a shortfall in an adequate budget, which inspires the ability to develop the story better and utilize all of their resources to the best of their abilities. The mainstream film industry is incredibly amazing as well. There is so much talent involved in great mainstream movies, but they also have a fantastic budget that alone could bankrupt someone with a lunch tab.

You could have any first edition book. Which book would it be and why?

The Holy Bible, so I could interpret it for myself, eliminating any bias in telling others.

Do you believe in life on other planets?

In the possibility, yes.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

“I really don't think this is the right way to start a working relationship. You got a real, a real bad attitude, lady. In fact, I don't even want your job; I don't care how much you'd pay me, 'cause I got integrity, in-fucking-tegrity. Raahh!” – SLC Punk Not in the context of selling women’s clothing, as it were like in the movie, but more so of my own integrity and unwillingness to compromise that, even in working situations.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

I enjoy them, but they must be just as good as or better than the first. The people involved must work very hard to attain this level of quality.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I love them! I am for it!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

No. I think I’ve probably said entirely too much in this interview.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Publicist Lindsey Rowe

Lindsey Rowe is a public relations professional, social media aficionado, amateur photographer and philanthropy enthusiast in Los Angeles. She co-chairs the PR and media committee for a childrens advocacy red carpet event as well as gives of her time and talents to various other charitable causes that are near and dear to her heart.

Lindsey has two adopted siblings with cleft palates and has witnessed first hand the struggle that children with clefts and their families endure. She has also experienced the resilience and spirit of those same children who are able to overcome their challenges and has been inspired by them to bring awareness to this cause.

What is the current project you are working on?

Currently, I am producing a documentary called Gwapa (Beautiful)that follows a poor Filipino family's struggle for a healthy future and a mother's remarkable journey to help her three kids with facial deformities.

Every year, 4,000 - 5,000 Filipino children are born with cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. Cleft lip and palate are two the most common and curable of birth defects. Sadly, most clefts go unrepaired in developing countries. Just one surgery can change a child's life forever.

What's it like working with the crew at Thirsty Girl Films? 

BUSY! This is a passion project for our whole crew, so we are putting our hearts and souls into it which means many long nights and weekends! We are all so dedicated to the film and the cause and that makes all the effort very rewarding!

How do you measure success?

All depends on what the goal is. Happy clients = success

How do you handle rejection?

Haha. As a publicist, I hear 'no' a lot! Water off a duck's back at this point!

Did you always want to be a publicist?

I actually fell into publicity. I could not have planned or foreseen this life for myself! All the pieces seem to be falling into place. It just reinforces the fact that we are all part of a beautiful tapestry much bigger than ourselves.

What is the best thing about being one?

Having the ability and connectivity to bring awareness to important causes and projects!

What is the worst thing about being one?


What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

More than I can remember. Between my professional life and personal side passion projects, I should be committed.

How has your life changed since you became a publicist?

2 words: SOCIAL MEDIA> The influx of information is astonishing, and you always have to be "ON".

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become a publicist?

Be prepared for the lines to be blurred between your personal and professional life.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a publicist?  

Teaching preschool, which I think uses a similar skill set only because you've always got a pleasant demeanor and smiling face while constantly diffusing problems of all kinds!

How has social media changed the independent film industry?

Thirsty Girl Films recently ran a crowdfunding campaign for Gwapa 'Beautiful' on IndieGogo. It was my first time participating in crowdfunding and it was definitely an eye opener. The power or social media is astounding.

What's your favorite quote and why?

I am one of those obnoxious people who posts daily inspirational quotes! I just love to start my day that way! But the quote that I feel really speaks to me is one I have in my email signature. I love the simplicity of it.  "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~William James

Do you support any charitable foundations?

I do! I have worked with many AMAZING foundations and charities. I sit on the planning committees for two charity red carpet events. One is an LA animal rescue organization called Kitten Rescue ( and the other is First Star ( a children's advocacy organization that fights for the rights of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. 

I highly encourage everyone to find a cause they are passionate about and get involved, it will enrich your life beyond your wildest dreams. 


Thanks for doing the interview Lindsey. I think Gwapa is a wonderful project. I will be keeping an eye on the project and Thirsty Girl Films.   Speaking of charities, I hope people will check out

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheeks From "Husbands"

Cheeks attended Los Angeles City College to pursue film production before studying improv and becoming a graduate of Second City Hollywood. He then appeared as himself to mentor a young gay teen in the ways of “being confident and fabulous” on MTV’s Why Can’t I Be You? This experience sparked his drive to inspire others by being a free spirited and creative model of the modern man. He adopted the moniker Cheeks, a nickname bestowed by Paris Hilton, and began building a fan base by releasing short form comedy videos on You Tube. Cheeks then recorded an electropop EP titled The Boy From Venus, and followed with Glambition and T.C.M.C.; both charted on iTunes Top 10 Electronic Music downloads. In 2011, Cheeks founded the entertainment and lifestyle website WeYüMe. Cheeks can currently be seen in Husbands the Series at and in Billy Clift’s I Want To Get Married, now on DVD. You can follow Cheeks on Twitter @gocheeksgo.

What inspired you to create your website "WeYüMe"?

Living a life that is rich with laughter, information, thoughtfulness, introspection, and friends. How can I better provide that for people? That was where I started. Pursuing my own success simply for the sake of my own success left me feeling empty. I thought, "am I going to sacrifice having a relationship and a social life and privacy for success?" What was I giving to people? To the world? When developing original web content full time became an option for me, WeYuMe was born.

How do you measure success?

I measure success by whether or not I'm meeting the goals I've set for myself. I try not to let outside factors weigh in too much. Ie, is it being validated by the public, making money, winning awards. If I set out to create something and then I create it, I've succeeded. Whether or not it reaches millions, makes millions, or brings me endless acclaim -- none of that matters. Ideally, you determine what it is you love, you commit to doing it, and you do it. To me, that's succeeding.

How do you handle rejection?

Rejection is such an awful term. It's become standard industry lingo, which is a shame, because it's an incorrect use of the word. Poor actors. No wonder they're so fragile. They keep telling themselves they're being rejected and go back to their catering jobs feeling vulnerable when really, there's no need for all that.

No one gets "rejected," they simply don't get the role. Rejection would be if the casting director said, "Oh dear god, what were you thinking?! YOU? YOU?? Ha! Get the hell out of here before I blacklist you for wasting my time." Now, I'm sure somewhere, something like that has happened. But 99 times out of 100, you read your lines, they smile and say thank you, and you leave. No one kicks you to the curb. One can't take things too personally and expect to survive in Hollywood.

What is the best thing about starring a webseries?

The incredible outpouring of love and support from fans all over the world. It's different than a project with mass media exposure because there's an intimacy that exists with you and your audience. I get to interact directly with the people I'm making it for, the people who love it, who get my sense of humor, who encourage me when I'm overworked and feel like giving up. It's like hosting a party where I perform a play for friends around the world. Every day, more friends show up to the party. It's wonderful. It's by far my favorite thing.

What is the worst thing about starring in a webseries?

Unfortunately, the Internet is still the red headed step child of entertainment. Forty years ago, if a movie star transitioned into television it was seen as a downgrade. Today, TV is arguably a better gig for working actors. That's how I see the Internet.

There are incredible, crafted, smart projects that resonate with thousands or millions of people, yet a perception exists that it's not up to par with "real" entertainment. When you consider this idea, it's really quite an ignorant mentality. Just because anyone can put anything online, it must mean everything online is amateur. When a show or personality isn't on a massive outlet like film or TV (which also features quite a bit of low brow content, by the way) a large majority of the public think it must not be that good, otherwise it would be "legit."

This mentality will change. It's changing now. In my opinion, anyone who carries this derogatory view of online entertainment into the next decade will only immediately identify themselves as out of touch. Like when people say, "Did you tape it?" No. I DVR'd it.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Oh god, no idea. Um, twentysomething-ish? Maybe more?

How has your life changed since you became involved with "Husbands"?

I get recognized at Starbucks now! After it happened a few days in a row I was like, "Damn, I gotta start getting cute before I leave the house. No more of this backwards hat and sweatpants look." Husbands has opened up big opportunities for me. Life changing. I've learned a lot about all elements of production, myself, the craft of writing, the inner workings of Hollywood and new media. I made wonderful new friends like Sean Hemeon and Jeff Greenstein. Actually, I can say with full confidence that I am not even close to seeing the massive impact that creating Husbands will eventually have on my life. This is all very hard to explain without going into details that are still very hush hush, but Husbands is only starting to be as life changing and big as it will ultimately be.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants become an actor?

Well, first, that rejection bit. I'd tell them that. Then I'd strongly encourage them to ask themselves: why do I want to be an actor? If it's for fame or money, give up. If it's because you have some idealized dream of people loving you all day or how much "fun" it would be to appear on TV, give up.

Picture yourself as a fifty year old bank teller who is just deliriously happy to act on Thursday nights with your community theatre because it's what you love most. Could you be happy with that life? If not, then don't pursue acting.

It's hard. Its dark. It's lonely. I remember, years ago, eating Chef Boyardee out of a measuring cup after a long day working as a telemarketer. About to take my first bite, I started laughing my ass off. I thought, "This is actually what living the dream is all about." My state of misery was absolutely hilarious. If that doesn't sound like something you can laugh at, a career in show business is not for you.

So, if all that sounds doable to you, my advice would be to work harder than anyone else. Submit your head shots at 7am when other wanna-be actors are sleeping. Never expect your agent to get you work. That's not their job. Make friends with everyone. Never complain, especially about other people. Most importantly, know your strengths. If you're a Kathy Griffin type, don't try to be a Reese Witherspoon. Be honest with yourself about what you can and can't do.

What do you like to do besides working on your webseries and website?

You mean... there's other things?! It's been so long. I can't even remember. I like to go to this place. It's called -- oh what's the name of it? Outdoors, I think? There are big trees and lots of nature type things. I like to go there and sleep under the stars. I like to listen to the sound of nothing. I like to sit under trees and let them tell me about all the things they've seen in their time on Earth. I also really like to dance. Naked. In the forest.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It's the end of the interview, but I feel like this is only the beginning of the good stuff to come. 2012 is going to be a huge year ...and not just cause it's the apocalypse, other stuff too.


Thank you for doing the interview.  I'm a HUGE fan of you and the rest of the cast and crew of "Husbands". I look forward to seeing what happens in 2012 with the show. I'm also going to look out for new stuff going on at your website.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sean Hemeon AKA Brady on "Husbands"

Sean Hemeon  is the son of a Gas Station Owner and Fine Artist and was born and raised in the DC metropolitan area of Tysons Corner, Virginia. Having three older brothers, and two younger sisters and a younger brother – Hemeon grew up in a full house. He found time for himself in reading and writing and staying after school for the drama programs. In high school, he followed his brothers’ athletic legacy and played football and lacrosse. Throughout, though, he felt the pull to do more acting and joined in the theater classes and plays at the school. When it came time to decide what to do in college, there was no doubt that Hemeon wanted to be a performer. He went to Virginia Commonwealth University on a scholarship and shortly thereafter landed his first major acting role on American television in As The World Turns on CBS. He played Max, the first year film student and in having so much fun was convinced this was what he wanted to do.He has since made the move to Los Angeles where he considers it his new home. Recently, he was excited to play a Vampire on one of his favorite tv shows True Blood. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SeanHemeon.

What was it like working on "True Blood"?

I have a secret passion for vampires so for me it was honestly a fantasy come true. I really hope it doesn't end there because I cant wait to play a vampire again, maybe another episode or some other film/television show.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Oh man, wow - what are we including here - theater as well? And does improv shows count? I don't know really - this is all so much fun for me that it just seems to all be one fun project. I've done music videos, to youtube videos, to tv, film and stage and that doesnt even count the countless improv shows Ive been involved in. Hundreds maybe?

What is the best thing about starring in a webseries?

I really loved that the creators were very open to me pitching jokes. I also loved that as I filled Brady out more, they stated writing the part around me. It was a very freeing experience for a performer.

What is the worst thing about starring in a webseries?

Sometimes the worst things make for the best stories - we had to totally guerilla shoot some scenes while being stalked by security guards. We also had to deal with the homeowner's loud cats and also shooting next to an airport.

How has your life changed since you became involved with "Husbands"?

I can see better! A really amazing Husbands fan gifted me with a pair of eye glasses. I thought that was pretty cool.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants become an actor?

Don't - run away - get as far from acting as you can.Ruuuun!!

Now all those that just read that part and said "F - you Sean!" I welcome you to the craft of acting. It takes a kind of rebel energy to stay with this long enough to create a name for yourself. If each year you get closer than the last, then I think you're doing the right thing.

Are there any webseries (other than "Husbands") that you like to watch?

I think very mary kate is hilarious! And web therapy (obviously before it made the jump to tv)

What do you like to do besides acting?

I like being involved with Art - I've been a gallery director and I love nurturing newer artists. It's really inspiring to watch other creatives grow.

You could go back in time and act in any film. Which film would it be and why?

My all time favorite childhood film is Last of the Mohicans - Daniel Day Lewis is amazing in that. I think I just loved the idea of being a warrior like him and wildly going after the girl (or guy - dependent on reader) like all the 90's movies were so good at doing. I'm also part Native American and so there could be some of that going on.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Husbands isn't even close to being done yet! Stay with us - there may be some suprises coming in the future!


Thanks for doing the interview Sean. I love "Husbands". I'm also a big fan of "Last of the Mohicans".  I know you have  passion for vampires. Please check out the webseries @vampiremob on Twitter. I hope you'll like it.

Co-creator and executive producer of "Husbands" Jane Espenson

Jane Espenson is a 20-year veteran television writer and producer.  She's best known as a writer for science fiction and fantasy shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, Torchwood, and currently Once Upon a Time for ABC.  She's also co-creator and executive producer of Husbands, viewable at

How has your life changed since you became involved with "Husbands"?

Well, I was certainly busy when we were producing and editing it.  But the biggest change isn't to my life but to my attitude -- I really *get* the whole process of production in a way I didn't before.  I think I embraced the entire beginning-to-end of the process in a way I never really have before.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who wants become a writer?

A TV writer?  Move to LA.  It's funny -- production has moved all over the place out of LA, but the process of becoming a TV writer has sort of become more concentrated here.  Industry experience is becoming more important, so it's harder to start a writing career from out of state.

What is your writing process?

I tend to write while propped up on pillows, not sitting up at a desk.  I write quickly in concentrated short bursts.  Getting the first pass down can be kind of painful, but I love to polish a script to find just the right word.

What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

Hmm.  A Midsummer Nights' Dream, I think.  Funny!

What is the "atmosphere" like on the set of "Husbands"?

Amazing.  Jeff Greenstein directed with such a light touch, and our cast is so confident and funny -- the atmosphere was always light and fun and creative.    This series is a joy to shoot and the crew was amazing too -- so good.

How do you feel about movie and TV remakes?

Some are good and some aren't.  I worked on Battlestar Galactica, which was based on an earlier incarnation of the series, and I thought it was brilliant.  It's always about the quality of the product, not some aspect of the project, like where it started.

How does making a webseries differ from making a TV show?

It's smaller -- smaller crew, smaller salaries.  But it's also bigger because, as a producer, you're responsible for more aspects of the shoot, so the job gets bigger.  It was stressy, but wonderful.

How are they similar?

I felt that the quality of our director and our cast was totally equal to what I'd work with in TV, and of course the overall procedure was the same.  It was like I was doing what I usually do, just from a couple steps closer to the flames!

Is there anything you'd like to add?

I'm very proud of Husbands and we're hoping to make more content!  Follow us at @TeamHusbands and check us out at for updates!

Jordan Rozansky Co-Creator Of "Can't Get Arrested"

Jordan Rozansky is a comedy writer and producer currently working as a script consultant for Dark Trick Films and DarkFire Television. He has written and executive produced five sketch comedy videos and a five-episode web series.

What exactly is  "Can't Get Arrested" about?

Can’t Get Arrested stars Dave Coulier and Jodie Sweetin from Full House playing versions of themselves.  The series starts off with the paparazzi manipulating a story about Jodie, which Dave and Jodie realize can be turned into a positive, helping them get acting work.  Throughout the series they orchestrate media events for themselves and others with the goal of kickstarting careers that have fallen on hard times.

What was the casting process like?

Casting was really easy.  Dave and I developed the show knowing that he and Jodie would star in it.  Once the series was outlined we talked about a lot of names for guest stars and we landed on Dennis Haskins, Candace Cameron Bure, and Kato Kaelin.  Once they committed we wrote episodes around them.

After that there were only a few parts left to fill.  Blake Goza and Eric Moneypenny play the paparazzi guys and they’re so hilarious in the series.  Blake and Eric are friends of mine and luckily they were both available the week of our shoot.  The remaining two roles are the news reporter roles, which went to Stephanie Allynne and Olev Aleksander.  I had seen Stephanie do a bunch of live shows and I think she’s so funny.  I emailed her to explain the show and her role and I was really excited that she said yes.  Olev is a friend of our director, David Odio.  David assured me that Olev was funny.  He was very right.  Both Stephanie and Olev were amazing.

We never had to do any auditioning or anything like that.  It was as simple as calling people we think are funny and hoping for the best.  It was a very smooth process.

Why did you decide to create "Can't Get Arrested"

I got in touch with Dave about a sketch I wrote and I was hoping he would act in it.  Dave read it and liked it, but he thought we would be better served making a series instead of just a one-off sketch.  From there we started pitching ideas back and forth, settling pretty quickly on the Can’t Get Arrested idea.

How do you measure success?


How do you handle rejection?

I handle rejection well.  If I write scripts and make videos, I’ll do my best to make sure they’re good, but that’s really all I can control.  Once I put something online, it’s up to others to judge.  If people like what I’m doing, that’s great.  If people hate what I’m doing, that’s okay too.  David Odio (Can’t Get Arrested director) and I were reading and laughing at horribly mean comments on our videos the other night.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

I’ve always loved comedy but I never really considered writing until after college.  If I could write sitcoms for the rest of my life, I’d be very happy.

What inspired you to become create a webseries?

It was really more Dave’s idea than it was mine.  I had made a few sketch comedy videos, but the idea of doing something a little longer with more of a story was definitely something that interested me.  I don’t know that I would have done it though had Dave not suggested it.

What is the best thing about creating a webseries?

I just like making stuff.  I’m very happy any time I get the opportunity to produce a video, and with this being my first web series, it was a great learning experience.  I think Can’t Get Arrested turned out well, but I know that whatever I work on next will benefit greatly from lessons learned on this project.

What is the worst thing about creating one?

Getting views on the series is arguably the most important thing we have to do, but it’s definitely not something I enjoy or know much about.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

I’ve worked on set for a few projects and I work in development for a film and TV production company, but in terms of my own stuff, I’ve written/produced five sketch comedy videos and Can’t Get Arrested.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

Here’s a pretty boring answer: I love David Fincher, Woody Allen, and Martin Scorsese.  I’m also watching closely whenever David Wain, Jody Hill, and Richard Ayoade do anything.

How is "Can't Get Arrested" funded?

Coulier and I split the costs to make the show.  We knew it would be a relatively inexpensive shoot and we didn’t want to give up any ownership of the show.

How has your life changed since you created "Can't Get Arrested?

It’s the same, but with less money.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make a webseries??

Find talented people you like to work with and go make something.  Making videos is a lot of trial and error.  If you make something and it doesn’t turn out well, you don’t have to show it to people. As long as you learned something that can make your next project better, it will have been worthwhile.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to create your webseries?

I work as a script consultant for Dark Trick Films and DarkFire Television.  I’ve also done some PA and AD work on various sets, but I haven’t done that in a while.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

My favorite movie is Groundhog Day.  The best foreign film I’ve seen recently is Four Lions, but that’s just British, so it’s barely foreign.

Here’s a list of TV shows I love: Community; Arrested Development; Peep Show; Parks and Recreation; The Larry Sanders Show; Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace; Mr. Show; Eastbound and Down; Bored to Death; The Wire; Breaking Bad; Mad Men.

How would you describe your education?

I have an English degree, which is most helpful for feeling good about myself when I read something with grammatical mistakes.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

Space Jam, for obvious reasons.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

I’d say I’m pro-sequel and anti-remake, but that’s not always true.  I think there’s a place for both sequels and remakes, but there’s probably too many of each.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

Book to movie adaptations have given us The Godfather, The Silence of the Lambs, and the Twilight series, so mark me down under the “strongly in favor” column.


Thank you for doing the interview Jordan. I really enjoy the series and will do what I can to spread the word about your show.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Virgin Alexander" Writers/Directors Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon

Writers/Directors Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon met during their first film production class at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Charlotte grew up in San Antonio, Texas. Sean grew up Saratoga Springs, New York where Virgin Alexander was shot. Virgin Alexander is their first feature film.

What is the current project you are working(and/or promoting) on?

We have been on the festival circuit for the last 9 months with our first feature film, Virgin Alexander.  It’s a comedy about a 26 year-old scrap hauler who is about to be evicted from his house. In a last ditch effort to save it from the bank, he turns it into a brothel. The response to the film has been terrific. We’ve won Best Film at the Las Vegas Film Festival & Black Hills Film Festival, Grand Jury Award & Audience Award for Best Film at the DC Independent Film Festival, and The Best of the Fest Award at the Illinois International Film Festival. We won Outstanding Achievement in Editing at Visionfest in NYC. We were also the Opening Night Film at the Orlando Film Festival where our lead actor, Rick Faugno, won Best Performance and the entire cast won Best Ensemble.

You can see the trailer at

What is the casting process like?

The logline to our film is about a virgin who turns his house into a brothel. It’s easy to read the script as just a sex comedy, but we were completely uninterested in making a sex comedy. We wanted to make sure that the film was being represented to actors and their representation in the right way, so we cast the film ourselves. We would meet with all of the actors, usually over coffee, to talk about the film. While auditions can be important, it was more important for us to talk with the actors and make sure everyone saw the film the same way. You’ll be spending long hours with on set with the actors, so being able to communicate is key. The only actor we cast without meeting is Rick Faugno who plays Alexander. We saw Rick perform as Frankie Valli in the musical Jersey Boys and knew he had to be Alexander. Even though Frankie Valli is nothing like Alexander (Frankie is quite confident with the ladies), Rick’s performance blew us away.

We were blessed with our casting. We definitely got a better cast than we pitched our investors. We are a tiny independent film with a large ensemble cast. We thought we would have 2 actors from either NYC or LA and the rest would be local hires. Getting to work with such talented and experienced actors as Bronson Pinchot (Perfect Strangers & True Romance), Paige Howard (Adventureland), Mika Boorem (Blue Crush & The Patriot), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight), Joe D’Onofrio (Goodfellas), & Elizabeth Masucci (Shame) was a dream. In the end it came down to the script. They all loved the script and wanted to make this film.


What was the "emotional environment" like on set like on set?

We try to create a fun and safe environment for our cast and crew to work in. Just because a scene/dialogue worked in the script doesn’t mean it’s going to work on set. And if that’s the case, we would much rather blame the writers (us) than the actor. We’re more than willing to change a line or a scene to make it better. We’re going to get credit/blamed for it anyway, so if it’s a good idea who cares where it came from. One of the nice things about not having much money to make a movie is that everyone is working on the project because they want to be there.– nobody is in it for the money. So we try to keep everyone happy, well fed and working hard on something they can be proud of.

How do you define success?

No clue. As long we get to make another movie we’re successful.

How do you handle rejection?

Rejection is just part of the process. You’re going to hear “no” a lot more than “yes.” Like any creative endeavor, some people are going to love it, others are going to hate it. Don’t take anything personally, just move on and keep working.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

This is where we separate:

Sean – As long as I can remember I wanted to make movies, but it wasn’t until I was 10 that I realized that there was such a thing as a filmmaker. Terminator 2 had just come out and I was obsessed with it. The script was released as a book and my parents bought it for me. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the script, but that was how I realized that some guy named James Cameron made the film and not Arnold Schwarzenegger. That was my introduction to the filmmaking process and it clued me in on why the movies Schwarzenegger made with Cameron were better than his other films.

Charlotte –  I didn’t know I wanted to make movies when I was a kid. I always loved movies, but making movies never seemed like an option. It wasn’t until I took an intro to film class at Middlebury College in Vermont that I realized this is what I want to do with my life. That same semester I applied to transfer to NYU.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

We wrote a bunch of scripts before the opportunity to make Virgin Alexander came along. Everyone wants to make their first script. You worked so hard on it and you love it. But it’s probably for the best that it doesn’t get made. We find it best after we finish a script (including it’s many rewrites), to immediately start writing the next one. We want to spend the rest of our lives being filmmakers, so no idea is precious. If something doesn’t work out, move on to the next.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

How about filmmakers? Just off the top of our heads and leaving many others out: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, Ernst Lubitsch, John Ford, Jean Renoir, Charlie Chaplin, Werner Herzog, Preston Sturges, Buster Keaton, Robert Altman, Agnes Varda, David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jonathan Demme, & Curtis Hanson.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become a filmmaker?

Just keep working, don’t get distracted.  All that matters is the work. Let the rest take care of itself. And be nice to everyone.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

Going on hikes with our weimaraner, Luna. Check Virgin Alexander’s facebook page for photos of Luna:

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

Sean - The jobs we’ve had have been to support our goal of being filmmakers, we never had other careers. When we moved to LA we got jobs that would allow us to focus on writing. Many people get jobs on set as PA’s and while that’s a great way to make contacts, we knew that after working a 14 hour day we would have no energy to write. So Charlotte was a dog walker and I worked in the machine room at a movie marketing company. I basically had to copy DVD’s of new trailers all day, but because there was a lot of electronics in my room, I made people think the job was really hard and complicated, so I was left alone. I had about an hour of actual work each day and would spend the rest of the day writing and on the phone with Charlotte talking over whatever script we were working on.

How would you describe your film education?

We met when we transferred into NYU’s undergrad film school. We were sitting next to each other at our very first film class. We’ve been collaborating ever since. Film school was great but we really focused on continuing our education after school- watching movies, reading about movies and learning about story telling. One of the reasons we love filmmaking is because there is always more to learn.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

I Know Where I’m Going, The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life & Death, The Lady Eve, The River, City Lights, The General, Cleo from 5 to 7, Singing in the Rain, How Green Was My Valley, Stroszek, Grand Illusion, Barry Lyndon, The Searchers, The Social Network, There Will Be Blood, and Hoosiers. We could keep going but will stop there.

And for TV: The Larry Sanders Show, The Wire, Arrested Development, The Daily Show, & Colbert Report.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

We’ve never done crowdfunding, but it seems like a good idea. We’ve always wondering how it works in regards to the SEC. Making movies, while an art, isn’t a non-profit. It’s a business. There are many steps you have to take to protect yourself and your film. We don’t know how that works with crowdfunding yet.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Is there a difference? Maybe just budget. All films are trying to communicate to an audience. If being an independent film means your film isn’t mainstream, than what is Virgin Alexander? We’re certainly not a Hollywood film. We have a lot of people that worked on the movie for free, you’re not going to find that in Hollywood. But we’re also a commercial film (at least we hope we are). We want the film to have a large audience, large enough to allow us to make a 2nd film. In our opinion, it’s just budget that separates indies from Hollywood. Indies can be mainstream (the first Paranormal Activity) and Hollywood films can be esoteric art projects (Solaris, for example).

You could go back in time and see and film being made. Which film would it be and why?

Sean – Buster Keaton’s The General because I have no idea how they made that film. Silents are amazing. They have such a can do attitude, create such amazing sets, and feature incredible stunts all with a camera that weighed 500 pounds.

Charlotte- I would love to see how they made Singin’ in the Rain in the height of the musical heyday at MGM. Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote such a funny satire of Hollywood while working in a list of hit songs from the 20’s Arthur Freed either wrote or had the rights to. And it would it be amazing to see Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen collaborate on set. Not to mention Donald O’Connor’s incredible “Make em’ Laugh” number and Debbie Reynolds learning to dance for the production! Ridiculous.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

It depends on the remake and the sequel. Terminator 2 was amazing. Toy Story 2 and 3 were great. Ben Hur was a remake of an early silent film. But then there’s You’ve Got Mail and Lubitsch’s Shop Around the Corner. The remake is nice but it’s hard to improve on perfection.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

They can be great, just don’t be married to the source material. Movies and books have different structures, so what works in a book won’t work exactly in a movie. A great example is Jaws. The movie is really different from the book. If Spielberg had stuck to the book, the movie wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is – plus, Richard Dreyfuss would have died (sorry for the spoiler).


Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for having us and thank you for supporting independent film! Please check out the trailer to Virgin Alexander at & join us on facebook:

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