Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ryan and Theresa Pickett


Theresa Meeker is an Italian-American actress who appeared in several films and print work as well as commercials. She hails from Williamson County, Tennessee although she was raised on the archipelago of Sumatra, Indonesia by mother Judith Meeker and father Dr. William Meeker MD. She studied film and television acting at Michael Howard Studios as well as Larry Singer Studios in New York City. She received a BA in History from Flagler College of St. Augustine, Florida and she is pursuing a Master of Education in elementary education at Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education with several scholarships in 2011. She is married to director Ryan Pickett and she was recently voted one of the best “Real Housewives of Nashville” by Village Voice media owned Nashville Scene. 

Ryan Pickett is a Nashville, Tennessee based nationally-recognized entrepreneur and filmmaker. Ryan directed, produced and co-wrote avant-garde multi-award winning film “Look” using the RED ONE 4K. Ryan had a small role in “Look” as a photographer who photographs a model played by a woman who later became his wife, Theresa Meeker.

“Look,” which has won awards in the Accolade Competition and Best Shorts Competition, was Ryan's second short film. The very first film that Ryan made “You Only Loved Me Twice” as well as his business proposal helped him beat out thousands of others across the world and earned him a top 5 finalist spot in the film entrepreneurship competition the Race to BE hosted by Russell Simmons at Sony Picture Studios in Los Angeles.

Ryan hails from Baltimore, Maryland although he was raised in Germany by father George Pickett, who was a member of the USA Olympic Weightlifting Team in the 1968 Olympics, Mexico City, as well as by mother Cheryl Pickett. Ryan studied acting at Stella Adler Studio of Acting in Los Angeles. He has worked for major entertainment corporations, including Playboy, Henninger Productions, Washington Redskins, Ascent Media, Film House and Gibson. He has freelanced on numerous film projects and he appeared in “Arrested Development” and “Strong Medicine” television shows.

Ryan concentrated on film directing at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. He received a BA in English Language and Literature at University of Maryland, College Park and he is currently living in the Hillsboro Village district of Nashville, TN. He was recently voted one of the best visual artists of Nashville as well as Nashville’s best filmmaker by Village Voice Media owned Nashville Scene.

What is the current project you are working on?

Currently working on a feature length script (Ryan).

I’ve been looking at some commercial spec competitions, while Ryan and I will post anything new that we do on ryanpickettproductions .com (Theresa).

How do you define success?

Being happy with what you do (Ryan).

How do you handle rejection?

Move on (Ryan).

What inspired you to become involved in the film industry?

A love for movies (Ryan).

I loved reading when I was little. Some of my favorite books, such as Matilda, which I read dozens of times, were made into movies. I wanted to see the actors reacting the way I envisioned them from reading about them, and I decided to be an actress so I could interpret a script the way I imagined it happening (Theresa).

What is the best thing about creating/working on a film?

Seeing your ideas brought to life (Ryan).

What is the worst thing about it?

Budget (Ryan and Theresa).

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

I’ve written and directed two short films, including "Look" and "You  Only Loved Me Twice", which you can read more about on IMDb as well as at ryanpickettproductions.com, while I’ve worked on numerous other films (Ryan).

I’ve been in a few commercials and several short films as well as two features (Theresa).

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business?

Hold out for the right part. Some wannabe actors don’t realize that taking the wrong part really can encourage people not to take them seriously later on (Theresa).

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

Play guitar and weightlift (Ryan).

Travel and go running (Theresa).

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

Amadeus and Salt, while Ryan and I watch a lot of vampire shows, such as Vampire Diaries (Theresa).

How would you describe your film education?

I studied Film and TV acting with casting director Gabrielle Berberich at Michael Howard Studios as well as stage acting with Larry Singer at Larry Singer Studios and I took a film course at Flagler College in St. Augustine. Most of my film education came from being on set and networking with filmmakers, such as Ryan, who had extensive collections of movies to watch (Theresa).

I watched a lot of movies and went to school for film (Ryan).

What is the casting process like?

It’s nerve-racking for me since I’m an actress. Several acting mentors told me to think that an audition is just a meeting, although I get pretty nervous to have someone sizing me up and deciding whether I fit the part. The best part of having been in the industry for several years is often some of the people holding the audition are people I have met before, which helps me relax and focus (Theresa).

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

Nashville, Tennessee has some successful music video directors as well as some indie filmmakers who just don’t realize that their filmmaking careers might never happen if they stay here. There are a lot of creative people here but the industry for filmmaking isn’t very good. Ryan and I are here for my Master of Education program at Vandy, which has the number one program in the nation for education, while we know that if we want to take the film industry seriously we’ll have to go somewhere else (Theresa).

Pretty weak (Ryan).

How has social media changed the independent film industry?

Makes it easier to get your film seen (Ryan).

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I’m not really into it (Ryan).

It seems kind of like being a sales person, which takes away from the creative freedom filmmakers should have when developing their film. I’d think it’s little cheesy to have to ask all your friends for money on Facebook and twitter (Theresa).

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Smaller budget, lesser known actors (Ryan).

Doing a lot of your own PR (Theresa).

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

"Citizen Kane" because it had some of the best acting as well as directing and writing in movie history, while it was so revolutionary for its time (Ryan).

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Some are good. Some aren’t (Ryan).

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

Sometimes book to movie adaptations work, although I’ve been let down by some in the past. I’ve got high hopes for Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese. "Hugo" is based on the book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" written by author Brian Selznick, which has a lot of illustrations and reminds me of a flipbook, while the way the illustrations zoom in to show different perspectives and reveal movement looks very inspired by the way an audience might view a movie (Theresa).

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Visit ryanpickettproductions.com